Implement front call modules for GMA

Custom front call modules for the Androidâ„¢ front-end are implemented by using the API for GMA front calls in Java.

GMA custom front call basics

In order to extend the GMA with your own front calls, you must be familiar with Java programming concepts, and if you want to interface with Android apps, understand concepts such as Android Activity and Intent.

The API for GMA front calls is based on the following Java interfaces:
  • com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IFunctionCallController
  • com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IFunctionCall

The front call function controller (IFunctionCallController) is implemented by the GMA, it is used to notify function call results, raise runtime exceptions and invoke activities.

The front call function body (IFunctionCall) implements the actual custom front call code.

The steps to implement an IFunctionCall class are:
  1. Create a Java source file with the name of the front call function, for example: "getPhoneId.java", that implements the IFunctionCall interface.
  2. Define the Java package name identifying the front call module, for example: "package com.mycompany.utilities;".
  3. Define a private IFunctionCallController object reference to handle the function controller.
  4. Implement the setFunctionCallController() method for the function controller registration.
  5. Implement the invoke() method to perform the actual front call task. In this method, use the controller's returnValues() method to return values from the front call. If needed, you can raise runtime errors with controller's raiseError() method. It is also possible to start an Android Activity with the startActivity* controller methods.
  6. If an activity is started with controller's startActivityForResult method, implement the onActivityResult() method in the function body class, to handle the end of the activity, and call controller's returnValues() method to return values from the front call.
  7. If needed, implement the onSaveInstanceState() and the onRestoreInstanceState() methods, to respectively save and restore information when Android has to suspend the application.
Note:

In any case, the IFunctionCall class must either call the controller's returnValues() or raiseError() methods to give the control back to the Genero program.

The com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IFunctionCall interface

Table 1. Methods of the com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IFunctionCall interface
Method Description
void setFunctionCallController(IFunctionCallController controller)

This method binds the front call function controller object to the function body object.

The controller parameter is the IFunctionCallController object to bind with the front call function body object.

abstract void invoke(Object[] args) throws IllegalArgumentException

This method performs the front call. It will be called when the front call is executed from the Genero program.

The args parameter is a variable list of parameters passed to the front call. This corresponds to the third argument of ui.Interface.frontCall

void onSaveInstanceState(Bundle state)

Saves the state of an ongoing function call when Android needs to suspend the application.

The state parameter is the bundle to save the state to.

void onRestoreInstanceState(Bundle state)

Restores the state of an ongoing function call, when Android needs to restore the application.

The state parameter is the bundle to restore the state from.

void onActivityResult(int resultCode, Intent data)

Callback invoked when an activity started through IFunctionCallController.startActivityForResult finishes.

The resultCode parameter is the integer result code returned by the child activity through its setResult() method.

The data parameter is an Intent object, which can return result data to the caller (various data can be attached to Intent "extras").

The com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IFunctionCallController interface

Table 2. Methods of the com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IFunctionCallController interface
Method Description
void returnValues(IFunctionCall functionCall, Object...values)

Notifies the controller that the front call function call has finished successfully. To be called typically at the end of the IFunctionCall.invoke() method.

The functionCall parameter is the current IFunctionCall object invoked.

The values parameter defines the variable list of front call function return values. This corresponds to the fourth parameter of ui.Interface.frontCall.

void raiseError(IFunctionCall functionCall, String message)

Notifies the controller of an error in the front call function call. This leads to a BDL runtime exception. To be called if needed within the IFunctionCall.invoke() method.

The functionCall parameter is the current IFunctionCall object invoked.

The message parameter holds the error message to be returned to the Genero program in the second part of the error -6333 message (see front call error handling in ui.Interface.frontCall).

void startActivity(IFunctionCall functionCall, Intent intent)

Starts a new activity. The function call won't be notified of the end of the activity. The Genero program will run in parallel of this activity. The behavior is similar to a RUN WITHOUT WAITING.

