Mobile apps have long been a part of everyday life at HSE University. The HSE App, for example, tops the list of HSE students’ favourite apps — according to IT Office surveys, almost 47% of the respondents have it installed. The app HSE.Navigation, which was launched in December last year, entered the Top 50 educational apps in the App Store ranking on its second day and garnered 2,500 downloads in three weeks.
Due to the growing demand for creating new digital services and improving existing ones, the HSE Mobile Apps Unit has prepared a new solution: HSE Mobile SDK.
Broadly speaking, SDK is a set of software components (libraries), the implementation of which can help expand the capabilities of mobile apps and facilitate the process of creating new ones. This kind of tool is used by most Russian and international companies, such as Google, Yandex, Facebook, VK, Sberbank and many others.
HSE is the first university in Russia to offer its own SDK.
‘We have made some of our projects open source in order to motivate the university community to develop high-quality apps. This is the first step in the HSE IT Office’s transparency policy. Currently, we are lacking regulations on creating apps for the university’s information systems,’ said Maxim Nemkevich, Head of the HSE Mobile Apps Unit. ‘We hope that SDK will help students and departments create their own apps faster and more effectively’.
One of the important components of the new SDK is HSE Core is a library with a set of general components of the designing system. One can use ready-made standard blocks to build a university interface, which considerably cuts the time needed for creating new university services.
HSE Core has become the first library that can be used not only by HSE students, but by external developers as well. ‘In fact, this is a set of ready-made adjustable UI components, which can be used to create your own apps for the university quickly and easily. Anyone interested can participate in the library development and make the set of components even more useful,’ Maxim explained.
We are also developing Library No. 2, which will simplify the authorization process of apps that are both HSE-based and external by using the personal accounts of HSE students, faculty, and staff. This means that the users won’t need to enter their login and password, since they will be synchronized automatically.
The first version of HSE Mobile SDK is ready for use on Android and is openly available at GitHub – the biggest web service for hosting IT projects and their joint development.