Create an Apache Cordova app

Overview

This tutorial shows you how to add a cloud-based backend service to an Apache Cordova mobile app by using an Azure mobile app backend. You create both a new mobile app backend and a simple Todo list Apache Cordova app that stores app data in Azure.

Completing this tutorial is a prerequisite for all other Apache Cordova tutorials about using the Mobile Apps feature in Azure App Service.

Prerequisites

To complete this tutorial, you need the following prerequisites:

You may also bypass Visual Studio and use the Apache Cordova command line directly. Using the command line is useful when completing the tutorial on a Mac computer. Compiling Apache Cordova client applications using the command line is not covered by this tutorial.

Create an Azure mobile app backend

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Click New.

  3. In the search box, type Mobile Apps.

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps Quickstart highlighted

  4. In the results list, select Mobile Apps Quickstart, and then select Create.

  5. Under Resource Group, select an existing resource group or create a new one (using the same name as your app).

  6. Click Create. Wait a few minutes for the service to be deployed successfully before proceeding.

Watch a video showing similar steps

Configure the server project

  1. Click the App Services button, select your Mobile Apps back end, select Quickstart, and then select your client platform (iOS, Android, Xamarin, Cordova).

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps Quickstart highlighted

  2. If a database connection is not configured, create one by doing the following:

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps Connect to database

    a. Create a new SQL database and server.

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps create new database and server

    b. Wait until the data connection is successfully created.

    Azure portal notification of successful creation of data connection

    c. Data connection must be successful.

    Azure portal notification, "You already have a data connection"

  3. Under 2. Create a table API, select Node.js for Backend language.

  4. Accept the acknowledgment, and then select Create TodoItem table.
    This action creates a new to-do item table in your database.

    Important

    Switching an existing back end to Node.js overwrites all contents. To create a .NET back end instead, see Work with the .NET back-end server SDK for Mobile Apps.

Download and run the Apache Cordova app

  1. Visit the Azure portal.
  2. Click App Services > the backend that you created.
  3. In the mobile app settings, click Quickstart > Cordova. Azure Portal with Mobile Apps Quickstart highlighted
  4. Under Configure your client application, select Create a New App, then click Download.
  5. Unpack the downloaded ZIP file to a directory on your hard drive, navigate to the solution file (.sln) and open it using Visual Studio.
  6. In Visual Studio, choose the solution platform (Android, iOS, or Windows) from the drop-down next to the start arrow. Select a specific deployment device or emulator by clicking the drop-down on the green arrow. You can use the default Android platform and Ripple emulator. More advanced tutorials (for example, push notifications) require you to select a supported device or emulator.
  7. To build and run your Cordova app, press F5 or click the green arrow. If you see a security dialog in the emulator requesting access to the network, accept it.
  8. After the app is started on the device or emulator, type meaningful text in Enter new text, such as Complete the tutorial and then click the Add button.

The backend inserts data from the request into the TodoItem table in the SQL Database, and returns information about the newly stored items back to the mobile app. The mobile app displays this data in the list.

You can repeat steps 3 through 5 for other platforms.

Next Steps

Now that you completed this quick start tutorial, move on to one of the following tutorials:

Learn more about key concepts with Azure App Service.

Learn how to use the SDKs.