Today I’m proud to announce the release of App SDK 2.1. It’s the highest version we’ve ever released and it’s full of shiny new things:

  • Milestone-filtered custom page support: Build apps on custom pages scoped to a milestone
  • Advanced filtering: Slice and dice your data with the new, all powerful filtering component for grids and boards
  • Bulk update/delete via WSAPI: Update and/or delete multiple records in a single request
  • New and updated catalog apps: Most notably, the Custom List
  • Performance and bug fixes
  • New examples and guides
  • And more!

You’ll find the docs here:

Veteran app developers should find this release to be fairly incremental and familiar enough to jump right in. Get on it!

If you find yourself thinking, “What is this App SDK you speak of, and why would I want it?” Then you are what we affectionately refer to as a n00b. Welcome! And keep reading!

The Why

I’ll borrow a metaphor from my good friend Mark Ringer for this one. Let’s say you’re a car company, and you specialize in producing one general-purpose flagship car. But you have many customers with different wants and needs. Customer A wants a blue car. Customer B needs it to be capable of off-roading. Customer C wants it to be armored.  And on, and on...  Would you build one of these?

 Mad Max would totally drive this (mage via AutoExpress)

Realizing that building the perfect product is impossible is the first step on the path to platform enlightenment. Empowering customers to tailor fit the product to their needs is the next one.  We built the App SDK to enable you to extend and customize our CA Agile Central car to your liking.  Custom apps are the aftermarket parts of the CA Agile Central platform. Our car doesn’t meet your needs? Trick it out with some cool new apps built using the App SDK!

The Journey

The first preview version of App SDK 2 debuted at the inaugural RallyOn! Hackathon in 2012. The first apps were born when a dozen brave pioneers descended on Boulder, Colorado, to pair with our engineers for a 48-hour whirlwind of code, beer and pizza. Initial usage of the platform saw a total of 42 apps written, used by 126 users across 20 subscriptions. Humble. Hopeful. It’s alive!

In the four years since we’ve had many more successful customer hackathons. The SDK components have become much bigger and more powerful and there’s an ever-growing community of app developers. As of March 2016 we had 1,306 apps used by 12,680 users across 333 subscriptions. Over the lifetime of the App SDK there have been 4,259 different apps written, used by 71,795 users across 836 subscriptions. Mighty. Mature. It thrives!

Here’s a fun graph showing App SDK’s adoption over time:

Such custom. Many codes. Wow.

The How

There’s a good chance you’ve already used a custom app, maybe without even knowing it.  But have you built one? Is there a missing data rollup you’d like to visualize? Do you wish one of our built-in charts had a little more pep? You can build it!

Here are some great resources for getting started:

  • Training Videos: As if Dave Thomas came to your house to pair program with you
  • Component Examples: Copy & paste-able “Hello, World!” examples to get you started
  • Guides: How-to recipes for common app writing scenarios
  • Apps: Full source code for the most popular apps in the App Catalog

Need more help? There’s Stack Overflow for that.

Or even better, come hack with us! We’re planning a hackathon event here in Boulder, Colorado, in June. Stay tuned for details!

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