HealthConnection App Delivers Information to Medical Practitioners

The HealthConnection App

As you might know, rmdStudio Inc, the company behind the Anahita project provides mobile app development in Vancouver area. We use Anahita as the cloud back-end and API for our mobile apps, because it is an ideal platform for building knowledge sharing apps. Anahita provides a nice RESTful API and JSON format. Since all information is stored as nodes and graphs, Anahita connects the dots underneath and that results in more insightful and relevant search results.

HealthConnection Service

One of the projects that we had been working on is the HealthConnection service which delivers information about medical practitioners and programs that are available in the greater Vancouver area. HealthConnection is delivered as an iOS App and website and it is custom developed for the Vancouver Coastal Health and North Shore Division of Family Practice. This service is intended to be used by medical practitioners, but public can also download the app for free.

In this project the social networking aspects of Anahita are only available to the staff who are maintaining the information on the system. Every entry is immediately available via the JSON feed which means all the iPhone apps will always show the most up-to-date information to the users. This is also a good example of locations graphs in Anahita which isn’t yet available as a part of default distribution.

We are looking forward to see the future releases of HealthConnection with a MobileFirst website and using the more advanced search, hashtag, and location graphs. This project has so much potential and it’s been so much fun to build.

Our special thanks to the HealthConnection team in Vancouver Coastal Health and North Shore Division of Family Practice for providing us this opportunity.

Anahita 3.0 Birth Release is now available

Announcing Anahita 3.0 Birth Release availability

I hope that everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season so far. I am pleased to announce that Anahita 3.0 Birth release is now available. That also means we can set our focus on new milestones for 2014.

Anahita 3.0 is closer than ever to our original vision. There are some significant improvements in this release:

Global Search

This is the first implementation of a more comprehensive search functionality in Anahita. There is a global search functionality in Anahita which allows you search all actor and media nodes in one interface. The results get sorted chronologically or using a simple algorithm that calculates the node’s weight. The search architecture also be extended and used by the custom applications that you will be developing for Anahita.

User Registration & Authentication API

Mobile app developers for iOS and Android know well that building registration and authentication with a cloud back-end can be a lot of work. The Anahita 3.0 now provides RESTful and JSON user registration and authentication API which can save you a lot of time when you are building apps and services that use Anahita as the cloud infrastructure. The same API can also be used when you are integrating with other enterprise applications.

This feature is made possible, because we have taken out the legacy joomla com_user component and now all the registration and authentication is happening using the native Anahita com_people component.

JSON & RESTFUL Everywhere

In Anahita as you are building your custom apps, you are also building your APIS. This is another incredible aspect of Anahita which makes an ideal choice for building cloud based APIs.

When accessing any BROWSE or READ views, just add format=json to your urls (or .json to the search engine friendly urls) and Anahita will return a response in JSON instead of default html. For example this is my Anahitapolis profile in JSON (http://www.getanahita.com/people/rastin.json) and here is the list of topics from the Tribe Support group in JSON (http://www.getanahita.com/topics/@107732.json)

This is in addition to the RESTful controllers that Anahita already provided.

Command Line Tool

We are focused on empowering hackers and developers to build and maintain their Anahita projects more efficiently. As we announced in a blog post 6 months ago, we have taken out the less reliable and legacy joomla package manager from Anahita and now using the Anahita command line tool which utilizes technologies such as Git and php Composer package manager. This approach has proven to be a lot more reliable and quite simple to use especially when it gets to applying major updates and migrating large amounts of data.

Static Pages

In social networks and knowledge networks most content are created by the members but there is always need for a few landing pages that are heavily customizable. So we took out the legacy joomla article manager from Anahita and instead added a component which allows you to create highly customizable static pages. These pages can be simply coded using php except that you also get full access to the bootstrap grid system and Anahita APIs to build highly customizable landing pages or even perform A/B testings. You can keep revisions of these pages in a separate git repository.

