FAQ

What is Mobile Cloud Service?

Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (MCS for short) is Oracle's Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) offering. MCS enables companies to create and deploy scalable, robust, and secure mobile applications quickly and easily, and empowers developers to leverage enterprise IT systems—without having to get IT involved. With MCS, you get:

  • An enterprise Mobile Backend-as a-Service (MBaaS).
  • Easy to use client SDKs for native Android, iOS, and Windows mobile apps, as well as JavaScript SDK for hybrid mobile apps. All platform APIs are made via uniform REST calls, so any client app can leverage them, creating a cohesive development environment that's easy to control and maintain.
  • A no-code Rapid Mobile Application Development Tool (RMAD) called Mobile Application Accelerator that allows non-technical citizen developers to quickly compose on-device mobile apps.
  • A place to store mobile app data in the cloud - and/or in your enterprise IT systems, if you prefer.
  • Built-in data offline, so mobile users can use your app in a disconnected environment, then synchronize data later when Internet connection is re-established.
  • A simple way to create custom business logic with custom APIs using industry standards such as Node.js, JavaScript and RAML.
  • Location Services that provide a 360-degree view of contextual location information to enhance mobile user decision making and engagement. 
  • Easy mobile user management.
  • Automatic and custom mobile analytics to gain insight on the success of mobile strategy with ad-hoc reports at your fingertips.
  • Ability for mobile developers to mock data and continue with their apps while waiting for service developers to implement the final API in JavaScript.
  • Both teams work in parallel, saving both time and money.
  • Continuous lifecycle to help your apps move with the speed of mobile.

Why should I choose Mobile Cloud Service?

Many of today's cloud offerings are simply existing technologies that were repurposed and shoehorned into the cloud. By contrast, Mobile Cloud Service was designed and built from the ground up, specifically to capitalize on all the affordances provided by the cloud. In addition, Mobile Cloud Service offers continuous lifecycle management, API management, built-in security and security mediation, versioning, and easy deployment between environments (Development, Staging and Production).

Who benefits from Mobile Cloud Service?

Mobile Cloud Service addresses the top-of-mind concerns in departments spanning your entire organization.

Mobile App Developer

Mobile app developers use MCS to line up and test the resources they need for their apps to work. This includes selecting from MCS platform APIs and custom APIs, and collaborating with other team members to create new custom APIs.

Service Developer

A service developer can do all of the activities that a mobile app developer can do. In addition, service developers write Node.js-based JavaScript code to implement the custom APIs required by the mobile app developers. Service developers also create connector APIs to connect to enterprise systems, which may involve mapping users and roles from the MBaaS to other authentication and authorization schemes used by the enterprise systems they connect to.

Mobile Program Manager

The mobile program manager is charged with the overall success of a company's mobile initiative. Using Mobile Cloud Service's dashboards and analytics tools, the mobile program manager can easily see how mobile users are using the applications, backends, and APIs, and answer questions like, "Are the users enjoying a high degree of success with the app, or are there some areas of the apps where the users seems to have problems?"

Enterprise Architects

Enterprise architects are concerned with the strategic direction of the mobile initiative, ensuring that the tactical implementations meet the strategic needs of the company. They also set the security policies and other environment policies that govern mobile deployment. MCS provides an array of tools to help the enterprise architect complete these tasks successfully.

Mobile Cloud Administrator

The mobile cloud administrator is charged with monitoring MCS and ensuring that everything is running smoothly. MCS provides an extensive diagnostic dashboard to help the administrator with this task, and to handle other admin tasks like adding and removing users.

What APIs does Mobile Cloud Service provide?

To help simplify mobile app development, Mobile Cloud Service provides these built-in APIs:

  • Push Notification 
  • Data Offline / Sync
  • Mobile User Management
  • Analytics
  • Mobile Storage
  • Device Management
You can call these APIs directly from your apps via straight REST calls, or with the help of Mobile Cloud Service's SDKs for the iOS and Android platforms. MCS also provides a robust API Designer tool, so you can create your own custom APIs to go after the data you need.

How do I define custom APIs?

Mobile Cloud Service leverages common standards for defining and implementing APIs. RAML (REST API Markup Language) is used to describe the interface for your mobile API, and you can import and export RAML documents to make your move to MCS that much easier. When it comes time to implement the API, you create your custom code in Node.js-based JavaScript, shaping the data to maximize mobile app performance. You can also mash up data from many sources by leveraging JavaScript and connectors, which allow you to reach into the backend systems to deliver enterprise data securely.

What mobile clients are supported by Mobile Cloud Service?

If your client supports invoking RESTful APIs, it’s supported by Mobile Cloud Service. In addition, MCS ships native SDKs for iOS, Android, Windows, as well as Java utilities for Oracle’s Mobile Application Framework (MAF). Xamarin ™ provides an SDK to enable C# programmers. JavaScript SDK supports Oracle JavaScript Extension Toolkit (JET, which is included with MCS) as well as third party JavaScript Frameworks. Lastly, you can leverage Mobile Application Accelerator (MAX) to compose your mobile application, without writing a single line of code.

