Web appsđź”—

Web apps are HTML-based apps that communicate with the VisionAppster Engine using the JavaScript client API.

Let’s assume you have created a web app (web page) that contains the following files:


Normally, you would copy the directory structure to the root of your web server (such as Nginx or Apache) and point your browser to the address of your server. Copying the files obviously requires e.g. ssh access to the server.

The VisionAppster Engine contains a built-in web server that can be used exactly the same way. Usually you however want to install web apps using component packages.

You can create a web app package by using the “Package a folder” feature of the Builder: just select the root directory of your web app. The index.html file will be automatically tagged as a web app.

You can also include a web app (or many of them) to packages containing analysis apps or tools by putting them in separate directories under a common root and making a package out of it.

It is also possible to bundle the files belonging to a web app into a single zip file. To create such a web app you only need to zip the files and rename the file to .webapp:

# cd to wherever your index.html resides. Then:
zip -r my.webapp *

You can include any number of .webapp files in a component package. Once such a package is installed, the Engine’s web server is able to serve the contents of the file as if it was an ordinary directory structure. If a directory in the zip contains a file called index.html, it will be returned by the server when a client sends a GET requests to the directory. By default, the server is configured to reject requests to directories that lack index.html.

Installed web apps will be listed on the front page of the Engine’s management interface and can be opened by clicking the link. The target of the link will be something like http://localhost:2015/components/com.example/1/my.webapp/. If you omit the trailing slash, the server will return you the whole web app packet.

By default, the web server will also serve the contents of .zip files in the same manner. The difference is that such files won’t be automatically detected as web apps and won’t thus be available on the Engine’s front page after installing the component package. This may be useful if you want to include a testing UI for your app in a component, but don’t want to make that UI too prominent.

Putting everything in a single .webapp file makes serving them more efficient. All modern browsers support “deflate” transfer encoding, which means the server can return archived files without decompressing them first. The browser decompresses the data, which saves bandwidth and reduces server load.