Kevin Gibbs is the tech lead at Google behind theGoogle App Engine and the creator of the autocomplete search feature. He will be giving a talk at the iHub on the 9th August, 2011 from 4:00pm about an MFI application he has built on the android platform and matters technical regarding App Engine and Auto Complete.
- Upload: an upload agent, written in Python, that handles getting data out of your SQL server and into an internet-accessible,sync-ablestore.
- Store: a simple JSON REST-based database service, that supports bulk uploads, synchronization, revisions, and merging.
- Sync for Android: a native ContentProvider for Android, which handles automatically synchronizing the exported data into a local SQLite instance on users' phones.
Ultimately, Manta makes it very easy to get data locked in an on-site SQL database onto an Android phone, automatically, so you can focus on writing the app, and not accessing data. Configuration is simple: just write a SELECT statement in the config.py file for each view you'd like to export, and the data is automatically made available on the phone in the native Android fashion. No configuration the Store server or the Sync component on the phone is necessary. A public, shared instance of the Store server on Google App Engine means that no server setup is necessary.
Currently, Manta is used by Simple MFI, a tool for microfinance loan officers that allows them to view client balances, collection sheets, and loan schedules on an Ideos phone. By concentrating all the complex synchronization logic in the Manta framework, the Simple MFI app is very small and easy to maintain-- it simply uses native Android ListViews and other components already designed to work with SQL-based ContentProviders.