Prerequisite knowledge

  • This article requires that the reader knows how to build DPS apps. Coding knowledge is optional.

User level: All

Required Adobe products (retail)

Additional required other products (third-party/labs/open source)

  • Apple iOS developer account for building iOS apps
  • HTML editor of choice for optional customization

 

Introduction

Building a proof of concept (POC) app is a great way to test the different features to see whether they suit your needs—or your client’s needs. You can show stakeholders or potential clients what an app would look like that has the company brand and specific app-level features that you would take advantage of.

Some of these advanced features use information from services and HTML/JavaScript code. Building these services and code can be a challenge, but knowing about existing resources for POC app creation can help speed up the POC process or serve as a starting point for more customized development.

A number of tools and services are available to help you test advanced features. For example, instead of going through the effort to set up your own direct entitlement server, you can set up a quick test server using the DPS Entitlement Service, which is specifically designed for testing POC apps. Similarly, you can use the DPS Configurator to build a custom store in a matter of minutes.

Building a proof of concept app is also useful for testing features such as social sharing, sections, and library filters that are not available in the Adobe Content Viewer. POC apps are developer apps, not intended for submission and distribution through app stores. But they're fully functional apps for testing all the features that would be part of an official app.

 

Requirements for Building a Proof of Concept App

 

The minimum requirements for building a proof of concept app are as follows:

  • A valid Adobe ID with an Application Role and DPS App Builder role
  • Valid certificates (for example, Apple requires certificates and provision files to build apps)
  • App icons and launch screens
  • Additional information, depending on which features you want to include in your POC app

Building a proof of concept app requires an Adobe ID with an Application role and an Adobe ID with a DPS App Builder role (it can be the same Adobe ID with both roles). If you are in the process of negotiating a DPS contract, you can contact your Adobe representative or partner for information about using test accounts to build your proof of concept app.

If you are just learning about DPS, please contact Adobe Sales by filling out the following form:

http://www.adobe.com/products/request-consultation/digital-publishing-suite.html

This article assumes that you have some experience in building DPS apps. If you have never built a DPS app for iOS, you’ll want to walk through the steps in the DPS Publishing Companion Guide to create the required certificates and provision files.

 

Features to Consider Adding to a Proof of Concept App

 

This section covers a few of the features that you can add to your proof of concept app. Pick the ones that suit your needs.

 

Quick Overview

Here’s a quick summary of the features you can add to your proof of concept app, which service you can use to set it up, and where you can learn more about it.

 

Feature POC Service Learn More
Direct Entitlement DPS Entitlement Service How to use DPS Entitlement Service
Custom Library/Store DPS Configurator Custom Storefronts and Libraries
Library Banner DPS Configurator Creating Slideshow Library Banners Using the DPS Configurator
Welcome Screen DPS Configurator Getting started with a welcome screen
Custom Nav Slots (iOS only) DPS App Builder (Navigation Toolbar pane) Additional uses for the custom navigation toolbar
App Icons and Launch Images DPS Asset Generator Working with the DPS Asset Generator

 

Direct Entitlement

Direct entitlement allows customers to use a Sign In option in the app library to receive additional content. You can use direct entitlement in a number of different ways:

  • In a corporate sales app, you can set up an entitlement server that gives different sales representative access to different content depending on their sign-in credentials.
  • You can tie a magazine print subscription to a digital subscription. If users with a print subscription sign in with their user name and password, they can download retail content without having to make in-app purchases.

 

direct example
Figure 1. In this scuba diving app, students can sign in to receive course materials, and instructors can sign in to receive teaching materials.

 

 

 

Adobe offers a DPS Entitlement Service specifically for testing proof of concept apps. It takes only a few minutes to set up. Just sign in to the DPS Entitlement Service using your Application account, create a couple of test users and assign them folios, and then build the app with entitlement. Changes you make to the entitlement system are instantly reflected in your app—there is no need to rebuild the app.

 

Entitlement service
Figure 2. Building an app using DPS Entitlement Service settings

 

 

 

For more information, see Derek Lu’s article How to use DPS Entitlement Service.

Although the DPS Entitlement Service works only for POC apps, you can use this service as a basis for your own entitlement server when you transition from a POC app to a distribution app. For details, see Mike Yang’s article How to install the DPS Entitlement Server.

See this page for more articles about direct entitlement.

 

Custom Library or Store

You can replace the default viewer library with a custom library that has your own branding, functions, and design.

For iOS apps, you can also create both a custom library and custom store, and use them for different purposes. For example, you can offer retail folios and subscriptions in the library and offer a different set of products in the custom store. Or, you can use the store to offer retail folios and subscriptions and use the library to show only downloaded content.

A custom store is not limited to selling products. A custom store can be used in a number of different ways for a number of different purposes.

 

Custom store
Figure 3. Custom library and store

 

 

 

You can build a custom library for any platform. For iOS apps, you can also add a custom store that appears as a slot at the bottom of the library.

When building your proof of concept app, one option is to download and edit a custom library/store template. This option requires some coding to edit the template. See Creating an HTML implementation of the DPS default library.