What is Mobile Application Accelerator and how does it allow non-technical citizen developers to create mobile apps?

Mobile Application Accelerator (MAX) is a new feature of Mobile Cloud Service that enables non-technical citizen developers (such as business analysts or power users) to quickly compose an on-device mobile application. It supports a browser-based development, that allows you to edit, test, and publish mobile apps all from a browser console. You can preview the application with live data using the browser console, without having to deploy to device simulators. There is absolutely no coding required, and deploying the application is as simple as scanning the QR code from your mobile device to trigger the application download process.

Is Oracle Mobile Application Framework included with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, and what are the restrictions?

Restricted use of Oracle Mobile Application Framework is included with your Oracle Mobile Cloud Service subscription. For the exact language and terms of the restricted use, please refer to ”Oracle Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service – Public Cloud Service Descriptions” document in the Oracle Cloud Services Contract page. To summarize:

  • A mobile application developed using MAF under restricted use must consume one or more APIs and Notifications provided by MCS.
  • The customer creating the mobile app must have an active MCS subscription.
  • Customers can create any number of applications for any number of users; there are no restrictions here.

What IDEs can I use when developing with Mobile Cloud Service?

Although you use the IDE corresponding to your chosen technology to develop your mobile app, you work with Mobile Cloud Service itself exclusively through your web browser. When it comes to writing custom JavaScript for your API implementations, you can use any JavaScript editor you choose. When developing mobile applications, you use the IDE corresponding to the technology you have chosen to develop your mobile applications.

Does Mobile Cloud Service require other Oracle Public Cloud Services as pre-requisites?

No. Mobile Cloud Service can leverage and work with other Oracle Platform As a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, but nothing is required for an MCS subscription.

What about security?

Mobile Cloud Service was designed with enterprise security baked right in. Mobile applications automatically have access to MCS security features through the mobile backend, a logical grouping of resources for an app or group of apps. Among other things, the mobile backend provides the gateway for your app to access MCS assets through basic auth and/or OAuth2.0. This means that all the resources provided by MCS are protected by default, such as storage in collections, custom API endpoints, and more. Permission must be granted to access these resources through role-based access (RBA). MCS propagates identity from the mobile user into backend enterprise systems, using standards such as Basic Auth, SAML 2.0, and UserName Token profiles. Finally, MCS can integrate with on-premise security infrastructure such as Oracle Access Manager or Active Directories, which allows mobile application to authenticate with enterprise SSO credentials.

How do I get started with Mobile Cloud Service?

You can learn more about MCS by checking out the MCS eBook. Then contact your Oracle Sales Representatives if you’re interested in subscribing.

Where can I access technical training videos for Mobile Cloud Service?

A full set of training videos, spanning a range of topics from overview through feature deep-dives, are available on Oracle Mobile Platform YouTube channel. You can subscribe to the channel by clicking this link.

Where can I ask product and technical questions for Mobile Cloud Service?

You can ask questions in the Oracle Mobile Cloud Service Community page.

What is the subscription pricing for Mobile Cloud Service?

The current subscription pricing for Mobile Cloud Service is listed on the Pricing tab, and is based on two criteria: API Calls and Storage. The amount of API Calls and Storage you get is based on the terms you have set up with your Oracle Sales Rep. There is also a minimum number of API Calls you must subscribe to per month, as described on the Pricing tab.

What do I get when I subscribe to Mobile Cloud Service?

You get one development portal plus a runtime environment. You would typically subscribe to three environments for development, testing/staging, and production uses. You have the flexibility of subscribing to any number of environments, while managing the full lifecycle of each of the environments.

What is the definition of an “API Call”?

An API Call includes any API Call and notifications made between the mobile application and Mobile Cloud Service. For example, in a span of 24 hours, a user uses a mobile application that makes five calls to MCS, and receives two push notifications from MCS. That makes a total of seven API Calls for that day.

Are calls between Mobile Cloud Service and backend services (such as the Oracle Sales Cloud) counted as API Calls?

No. An API Call is counted only for calls or notifications between MCS and mobile applications. Calls between MCS and backend services are not counted as API calls.

How is Storage counted and calculated?

Storage is defined as the amount of block storage within MCS used by mobile applications. For example, suppose a mobile application uploads ten pictures sized at 1 MB each to a storage collection in MCS. This means that 10 MB of Storage space will be counted towards this subscription.

How do I get additional capacity?

You can purchase additional capacity as extra API Call Packages or Storage Packages. See the Pricing tab for details.

How are API Calls calculated across different MCS environments?

The number of API Calls is calculated across all MCS environments and reported as a single bundle. The total number of API Calls is then compared against the number of API Calls your subscription entitles you per month. For example, let’s say the following API Calls occur as follows over a given month:

  • Development Environment: 5,000 API Calls
  • Staging Environment: 100,000 API Calls
  • Production Environment: 500,000 API Calls
  • The total number of API Calls reported by Oracle for the month is 5,000+100,000+500,000=605,000 API Calls.
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