Implement Push Notifications

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1 Introduction

This how-to will walk you through the steps needed to implement push notifications in your application.

This how-to will teach you how to do the following:

  • Import the PushNotifications module
  • Add the push notification widget and administrator pages
  • Update several app files with the necessary dependencies
  • Obtain FCM/APNs access/credentials and configure them with your application
  • Build the hybrid mobile package

2 Prerequisites

Before starting this how-to, make sure you have completed the following prerequisites:

3 Importing the PushNotifications Module from the Marketplace

The Push Notifications Connector module is published in the Mendix Marketplace. To import it into your app, click the Marketplace icon in the top right of Modeler, which will open the Marketplace in a new tab. Search for “Push Notifications Connector” and click the title of the result:

On the resulting page, click the green Download button. Make sure that Add as a new module is selected, and then click Import:

4 Installing Module Dependencies

The PushNotifications module has two dependencies:

To include these dependencies, download them from the Marketplace in a way similar to how you installed the PushNotifications module. While importing, you may get a pop-up window with information about overwriting app files, which you can confirm by clicking OK.

After importing the module and the dependencies, your error dock will inform you that entity access is out of date. To fix this error, double-click the error and then click Update security at the top of the domain model pane.

5 Including the Push Notifications Snippet in the Application’s Layouts

To properly register your device with a third-party remote push service (FCM or APNs) and display in-app notifications, you should put the widget on the pages of your app. You can accomplish this by dragging the Online_Snippet or Offline_Snippet (located in the _USE ME folder in the PushNotifications module) into the layouts used by your app. Which of these two you should pick depends on whether your Mendix hybrid app uses an online profile or an offline profile. Note that push notifications do not currently work on the desktop.

If your app is offline-compatible, ensure that a sync button is available to the user so that device registration requests will be synchronized with the server. Also, make sure your app has an offline device profile (for details, see Offline Device Profile in the Mendix Reference Guide).

6 Starting Connectors from Your After-Startup Microflow

The PushNotifications module contains a microflow named AfterStartup_PushNotifications that will start the APNs connector for you. Call this microflow from your AfterStartup microflow.

If your app already has a microflow set to execute after startup, we suggest to change your startup microflow to a new microflow, from where you call both after startup microflows. Reference the microflow below:

7 Setting Up the Administration Pages

Add the PushNotifications_Administration page to the app navigation, so it can be reached after you deploy your app. This page contains three tabs: * Pending Messages – shows all the messages that are queued either because they were sent using the QueueMessage action or because previous attempts to send them failed * Devices – contains a list of all the devices registered with the application and is useful for testing purposes * Configuration – used to configure your application so that it can reach the respective services (APNs and FCM) later on

8 Setting Up the Project Security for Your Module

On the User roles tab of the Project Security dialog box, include the following: * The PushNotifications.Administrator role as part of the main Administrator role * The PushNotifications.User role as part of the main User role * The PushNotifications.Anonymous role role as part of the main Anonymous role (if your application allows anonymous users)

9 Deploying Your App

At this point, all the implementation steps are done and you can deploy your application to the Mendix Cloud. If you are using a Free App, simply click Run.

10 Setting Up Access to APNs or FCM

Set up access to APNs or FCM and configure them in your application. Please note that starting with FCM is recommended, because it is significantly less complicated than setting up APNs. You can return to this step later on to set up APNs.

For more details, see How to Set Up the Apple Push Notification Server and How to Set Up the Firebase Cloud Messaging Server.

11 Building the Hybrid Mobile Application

You now need to build the hybrid mobile application. For an explanation on how to do this, see How to Publish a Mendix Hybrid Mobile App.

For more information about the PhoneGap Build, refer to the Adobe PhoneGap Build documentation.

Please note that a free PhoneGap Build account is limited to a single application, whereas paid plans support multiple applications. As a consequence, you may need to delete an existing app from your PhoneGap Build environment in order to create a new one.