Xcelsius on iPhone 4.0 (using Windows 7)

I recently became the proud owner of an iPhone 4.0 and of course I just had to try to get a Xcelsius dashboard working on my new mobile. I followed the 5 steps Miguel Figueiredo posted on his blog. Even with the help of this blog I still have not succeeded, I am posting this alongside my progress, so I will not forget all the steps I had to take. The following is thus a combination of what Mr. Figueiredo has written on his blog and my own commentary / experience (BTW I have installed on my laptop: Windows 7, Xcelsius 2008 SP3 and Excel 2007).

Step 1 – Preparing the Development Environment
Step 2 – Working with iPhone Developer files
Step 3 – Distributing a Hello World iPhone application
Step 4 – Turning a Xcelsius Dashboard into AIR (optional)
Step 5 – Turning a Xcelsius Dashboard into IPA

Step 1 – Preparing the Development Environment

To get starting you must know what does the magic. Adobe Labs has started Adobe AIR® Packager for iPhone that offers the technical capability to have ActionScript 3 projects run as native applications for the iPhone 3.0 OS.

Adobe AIR® Packager for iPhone accelerates Flash conversion to Apple format (ipa). The ‘.ipa’ file extension stands for ‘iPhone/iPod Touch Application’ and is essentially a compressed data archive that is readable only by Apple devices.

Step 1.1 – Downloading the Adobe AIR® Packager for iPhone
Download the Packager for iPhone

Step 1.2 – Extract Adobe AIR® Packager for iPhone1.
Use a Winrar or similar utility to extract all files to a folder (eg: C:ipa). Note: This packager is not needed until much later in step 4.

Step 1.3 – Register as Apple Developer
To be able convert any Adobe Flash application you must have a digital certificate provided by iPhone Dev Center website (http://developer.apple.com/iphone/). There you can do the following:
- Apply to become an iPhone developer.
- Manage and create iPhone development certificates, provisioning profiles and app IDs (which are defined below).
- Submit applications for the App Store.

By the way, you can go ahead on 2 ways:
Register as regular Apple Developer (for iPhone Program costs US$ 99,00/year)
Use a digital certificate file from a colleague (share the investment)

iPhone development certificate: used to identify a developer for the purpose of developing applications. You obtain this file from Apple once you are registered as an developer. Later you convert this certificate to a P12 certificate file to sign the iPhone application you create using ActionScript 3.0.

A direct link for supplication is: http://developer.apple.com/programs/start/standard/. Here you can apply using an existing Apple ID or create a new one (I used my existing). Next you need to choose applying as an individual or as a company (I choose individual). Next you need to select iOS Developer Program. Follow the next steps according to the wizard (Review and Submit, Agree to License, Purchase Program, Activate Program). When asked for exact name on your credit card, fill in the exact name of your Apple ID otherwise they cannot confirm your identity.

The amount was automatically changed to my local currency (EUR) and I was transferred to my local AppStore (NL – Dutch), where I had to fill in my details again. After 24 hours I received an email with the activation link. However my identity could not be confirmed and therefor I needed to fax a solicitor’s stamped photocopy of my drivers license (fax ???). I found this to be a bit too much as the amount was already taken from my credit card. I called and luckily they fixed it immediately. While giving my credit details for the program Apple specifically asked for the exact name on my credit card, which I supplied, however they match this name to the name given by creating my Apple ID. My credit card holds my initials and my Apple ID has my full name, thus no match.
 
 
 
 
Step 2 – Working with iPhone Developer files

As in developing any application for the iPhone, you must first obtain iPhone developer files from Apple. You need to obtain an iPhone developer certificate and a mobile provisioning profile. You also need to obtain other provisioning profiles.

Obtaining these files is an important part of the application development process. Be sure to complete this process before developing your application. Obtaining developer files is not a simple process. Read these instructions and the instructions at the Apple iPhone Dev Center site carefully.

You need to obtain an iPhone developer certificate and provisioning profiles from Apple. You also need to convert the certificate into a P12 certificate.

Note: You do not need the iPhone SDK or XCode to develop ActionScript 3.0-based applications for the iPhone. You do need to be a registered iPhone developer. And you need to obtain a developer certificate and a provisioning profile.

Step 2.1 – Install iTunes and Safari
You need iTunes to install your application on your iPhone. Also, you use iTunes to determine the device ID of your iPhone. You will need to know the device ID when applying for an iPhone developer certificate.

Installing Safari is not needed however when I went through the following step I found it easier doing it in the browser Safari then in Opera.

Step 2.2 – Apply for an iPhone developer certificate and create a provisioning profile

Step 2.2.1 – Creating signing request file
Create a certificate signing request file. You will use this file to obtain a iPhone Development Certificate. If you work on Mac you can use KeyChain to create one (see How to in the portal), if you work on Windows like me, you need something else.

