How to Get Set Up with Kinvey for Your Hackathon App

Posted May 3, 2018

So you read my last post about the reasons why you may want to use Kinvey for your hackathon app. Also note, winning teams who use Kinvey in their submitted application will be elible for a $500 bonus prize. Hopefully these reasons, along with my ability to create beautifully persuasive prose was enough to convince you to give Kinvey a try on your app. But how do you get started?

Don't sweat it - it's easy. Let me walk you through the basic setup and share some resources that can help you get going.

The Kinvey SDKs

The first thing you are going to want is the appropriate SDK for your app. I'm gonna take a guess, since you are signed up for Angular Attack, that you want the Angular SDK at the very least.

npm install kinvey-angular2-sdk

Or, if you are building native mobile apps with Angular using NativeScript, install the NativeScript SDK...

npm install kinvey-nativescript-sdk

There are a number of other SDKs if you are using server-side JavaScript in Node.js or plain client-side JavaScript in the browser to native iOS and Android SDKs - to name just a few.

You may be asking, why should I even use the SDK? Why not just use the REST API? The reason is that there is a lot of functionality built into the SDKs such as handling HTTP/SSL, keychains for secure user storage, encryption of caches, local caching with sync and much more. You can learn more about some of the benefits of using the SDKs in my article Top 4 Developer Features in Kinvey.

The Kinvey Web Console

Once you have a Kinvey account, you'll frequently manage many of your services via the web console. This is where you'll need to create your first Kinvey "app" which will function as the container for all the services related to whatever application you are building.

From the console you can create and manage "Collections," which is how Kinvey refers to the cloud data store. These collections can even be connected to external data sources via RapidData. You can create and manage users or connect your authentication to a third-party authentication service using Mobile Identity Connect. You can configure push notifications. Or, you can test many of the service calls via the built in API console.

Much of the web console is fairly straightforward to understand - especially if you are used to the mazes that are the consoles for many other cloud services. However, feel free to refer to the DevCenter if you want to know what a particular feature is and how to use it.

The Kinvey CLI

If you want to create serverless functions or low-code auth and data integrations using FlexServices, you'll need the Kinvey CLI. As you'd expect, you'll install it via npm.

npm install -g kinvey-cli

If you prefer to manage your Kinvey services from the command-line rather than the web console, version 4.0 beta includes features for managing your apps, environments and collections. If you're the type of person who prefers to leave the command-line as infrequently as possible, give it a try!

npm install -g [email protected]

For a full guide on how to use the command line to build and test FlexServices, refer to my tutorial Getting Started with Kinvey FlexServices.

Let's Get Building!

As you can see, getting set up is pretty easy. So, let's stop installing and start building something cool!