iMia - iPhone™ Interface for MiaCMS (Mambo and Joomla! too)
iMia is a web application focused on bringing a standard iPhone web interface to the MiaCMS, Mambo, and Joomla! content management systems. Yes, the iPhone does have a full web browser that is capable of displaying any site, so it is possible to use these content management systems without iMia. However, the experience is often less than appealing since users must constantly zoom in, zoom out, pinch to expand and contract, etc. As with most web sites and/or applications, these content management systems were coded with the desktop browser in mind. This is where iMia comes in...
iMia brings a simple web interface to the MiaCMS, Mambo, and Joomla! content management systems for iPhone users. The application is designed in accordance with the recommended iPhone interface design guidelines laid out by Apple and makes use of the iui project's fabulous efforts in this area.
The Good Stuff
Let start with a little show and tell. We have taken a few pictures of iMia in action and prepared several short videos. These are of iMia running on Apple's iPhone Simulator which is virtually identical to the real thing.
Or on YouTube.
Or on YouTube
How do I get it?
- iMia is currently in beta release. To make sure the application is functioning properly and that we are prepared to scale as new users come on board, we are only accepting a limited number of beta accounts at this time. New accounts are by invitation only. Register now and we will contact you when you are next.
iMia is a hosted web application unlike most other applications built for MiaCMS, Mambo, and Joomla!. We host the actual application and request a small fee in exchange for our development and hosting efforts. To utilize iMia with an existing MiaCMS, Mambo 4.6.x, or Joomla 1.0.x site just follow these basic steps:
- Download com_rest, com_rest_content, and optionally mod_rest from our Google Code project page - http://code.google.com/p/mostlyrest/.
- Install and publish these extensions using the CMS extension installer on the site you would like to enable.
- Register the site's domain, (ex) brilaps.com, on the iMia registration page here - http://brilaps.com/imia_registration.php. After registration we, the Brilaps team, will visit your site and register for an REST API key. As long as you have completed "Step 2" we'll have everything we need to register correctly.
- Once we register for an account the CMS administrator for the domain you have registered will be notified of our registration. It will show up with the application name "iMia" and with the company name of "Brilaps, LLC". After the administrator approves us inside the CMS, we can complete the integration. Information on the approval process can be found here - http://wiki.brilaps.com/wikka.php?wakka=RESTfulAPIRegistration.
- We will send a notification to the email address given during registration when this is complete. At that time, you can access your site in iMia by visiting http://imia.brilaps.com/index.php?domain=http://yourdomain.com. To make this easier to remember and make it easy for your site's iPhone users to self discover, we have created a new module that will display a little iPhone image on your site (ex) . When this image is clicked on it will launch the correct page for you iMia instance. This module, known as "mod_imia", can be downloaded just below.
Download iMia Module here...iMia Module
NOTE: This may sound a bit cumbersome, but in reality it is quite simple and can all be completed rather quickly (i.e.) 24 hours or less. If you want Brilaps to do the entire integration, we are happy to do so for a small integration fee. There is no charge for doing the integration yourself as outlined above.
How does it work?
Early this year Brilaps released the MOStlyREST interface, which opens up these CMS's for a new type of development. This new REST API allows developers to utilize CMS internal resources and data via external interfaces (ex) stand-alone web applications, desktop applications, dashboard widgets, etc. The goal was to enable applications like iMia to be created.
When a user accesses your site over iMia, the application will make web service calls back to your CMS installation and retrieve the data in one of the supported formats (ex) XML, JSON, or serialized PHP. iMia will process the CMS's response and dynamically construct native looking iPhone pages for your domain.
Why use iMia? Why not build your own iPhone web application?
iMia is constructed utilizing open source technologies including our very own MOStlyREST extension. It is possible to have a custom iPhone interface built for your CMS, but we think iMia has a lot to offer while saving you time & money. Below are a few of the reasons you might find iMia better than a home grown solution.
- We have worked hard to keep the application as lightweight and mobile friendly as possible. We are utilizing caching, compression, minification, content delivery networks (CDN's), etc to minimize the load on your sites and maximize response times of the iMia application. We are prepared to continue scaling the application as needed to keep up with demand via services like Amazon S2/S3.
- We maintain compatibility with three CMS systems so that you don't have too. We fully support MiaCMS 4.6.x, Mambo 4.6.x, and Joomla 1.0.x. Being members of the MiaCMS core team we will continue to fully support future releases as well. Baring any major changes that prohibit compatibility with Mambo & Joomla we will continue to support iMia and MOStlyREST with those platforms as well.
- iMia is designed with Apple's guidelines in mind utilizing iui foundation.
- We developed and continue to maintain the MOStlyREST API that makes integrations like this possible.
- It's pretty inexpensive. We only charge $9.99 a year which we think is a good bargain for managing the traffic, the API requests, high-availability, and cross-cms compatibility.
Is All My Content Available in iMia?
- Currently, iMia will create it's interface of sections, categories, and content items based on the latest 100 unarchived content entries from your CMS installation plus up to 100 of the site's static content items. We wanted to keep iMia as lightweight and uncluttered as possible so we thought it was a good solution. If after launch the demand for full content availability is high, we will look into supporting this in later releases of iMia. We are also open to creating a custom solution specific to a clients need for an additional custom development fee.
- iMia works with sites running MiaCMS 4.6.x, Mambo 4.6.x, and Joomla 1.0.x.
- iMia requires the com_rest & com_rest_content MOStlyREST extensions be installed on each site being registered. The mod_rest module is optional.
- PHP 5 is required since it is needed for the MOStlyREST extensions.
Where Can I Find a List Of Sites Currently Using iMia?
We try to keep an active directory of sites that are setup to utilize iMia here - http://wiki.brilaps.com/wikka.php?wakka=iMiaSites.
What If I Don't Have a Mac or an iPhone? How Can I See iMia in Action?
If after reviewing the videos and photos shown above users still want a more hands on testing experience here are a few other tips. The iPhone runs Safari as it's web browser. This is the default browser that ships with Mac OS X and the iPhone. Apple recently released Safari for Windows users as well. You can find the download here - http://www.apple.com/safari/download/. Using Safari on the desktop will help you do some basic testing, but keep in mind iMia was designed for the much smaller iPhone device. To help combat the size difference you can try resizing the browser window on the desktop.
There are also several online emulators that try mimic the iPhone. The best we have come across is probably TestiPhone. It emulates the look fairly well, but the back button doesn't work which makes it not all that useful for testing. We don't really recommend any of these emulators.
NOTE: While you can open iMia in browsers other than Safari your mileage will vary. The iui code base is expecting Safari and thus is not styled for other browsers. This is expected behavior since iMia is directed at iPhone users only and we know they will always be running Safari. We recommend testing in Safari, the official Apple iPhone Simulator (Mac only), and/or on an actual iPhone.
We have another summary page explaining 10 Easy Steps to Setup iMia.
iMia Terms of Service
iMia License, Copyright and Trademark related