Startup Shells for Mobile Apps

When you develop a mobile app, you need to define a mobile startup shell. This is a development object that defines the properties for an app that can be deployed on mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

The properties defined in the mobile shell are submitted to the Buildozer service to generate the platform-specific binaries for the app. These provide a native wrapper around the dynamic server pages (DSPs) that implement the app functionality.

The startup shell also enables you to incorporate plug-ins into your app, which provide additional functionality. These can be:

  • Officially-supported Apache Cordova plug-ins (also known as Phonegap plug-ins) that enable the app to access native device features such as the camera and geolocation.
  • Custom plug-ins that provide other functionality or are alternatives to the officially supported plug-ins. Only plug-ins that are publicly accessible on the internet will work, so they can't be behind a firewall or login.

Unlike other types of startup shell, there is no executable code defined in the mobile startup shell, so it is not compiled and no .aps file is generated.

Mobile App Properties

Mandatory properties are validated when you click Build App, and a message is displayed if a problem is encountered.


The Definitions properties uniquely identify the app, its target platforms, initial component, plug-ins and permissions.

Startup Shell Properties for Mobile Apps: Definitions
Logical Property Name Technical Property Name Description
App Description app_description Brief description of the app that will be visible in the app binary.
App ID app_id Unique identifier for of the app. Mandatory.

To support all supported platforms, this must be in reverse-domain name style: com.yourcompany.yourapp. For example,

Name of App app_name Displayed name of the app. Mandatory.
App Platforms app_platforms List of platforms on which the app will be deployed. Valid values are android, and ios. Mandatory.
SDK Version app_sdk_version Uniface SDK version to be used to build the app. If not specified, the latest version is used.

Enter a version number if you need stay on a specific version, for example, for compatibility purposes.

URL of first DSP app_source URL of the first DSP to be displayed in the app
App Version app_version Commercial version number of the app; for example 1.2.beta. When left empty, the value defaults to 0.0.1
Plugins app_custom_plugins List of npm (Node Package Manager) names or public URLs of the plug-ins to be included in the app.

To define a specific version of the plug-in you want to use, append PluginVersion to the npm name using an ampersand (@), or to the public URL using a hash symbol (#). For example:

  • npm name: cordova-plugin-camera@2.4.1

  • URL:

Note:  Using URLs is less stable than using the plug-in name.

If not specified, the most recent version is used.

For more information on these properties, refer to


The Settings properties control platform-specific behavior of Android and iOS apps.

Startup Shell Properties for Mobile Apps: Settings

Logical Property Name

Technical Property Name


iOS Target Device app_ios_trgtdvc Determines whether the target device is a phone or tablet.

Possible values are universal, Handset, or Tablet.

If App Platform specifies iOS, and this property is empty, the value defaults to universal.

Orientation app_orientation Supported orientations of the app. If not specified, all orientations are supported:

default, portrait, landscape

Enable HTTP app_enable_http Determines whether the app will be built with HTTP enabled, allowing unencrypted (cleartext) network traffic. By default, the app is built with HTTPS only, which is more secure.

Caution: It is recommended that you use HTTPS rather than HTTP. You should enable HTTP only if you need to use unencrypted communication for legacy reasons, such as connecting to some servers.


The Author settings provide contact and web information for the author or company responsible for the app.

Startup Shell Properties for Mobile Apps: Author
Logical Property Name Technical Property Name Description
Author Name app_author_name Name the author to be compiled into the app.
Author Email app_author_email Contact address to be compiled into the app.
Author URL app_author_url URL of the author's web site.

The format is validated when leaving the field.


The Local tab provides information about the locally available app resources that need to be included with the app build.

Startup Shell Properties for Mobile Apps: Local
Logical Property Name Technical Property Name Description
Resources Folder app_resources The local directory where resources that need to be built into the app, such as images for icons and splash screens, are located. For more information, see Resource Bundle for Mobile Apps.

Use the More properties tab to define your own properties.