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developerWorks  >  Lotus  >  Forums & community  >  Inside Mobile Design and User Experience

Inside Mobile Design and User Experience

Thoughts on mobile and social business applications, design, and user experience, by Chris Reckling.

UPDATE: See this technote for a complete, up to date list of the urls.

Connections mobile apps for iOS and Android include 'custom urls' in the app. Custom URL schemes are like a little command API into the app. Basically, your app creates a namespace that it registers with the OS so when the URL is called on the device, it knows to execute the command. These work on both iOS and Android.

Use Case 1. Deployment scenario.
Since Connections is typically deployed on your own servers, with their own unique urls, this is a place where users can immediately fail, either by not knowing the correct Connections server URL or their user name/password. Now you can provide specific instructions to your users in a custom HTML page they can access from their mobile devices. And to make things even easier, all they have to do is tap on the custom url that you provide to properly configure the device. Here's the custom URL format:

ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/launch?&

ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/launch is the base URL that will open the app with optional parameters that will create the account with the specified information, if it doesn't already exist.

For example, you could include in your deployment HTML page a link to the app store, to download and install the app along with a custom URL to configure it. The following URL launches the app and creates an account named "Renovations Connect" to the server named "connections.renovations.com and fills in the user name field with the string "@renovations.com".

ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/launch?accountname=Renovations%20Connect&accountserver=connections.renovations.com&accountuser=%40renovations.com

Then the user simply has to complete their name and enter their password to log in to Connections from the device. We have been using this internally because we install new builds of the apps every day and this makes it much easier to do.

Use Case 2. App integration.
The second scenario has to do with opening a specific Connections service in the app. Here are the custom URLs for you can use to call into the Connections app. There are some interesting things you can do with these. I'll look forward to hearing about it. For example, if you have an app with people's names in it, you could link over to their profile in the Connections app.

Launch the Connections app to My Communities page.
ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/communities

Open Connections to a specific communities by uuid for the last logged in account.
ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/communities?uid=5863bdbb-8684-4a4a-ac0d-f058a1c9baa8

Specify a particular account if more than one on the device.
ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/communities?uid=5863bdbb-8684-4a4a-ac0d-f058a1c9baa8&accountserver=connections.renovations.com&accountuser=sdaryn%40renovations.com

Launch the Connections app and show profiles.
ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/profiles

Launch the Connections app and show profiles on an existing account.
ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/profiles?accountserver=connections.renovations.com&accountuser=sdaryn%40renovations.com

Launch the Connections app and show a specific profile for the last logged in account.
ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/profiles?uid=37151640-8f0a-1028-8d7d-db07163b51b2
or if you know the email address of the user.
ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/profiles?email=sdaryn%40renovations.com

Launch the Connections app and show a specific profile for an existing account.
ibmscp://com.ibm.connections/profiles?email=sdaryn%40renovations.com&accountserver=connections.renovations.com&accountuser=fadams%40renovations.com

All of this information will be in the Connections Wiki soon, but I thought I would get it out there now.

Chris Reckling

Chris Reckling | 13 July 2012 03:00:00 PM ET | | Comments (23)

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