After reading these articles “Obtaining and working with iPhone developer files” and “Generating a certificate signing request” I installed the open source tool OpenSSL. I installed version Win32 OpenSSL v0.9.8q Light and the redistributable Visual C++ 2008 Redistributables (download both here)

2.2.1.1 Install OpenSSL on your Windows computer. (You do not need Visual C++ installed on your computer.)

2.2.1.2 Open a Windows command session, and CD to the OpenSSL bin directory (such as c:OpenSSLbin).

2.2.1.3 Create the private key by entering the following in the command line:
openssl genrsa -out mykey.key 2048

2.2.1.4 Save this private key file. You will use it later.

When using OpenSSL, do not ignore error messages. If OpenSSL generates an error message, it may still output files. However, those files may not be usable. If you see errors, check your syntax and run the command again.

2.2.1.5 Create the CSR file by entering the following in the command line:
openssl req -new -key mykey.key -out CertificateSigningRequest.certSigningRequest -subj "/emailAddress=yourAddress@example.com, CN=John Doe, C=US"

Replace the e-mail address, CN (certificate name), and C (country) values with your own.

2.2.1.6 When your activation code is accepted (step 1.3), go to the iPhone developer Program iOS Provisional Portal section of the iPhone Dev Center in order to upload the CSR file. (see also the How to).

2.2.1.7 Do not forget to install the certificate (download and double click on the .cer, I have installed it according to the default settings)

Step 2.2.2 In the next step (Register Device), you will be asked to provide the Device ID (or Unique Device ID) for your iPhone. You can obtain the UDID from iTunes:

2.2.2.1 Connect your iPhone with a USB cable. Then, in iTunes, select the summary tab for the iPhone.

2.2.2.2 Once you have downloaded the provisioning profile from the iPhone developer center site, add it to iTunes. (note: step 2.2.1.7)

2.2.2.3 Then click the Serial Number displayed. The UDID is now displayed. Click Command-C on Mac or Control-C on Windows to copy the UDID to the clipboard.

2.2.2.4 Create a Device (see also the How to).

Step 2.2.3 I also registered an AppID (see How to) just to be sure before creating and downloading the provisional profile.

Step 2.2.4 Creating and downloading the provisioning profile (see also How to)

Step 2.3 – Convert the iPhone developer certificate to a P12 file
To develop iPhone applications using Flash CS5, you must use a P12 certificate file. You generate this certificate based on the Apple iPhone developer certificate file you receive from Apple. Read also: Converting a developer certificate into a P12 file.

Step 2.3.1 Convert the developer certificate file you receive from Apple into a PEM certificate file. Run the following command-line statement from the OpenSSL bin directory:
openssl x509 -in developer_identity.cer -inform DER -out developer_identity.pem -outform PEM

Step 2.3.2 You can now generate a valid P12 file, based on the key and the PEM version of the iPhone developer certificate. Use the OpenSSL key you generated earlier (on Windows). You will be asked to enter a password and to confirm one:
openssl pkcs12 -export -inkey mykey.key -in developer_identity.pem -out iphone_dev.p12
 
 
 
 
Step 3 – Distributing a Hello World iPhone application
This is as far as I am now. Please see step 3 , 4 and 5 on Miguel Figueiredo’s blog.

I am still trying to create an ipa file, no luck so far. While roaming the internet I came across this video:
With the help of Citrix XenServer and the Citrix App Viewer you can view Xcelsius dashboards. The XenServer is used for publication and the App Viewer is used as a browser (basically IE without the extra toolbars). The good thing is, this works on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile.
There is a free version of the Xenserver and the App Viewer.
I am very tempted to try this out as the solution to create Xcelsius Apps is not forthcoming. :-(

Oh by the way this solution is still my favorite, just incorporate air functionality into OS as the Blackberry Playbook does. Hopefully it will be released soon.

 
 
 
 
Step 4 – Turning a Xcelsius Dashboard into AIR (optional)
 
 
 
 
Step 5 – Turning a Xcelsius Dashboard into IPA

Recent Related Posts
Femke Kooij is a dashboard and report designer, developer and educator specializing in SAP | BusinessObjects Dashboards (better known as Xcelsius) and Crystal Reports. She has also a lot of experience with other SAP | BusinessObjects toolings like, Web Intelligence (WebI), Information Design Tool (Universe Designer), BusinessObjects Data Services (BODS) and the overall server platform BusinessObjects Enterprise (Launchpad, CMC). She spends a lot of her time thinking about and sharing her knowledge of Xcelsius to others through her own blog. Lately she is exploring other visualization tools like Qlikview and Tableau. On the later she is also posting some experiences. Currently she is in the employment of Cognizant Technology Solutions. Her blog only contains her personal views, thoughts and opinions. It is not endorsed by Cognizant Technology Solutions nor does it constitute any official communication of Cognizant Technology Solutions.

This entry was posted in Miscelleneaous, Mobile / Tablet, Other, Xcelsius and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.