The functionCall parameter is the current IFunctionCall object invoked.

The intent parameter describes the activity to start.

void startActivityForResult(IFunctionCall functionCall, Intent
 intent)

Starts a new activity. The function call won't be notified of the end of the activity. The Genero program will remain blocked as long as the started activity isn't finished. The behavior is similar to a RUN.

The method IFunctionCall.onActivityResult will be called once the activity finishes.

The functionCall parameter is the current IFunctionCall object invoked.

The intent parameter describes the activity to start.

IClientHandler getClientHandler()

Returns an IClientHandler object, which is able to interact with Genero applications. A client handler can post action execution, cancel action future execution and check if an action execution is going to be executed. It can also define an application state change listener which triggers callbacks, when the app goes to pause, is resumed or is stopped.

For more details about the IClientHandler interface, see The com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IClientHandler interface

Activity getCurrentActivity()

Returns the current Activity object. Provided in case if you need to pass the current activity to an Android API requiring this object.

Important:

Don't use the returned activity to start other activities (don't call Activity.startActivity or Activity.startActivityForResult), use the helpers of the current interface instead.

The com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IClientHandler interface

Table 3. Methods of the com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IClientHandler interface
Method Description
void postDialogAction(String action)

Post a dialog action to be triggered as soon as a BDL dialog is active and the given action name fits one of the active actions of the current dialog.

The action parameter defines the name of the dialog action.

boolean isDialogActionPending(String action)

Checks if a given action is still pending (the action was posted using postDialogAction(), but the action was still not activated by the Genero application and thus was not sent to the runtime)

The action parameter defines the name of the dialog action.

Calling the custom front call from BDL

In the Genero program, use the ui.Interface.frontCall() API to call the front-end function. This method takes the front call module name as first parameter and the front call function name as second parameter. The front call module name is defined by the Java package name of the custom class implementing the IFunctionCall interface, and the front call function name is defined by the name of the class.

For example, if you implement the following front call function:
package com.mycompany.utilities;
...
public class GetPhoneId implements IFunctionCall {
...
The Genero program code must pass the Java package name "com.mycompany.utilities" as front call module name and the class name "GetPhoneId" as front call function name:
CALL ui.Interface.frontCall("com.mycompany.utilities", "GetPhoneId", ["John DOE"], [msg])

Deploying the custom front call

The compiled Java classes implementing the front calls must be included in the mobile application Android package (.apk), which is created in the Genero Studio deployment procedure. The same GMA package building rules apply for front calls and for simple Java extensions. See Packaging custom Java extensions for GMA for more details.

Example

The example implements a HelloWorld call as a front call module.

HelloWorld.java:

package com.mycompany.testmodule;

import android.content.Intent;
import android.os.Bundle;

import com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IFunctionCall;
import com.fourjs.gma.extension.v1.IFunctionCallController;

public class HelloWorld implements IFunctionCall {

    private IFunctionCallController mController;

    @Override
    public void setFunctionCallController(IFunctionCallController controller) {
        mController = controller;
    }

    @Override
    public void invoke(Object[] args) throws IllegalArgumentException {
        if (args.length != 1) {
            throw new IllegalArgumentException("HelloWorld takes one argument");
        }

        mController.returnValues(this, "Hello " + args[0].toString());
    }

    @Override
    public void onSaveInstanceState(Bundle state) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onRestoreInstanceState(Bundle state) {
    }

    @Override
    public void onActivityResult(int returnCode, Intent data) {
    }
}
In order to invoke the HelloWorld front-end function, use the ui.Interface.frontCall() API in the Genero program:
MAIN
  DEFINE msg STRING
  MENU
    ON ACTION frontcall ATTRIBUTES(TEXT="Call custom front call")
      CALL ui.Interface.frontCall("com.mycompany.testmodule", "HelloWorld", ["John DOE"], [msg])
    ON ACTION quit
      EXIT MENU
  END MENU
END MAIN