Updated Uex and UI

Anahita is now more responsive than version 2.2 and a number of Uex improvements have been applied to all the user interfaces. Anahita is also fully utilizing it’s native template engine which is one of the most customizable you can find today in the market. To build a new template you can simply extend the base template and all the UIs and view layouts are overridable.

Now With Less Joomla

If you have made it this far in the blog post, you already know that we have taken out a lot of the legacy joomla code and replaced them with native Anahita components and code. In fact the front-end is using mostly the Anahita code. This is a significant move towards a light and lean system.

Installing or Updating to Anahita 3.0

Anahita is installed and maintained via the unix command line

How to install

Here is a page on GitHub to show you how to install Anahita

How to Update from Anahita 3.0 RC

Simply go to your root installation and type the following command:

composer update

How to Migrate from Anahita 2.2

Since this is a significant update you are going to need to perform a migration which includes:

  1. making a generic Anahita installation
  2. making a duplicate of your Anahita 2.2 database and migrate the data to 3.0
  3. point your generic Anahita installation to this database

Also if you had any joomla extensions on your Anahita 2.2 installation, it is quite likely that they will no longer work on the new Anahita 3.0.

There is a wiki page on our GitHub account which shows you how to migrate an Anahita 2.* installation to the latest release.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Ash Sanieyan for all the incredible work that he put into the Anahita 3.0 last year with the core improvements, implementing search, command line tools, setting up GitHub, and much more.

We have also been receiving contributions and help from the Anahita tribes:

  1. Pavel Kulbakin for providing bug fixes, code improvements, and documentation on coding standards.
  2. Bent Rune Skulevold for working with me and testing Anahita installation and upgrade workflows and writing documentation.
  3. Nick Swinford for testing, reporting bugs, and writing documentation.
  4. David Hegner for writing documentation
  5. Scott Crawford for writing documentation

You guys are simply incredible. Thank you very much!.

The Anahita focus in 2014

For the new year our focus will be on building different types of relationships in Anahita and further connecting the dots. This will help us build more insightful apps and services for sharing knowledge.

We will also be focusing a lot on mobile accessibility.

Anahitapolis is now using the 3.0 Embryo codebase

Johan Janssens, Ash, and Rastin at the Mozilla WebFWD mixer party

Three weeks ago during our WebFWD graduation we updated Anahitapolis with the 3.0 Embryo codebase. As for every embryo release update goes, a lot of bugs get introduced to the system and due to some fundamental changes on how content are presented our navigation and a lot of links were broken. A lot of those issues are fixed now. In this release we have decided to make very little use of the legacy content management and module features provided by Joomla in Anahita, because they will be removed eventually. Instead we have developed a native Anahita component to develop many of the landing pages on our site. Homepage included.

This release provides some fundamental changes and features for example we now have a global search capable of searching all types of Anahita nodes (notes, topics, pages, photos, people, groups, etc.). You heard that right I said notes. That Anahita stories are now only pointers to different types of medium nodes and what used to be known as “story update” is now a “posted note” which is the most basic form of Anahita medium node.

We have also taken out the legacy joomla com_user from Anahita and use our own native authentication system. The native Anahita authentication also provides RESTful authentication which comes really handy especially if you are building a mobile app that uses Anahita as the server side infrastructure and requires user authentication.

Overall the Anahita 3.0 makes very little use of legacy joomla code in the frontend. We will be taking out more of Joomla code in the upcoming releases until we have a completely lean and light platform using native Anahita code.

We are currently in the process of migrating all the Anahita code to our Github repository and rewriting our development tools and scripts to work with Git. As as soon as the Github migration is done, then we will get started on fixing all the existing bugs towards a stable 3.0 birth release. Please don’t ask when the 3.0 Birth release will be ready, because your answer is clear: when it is ready and not a moment before.

In the meantime the Anahita tribe members are doing a wonderful job reporting the bugs to us. We are so thankful for their contribution! This is great help for us.