Canappi Helps Developers Build Converged Mobile Apps

Two weeks ago, Canappi launched the 1.0 version of their mobile app development platform, and they’re rolling out connections to leading APIs. We’re honored to announce that Twilio has been selected as the first among these API connections to be integrated into the platform.

Canappi for Twilio Developers – Voice & SMS in 20 Minutes

Using the Canappi Twilio API connector, developers can build iPhone applications (Android coming in late June) or add the capability to invoke Twilio’s APIs for voice and SMS in just 20 minutes.  Canappi can also generate code samples for developers looking to integrate Twilio into their projects.

The video below shows a native iPhone Twilio app created by Canappi founder Jean-Jacques Dubray with less than 100 lines of MSDL code.  Not a single custom line was added to the automatically generated code.


Getting Started with Canappi

Canappi is currently free to use during the launch period, which will last until Android 1.0 ships in early Q3. From the Canappi pricing page, “Once Android launches, a subscription to Canappi will be $30/quarter until the end of 2011. In 2012 and after, Canappi will adopt a pay per use model, charging a small amount for each type of code generation.”

Interview with Canappi Founder JJ Dubray

How did you come up with the idea for Canappi?

I set out to build a mobile app with my (9 year old) son last fall and I could not believe how hard it was. If you factor in that your app has to run on multiple platforms the complexity for any company is mind numbing. So I started to build Canappi at the of November 2010, and got a lot done in about two three weeks thanks to a new technology called Xtext (part of Eclipse) that allows you to create your own programming language and generate code from it.

Long story short, we then built the app around the end of the year and got it published on the App Store by early January: The goal of this app is to help children collaborate over their homework using their mobile phone. It could easily be adapted for developing country to teach new skills to adults and manage complex project (~ class), which I plan to do at some point.

After that, I went on and productized Canappi with about 10 beta customers, two friends jumped on board in April and we have now shipped our 1.0 released and launched the company. We have some cool success stories like a life changing app for people with Asthma / COPD. This app was prototyped in one day using existing web services to get the patient data, and productized by the customer in one month, by a developer who had never touched a mac, or developed in Objective-C or even developed a mobile app.

So we are very excited at the possibilities to enable people to build Converged Apps (voice, messaging, location, video, data, TV, …). We want to focus a bit more in the enterprise market rather than consumer apps.

How long did it take to build?

It took me exactly 6 months part time to build it, but part time is a good 50 hours per week, plus my day job. Canappi is integrating everything I learned over the last 20 years of my career (SOA, Model Driven Engineering, Enterprise Information Models, ….). So Canappi’s design was already there.

What exciting milestones do you foresee in the next 6 months?

We are going to ship the Android version in early July. It is currently running for a small group of Beta customers, we are going to continue releasing more connectors at the rate of about 5 every other week, more libraries and more platforms like Windows Mobile 7 at the end of September and a Web-based code generation (either JQuery or Sencha, not sure yet).  We plan to run regular surveys (at least monthly) to understand what customers want.