Another option is to use the DPS Configurator to build a custom store. By signing in to DPS Configurator using an Adobe ID with the Application role, the library you design is populated with published folios from that account. After you mock up a store design, you export a .zip file. You can either use that .zip file as is in DPS App Builder, or you can edit the HTML/JavaScript to further enhance the custom store.

 

Store config
Figure 4. Using the DPS Configurator to mock up a custom store

 

 

 

For details, see Using the DPS Configurator.

For more information about custom stores and libraries, see Custom Storefronts and Libraries. For example, if you want to create a store with horizontal swiping, see Build a horizontal swipe storefront with folio preview.

 

Slideshow Library Banner

An app with entitlement can display a banner image above the library, frequently used to encourage readers to sign in to receive their folios.

This banner space can also be used for a more general way using a slideshow to add more images and information to the library view. Furthermore, each slide can have an action that's triggered by tapping the slide.

 

Banner
Figure 5. Use the DPS Configurator to create a library banner

 

 

When creating a proof of concept app, use the “Slideshow Entitlement Banner” option in the DPS Configurator to set up a quick banner. For details, see Creating Slideshow Library Banners Using the DPS Configurator.

In order to display a library banner in your app, DPS App Builder requires you to build an app with entitlement. However, you can add a banner without actually setting up direct entitlement. You just need to add dummy URLs for the required entitlement options and turn off Sign In buttons. For details, see Ivan Mironchuk’s article Adding HTML banners to non-entitlement apps.

 

Welcome Screen

A Welcome Screen appears on the first launch after the app is installed or updated. Publishers frequently use the Welcome Screen to let users know that a retail folio is being offered for free.

The DPS Configurator includes an option for creating a specific type of Welcome Screen that displays a progress bar of the current folio being downloaded.

 

Welcome
Figure 6. Creating a Welcome Screen

 

 

 

See Derek Lu’s article about Getting started with a welcome screen.

 

Custom Navigation Icons (Slots)

iOS apps can include a number of custom icons in the bottom navigation bar. These navigation icons are called “custom slots.” They’re easy to create and add to the app. Publishers use these slots to provide easy access to their custom store or library, to display account information or FAQs, or to display the company website in a browser window within the app.

 

Slots
Figure 7. Custom navigation icons

 

 

 

To create the icons for the navigation icons, you can use the DPS Asset Generator. For details, see Colin Fleming’s article Working with the DPS Asset Generator.

A common use of custom slots is to display a website or social media. For details, see Ivan Mironchuk’s article Additional uses for the custom navigation toolbar.

 

DPS Asset Generator

When you use DPS App Builder to build an app, a number of different icons and launch screens are required—as many as 30 files for iOS apps. Managing those files can be a lot of work, especially if you need to change your app icons. The DPS Asset Generator file is an easy way to create and manage these required images.

The Asset Generator is an Adobe Photoshop file that uses the Photoshop “Generate” feature and Smart Objects to automatically coordinate and create the icon files and launch screens for iOS, Android, and Windows Store apps. The file also can create custom navigation art for iOS apps. See Working with the DPS Asset Generator.

 

Asset generator

 

Building Your Proof of Concept App

Once you have decided which features you want to include in your proof of concept app, follow these general steps to build an iOS app.

1.    Make sure that you have an Adobe ID with an App Builder role. To view folios and test entitlement, make sure that you have published folios using an Adobe ID with an Application role. You specify this Application ID when building the app.

2.    Make sure that you have the required certificates and image files for building apps. See the DPS iOS Publishing Companion Guide for details.

3.    Start DPS App Builder, and sign in using an Adobe ID with a DPS App Builder role.

4.    Follow the prompts to build the app.

In the Basic Details panel, select the type of app you want to create. For example, if you want to build an app with the DPS Entitlement Service, select “Multi Folio with Entitlement.” Specify the Application ID used to publish your folios. If you are adding a Welcome Screen, add your .zip file to the Optional Welcome Screen.

In the Entitlement Details panel, specify the Service URL, Service Auth URL, and Integrator ID if you are creating an app with the DPS Entitlement Service. If you used DPS Configurator to create a slideshow banner, select Entitlement Banner Enabled and specify the URL and offline .zip file.

In the Icons and Splash Screens panel, drag the selected app icons and splash screens. Again, using the DPS Asset Generator makes this process quick and easy.

In the Navigation Toolbar, you can replace the default library with a custom library, and you add custom navigation icons such as a store, FAQ, or social media feed.

For more details, see Creating DPS apps for iPad and iPhone.

5.    After you have specified the required files and information, download the development app, add it to a device, and test it.

To create proof of concept apps for Android, see Building native DPS apps for Android devices.

To create proof of concept apps for Windows, see Building DPS apps for Windows Store.

 

Where to go from here

This article covers only a few of the DPS tools and services you can take advantage of to add advanced features to proof of concept apps. Of course, you might want to include other features in your app that are outside the scope of this article, such as using geolocation APIs in library filters or adding note-taking capabilities to your app.

Here are some valuable resources for learning more about DPS capabilities:

Comments are currently closed as we migrate to a new commenting system. In the interim, please provide any feedback using our feedback form. Thank you for your patience.