DHIS2 Annual Conference: The new DHIS2 App Hub and Continuous Application Delivery

Join us today Tuesday, 22 June, at 14:00 (CEST) to learn about the redesigned DHIS2 App Hub and the corresponding App Management App, and hear how the UiO core team is moving to continuous delivery of core applications through the App Hub.

Join the session here

Continuous delivery and core application overrides, a little-known DHIS2 core feature since 2.35, will mean that any DHIS2 instance can benefit from bug fixes and even new features in a specific core app (or third-party app) as soon as possible, without needing to do any server upgrades or wait for the next major release of DHIS2.

You can post your questions ahead of, during, or after the session. Our speakers will check this thread for questions, and select some for responding to in the session, or follow up after the session has ended.

Feel free to respond to other questions or add to them if you have something to follow up with.

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Questions during the session:

From @Derebe:
I just uploaded the new app management app manually. does that create a problem now? I mean on 2.35 version

Answer:
From @mediremi:
That shouldn’t cause any issues @Derebe - the app will work on 2.35 but we have not tested it extensively on that version yet

Transcription of live answer (from video):
@austin:
@mediremi do you want to answer or address the question that was raised just so we have it on the recording?

@mediremi:
Mainly uploading the new beta version of the management app 2.35 or 2.36 is not an issue at all. Don’t worry nothing will break, but we haven’t extensively tested it on this version so if you encounter any kind of issues just feel free to give us just in any form, the CoP is a great place to do that and we’ll fix those issues. But so far we haven’t encountered any which going at beta because we haven’t had the time so far to do extensive testing on those versions but it should not cause any issues at all.

@austin:
Thanks! And once those are released for 2.35 and 2.36 it should show up in a message box in the app management app to show you specifically that the app management app has a new version available in 2.35 and 2.36.

And so you should be able to do that as well but you can always manually install those applications or install them as you saw me do from the app hub in the app management app as well.


Transcription of live answer (from video):
@austin:
Another question that we have here is when will other core apps be available for update in the new app management app?

Those should be available soon. We don’t have an exact time frame on when we’ll have new versions available but we should be getting the current versions at least uploaded and available for 2.37 within the next couple weeks. We’ll then start to do more testing on those versions that on the earlier version of dhis2. For the ones that are feature toggling that should be a very straightforward testing process so it should not take very long as well, so I think you’ll see applications available on the app hub in the next month and you should be able to start installing them in 2.35 and 2.36 shortly thereafter if you want to with the latest version of some of those feature toggling applications.

More and more applications will start to become feature toggled. We call the concept where an application can talk to multiple versions of the gts2 server feature toggling or version toggling, and we’ll see more and more of those coming in the next six months to a year as well.


From @Derebe:
Will we be able to also upgrade the DHIS2 core application through the continues app delivery?

Transcription of live answer (from video):
@austin:
If you mean the core applications like the dashboards; the maps; the settings application; the users management application; those types of apps; yes, absolutely, and that’s where we will be deploying these applications. If you mean the DHIS2 core itself - the server, then that will not be available through continuous application delivery and that still needs to be a manual process. It involves testing and upgrading a database. It involves probably installing on a different server and then testing it there before installing on your production server. There’s many more steps involved and there’s an upgrade guide in the dhis2 documentation as well that I can link.
It’s a big undertaking to upgrade your server so that won’t be available through continuous application delivery but that’s the reason that we’re introducing continuous application delivery so you don’t need to go through that process just to get a new version of an application. At least for now you will not be able to upgrade the dhis2 core itself automatically.


From @plinnegan:
So incredibly useful thanks! Will the new app management app only show valid upgrades based on your current DHIS2 version?

Answer:
From @birkbjo:
@plinnegan - Yes, only apps that is compatible with the current core version will show up

Transcription of live answer (from video):
@austin:
Thanks @plinnegan for that question and @birkbjo for that answer! Basically, only in the app management app you will only see valid upgrades for the current DHIS2 version that you are running, so when you have version 2.36 of dhis2 you won’t see applications that only support 2.37 for instance. You’ll only see the version 2.36 applications supporting applications from the app - good question.


From @farai_mutero_mzansi:
What are the supported programming languages / frameworks for building apps that can be submitted to the AppHub?

Transcription of live answer (from video):
@austin:
This is a good question, what are the supported programming languages and frameworks for building apps that can be submitted to the app hub?
There are no strong requirements or hard requirements on a programming language or on a framework. That being said, these are web applications that are expected to run in a browser, so I would expect JavaScript applications to be the case. That’s not always the case, you might be running web assembly or some other technologies as well. All those frameworks are fine. We do strongly recommend using React, and we build all of our tooling to support React applications. We also include an extensive ui library in React. But if you’re building your application in angular (or some other framework), the only requirement is that you include the header bar in your application so that you can navigate from that application to other apps in the dhs2 instance and that header bar is a React component currently. We may be exposing it as a standalone component that can be used outside of React in the future but for now that is a React component so you would need to render that React component into your application in addition to the angular app that you’ll use. So that would be the only requirement in terms of technology, is that you need to make sure that you have the header bar. I don’t know if I’m forgetting any other requirements @birkbjo or @debora

@birkbjo:
Yeah of course you need a manifest, but that’s not really anything to do with your framework but it’s just a file that describes your app.


Transcription of live answer (from video):
@austin:
You can find out more on developers.dhs2.org. Thank you all very much for your time! And thank you very much to the presenters @birkbjo @mediremi and @debora. We look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

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Video session can be found here:

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