Ionic UK April Meetup Review


As per our preview post, some of the MobileCaddy crew headed to the latest Ionic UK meetup last night… and just like the last one it was a cracking evening. The event was again organised by Sani Yusuf and Ryan Hanna and as well as setting it all up they were also both on the talkers-list.

The focus of the meetup was data integration. This is key to all applications, whether just in terms of dealing with data on the device, or in interacting with a backend service. And with our MobileCaddy heads focused so much of the time on using as a backend I was keen to find out more about some of the other offerings.

Firebase with Ionic – Sani Yusuf

Sani kicked the evening’s talks off with an in-depth look into Firebase and how it can be used with mobile applications built with Ionic. Firebase term themselves as “A powerful API to store and sync data in realtime”, but they offer much more than that… as Sani was to cover.


We first heard about what developers (and others) would need to worry about if they were to try and put together their own backend. These included the following, and each of those really need experts in each field to do them right.

  • Servers
  • Domains
  • Authentication
  • Server code
  • Maintenance
  • Load balancing

Creating a backend should not suck

And this is where Firebase could come in. Firebase offer a service that enables real-time data synching to thier backend platform. The platform setup is incredibly simple and uses a NOSQL database.

Sani took us through a basic chat demo and he showed off just how simple it is to hook your Ioinc app up to Firebase. He also covered using it for authentication as well.

Firebase works across many platforms and can be used with all sorts of JavaScript frameworks and vanilla JavaScript too. In relation to AngularJS there’s also a supporting library called AngularFire that makes things even easier. Sani also mentioned another library called firebase-util that is a “collection of power toys (mostly experimental) and utilities for use in Firebase”, and if you’re looking at using Firebase then it’s probably worth looking at too.

Ionic Offline Storage – Ryan Hanna

Continuing on the theme of Data Ryan then took us through a neat live-coding run through of a few of the options available to cater for offline storage. He basically took us through building out a single app, showing us how it could be done using the following technologies;

Ryan’s presentation and code can be found at this git repo, but I’ve noted some keypoints about each here;


  • Super easy to use
  • data stored as strings, so need to handle this.
  • Not 100% persistent
  • There are data limits (different on each browser, but 5mb+)


  • Developed and maintained by Mozilla
  • Gives async niceness with a localStorage type interface (Promised, callbacks)
  • Supports object/blob/etc storgae
  • The actual storage mechanism can be configured (indexedDB, WebSQL)


  • Gives SQL type syntax for interactions
  • Requires more code to perform similar operations to the above
  • The actual store is a lot more structured

SQLite Plugin

  • Different from the other 3 as data is stored outside of the browsers local storage, and instead in “app space” SQLite database. This makes your data safer as it’s not managed by the browser.

This sample comes from the ngCordova docs;

From a MobileCaddy point of view it was interesting to see how other apps could implement their offline storage. With  apps built with MobileCaddy, all the application data is stored in an encrypted store called SmartStore via this plugin. I asked Ryan about encryption options for the above storage approaches, but he didn’t believe there was anything currently available.

Adobe Experience Manager – Andrew Savory

Andrew is a Mobile Evangilist for Adobe, and he gave us a quick overview of their Experience Manager product. He gave a quick demo on how it can be used with apps built with Ionic. It was an interesting quick overview, and seemed to show a fairly obvious overlap with the Ionic IO offering (in fact another member of the audience also pointed this out too).

By 2016 60% of enterprise mobile apps will be hybrid

I shan’t go into too many details on the project as I doubt I’ll do it justice, but the demo videos on the Adobe site are worth checking out.

Wrap up

All 3 talks were great and the speakers were passionate and informed, so thanks go to all 3. I believe the beer and pizza (which I sadly missed) were covered by the sponsorship from Sworkit, so special thanks to them too. The post meetup pub-visit was also good, a pleasant time to sit and chat tech with friends, both old and new.

If you’re into mobile apps (which I assume you are if you’re reading this) then I highly recommend trying to get along to your local Ionic meetup.