LifeConnect (活动历)

Technologies used for this project:

  • WeChat SDK
  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • NodeJS
  • MySQL

LifeConnect (活动历)

Aim

Create Wechat mini program to let people post events, invite friends to attend events and track events timetable.

Project

For this project, I cooperated with Lin Ping, he is a designer from Taiwan.

WeChat is the most popular messenger in China, and recently Tencent offered a platform to create mini-programs that would run in messenger. Basically, WeChat mini programs are just simple web applications. WeChat platform is proprietary and quite isolated. Only Chinese individuals or Chinese companies may get access to WeChat platform. For foreigners, the easiest way to get access to WeChat mini program platform is to register a company in China (WFoE or Joint-stock type) and register in WeChat platform as a company.

So, I could not miss this opportunity, and I agreed to make a simple test WeChat mini program for Lin Ping.

WeChat provides its own IDE, that is based on Chromium. WeChat mini programs are using JavaScript, and generally it looks like just another JS Front-end framework, a bit similar to React. Also mini programs are quite limited when it comes to the network interactions. By default, Tencent provide its own cloud platform, where one can deploy NodeJS or Java or PHP backend application. As for database, developer may choose MySQL, PostgreSQL or MongoDB, and database hosting is provided by Tencent cloud, too. Direct connection to database is allowed only for backend application. Third party servers and databases are not allowed, except for some limited public API providers, such as Baidu Maps. According to WeChat platform documentation, a developer may also get a Linux-based VDS, but I did not go to this part.

A developer must register all WeChat user names for those users who would be able to work with WeChat IDE, debug and test applications. When IDE opens, it requires you to scan QR code using your WeChat app, and if your user name is not listed, you will not be able even to start IDE. Testing and debugging is also performed via QR codes. Cable connection is not required, and I find that it is quite comfortable.

So, I choose MySQL database and NodeJS backend provided by Tencent Cloud. Project was quite easy, and Fish Run Games team build a solution within two weeks, plus two weeks for debugging, testing and publishing. Lin Ping successfully published application under his name in WeChat platform.

Feedback

“I am the project manager of the event calendar program. I was lucky enough to meet Vladislav at Google's startup weekend event to get to know the Fish Run Games team. In just one month, this team helped me develop this small program. Quickly complete my needs and be very satisfied with the results. Thank you, Fish Run Games!”

Lin Ping,
designer and project manager at LifeConnect