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Medical app development: branching off from webOS

Posted Nov 29 2011 10:19pm

The past two years has been eventful for webOS. From a promising start in 2009, webOS has seen pretty much a roller coaster ride which now might come to an end, unfortunately, on the descent. While we await Meg Whitman’s decision on the fate of webOS promised for “early December”, developers need to think hard on what their options are.
My 30+ or so apps for webOS (mostly medical webOS apps ) were developed using Ares which is a great browser based, graphical app development platform. Ares hasn’t been updated to support the new Enyo webOS framework for tablets so Ares users are stuck with Mojo.
Bearing all this in mind, I thought I’d branch out beyond webOS medical app development and consider developing for other platforms. It was too daunting to consider native coding for iOS or Java for Android. I still wanted something easy to understand, something which webOS and Ares had – graphical, drag and drop controls, using javascript and html. This was when I took a look again at an old friend, NSBasic . I had first used this when I developed Haemoncrules for PalmOS (I’m still maintaining the old PalmOS links on this blog for historic and nostalgic reasons).

NSBasic’s flagship product is NSBApp Studio . It’s basically a development platform which allows you to create web apps which run in your mobile device’s browser. The key features of NSBApp Studio:

  • Develop on Windows
  • Target iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android and more
  • Fully featured, structured BASIC
  • Subset of Microsoft Visual BASIC, with mobile device extensions.
  • Also supports development in JavaScript
  • PayPal and Adsense support
  • SQLite Support
  • Use Geolocation and Google Maps
  • Supports HTML5 features
  • Royalty free distribution

What I’ve found is that NSBApp studio is very easy to use and very Ares like in the interface. For amateur coders like myself, NSBasic is quick and easy to understand and use. The best part is you can also mix in Javascript code in your apps, a very useful thing if you have already got a bunch of apps developed in Javascript (as I have for Ares). I find that the developers are very active and in a short space of a few months have pushed out new versions and the support is great as is the forum

Here’s a sample video demonstrating the NSBApp studio development IDE:

I have started porting my medical apps developed for webOS to NSBApp. The beauty is that these web apps will run in iOS, Android, Blackberry and even webOS. They will even run on Chrome and Safari Desktop browsers though they will appear small since they are scaled to run on mobile devices. Although they are web apps, if you save the apps as a short cut on your smartphone’s home screen, they will run offline like a regular app. This is how to do so in the iPhone (and it’s pretty similar for Android):

The general medical apps (those found in MediPDA) will be located in and the haematology/oncology apps (equivalent to the old Haemoncrules) in . I haven’t moved everything yet so bear with me while the migration process proceeds. New apps will also be pushed to these sites and if you have any requests feel free to email me . I hope to share some of my NSBApp Studio coding experience here in this blog. If you would like to try out NSBApp Studio, there is a free demo

from the Palmdoc Chronicles

Medical app development: branching off from webOS

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