Introduction to the Mobi Portal API
Mxit Apps can be thought of as a crossover between chat and mobile web. So, you get to use the web tools and languages you're used to using, as well as all of the features that come with plugging into Mxit: Push messaging, mobile billing, chatrooms, advertising and access to a highly engaged community.
The Mobi Portal API translates a mobi website into a useable Mxit App. Any technology platform (PHP, Ruby on Rails, Python, and other languages) can be used to create the mobi site that will become your Mxit App.
To get started with the Mobi Portal API, you need to create a dev.mxit.com developer account (if you don’t have one already)
In this document, we will look at the following:
- Creating your first mobi site
- Hosting your App
- Register the App
- Test the App
If you haven’t heard of Mxit before, first find out what Mxit is.
1. Create your first mobi siteTo get going, a simple 'hello world' App will do. Mxit Mobi Apps are mobi sites that are transcoded into the Mxit realm.
The pages of your mobi site
An example of the content of your main home or index page for a static basic page:
<html> <head> <title>My Mxit App</title> </head>
Host this html page somewhere like example.com/yourapp/ and then you can even test your app by using your normal web browser.
2. Hosting for your mobi site
After creating your pages in the language of your choice, you will need to have hosting for your site. Hosting refers to the server where your site will be running. There are many hosting options available and some of the more popular ones are listed here:
- APPFOG - https://www.appfog.com (free tier, PHP)
- Amazon EC2 - http://aws.amazon.com/free (Ireland instance prefered)
- Google App Engine - https://developers.google.com/Appengine (free tier, Java/Python)
Most options for hosting have free tiers. Getting started and developing should always be free for enough time to get familiar with the system involved.
At this point you will either have a subdomain, an ip or your own domain name on which your site will be accessible via HTTP.
3. Register the App
To register the App, first go to your dashboard:
a. Select Mobi-Portal API This list should have nothing in it if you have a new account.
b. Click Create Mobi Portal You'll now be confronted with a form that asks for Application Name, Application Alias, a short description of your App, and the URL.
The URL is the web address of your mobi site (web App), and the description is what you would like to have displayed when users find your App through our App store, or search. Don't worry, your App won't be discoverable until you actually publish it. So your 'hello world' App is reasonably well hidden for now.
App Name: The App name (also referred to as the Service Name/Mxit App ID), is the name people use to add your App in Mxit (ie.: “poetryclub”, 50 characters maximum, one word).
App Alias: The App Alias (also referred to as the Display Name), is the App’s full name (ie.: “Poetry Club”, 100 characters maximum).
When you are ready to publish your app, click "Release This App" in your app dashboard, this takes your App from its initial Beta state to the Release Candidate state (your app will be reviewed by the Mxit team before it can enter this state). Once it's approved, you'll be able to click "Publish This App", and it will be reviewed before it goes live and is listed in the Mxit Tradepost.
When the spinning Mxit logo goes away, your App is ready to play with.