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Add NativeScript Plugins in an MDK App

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Add NativeScript Plugins in an MDK App

Add NativeScript Plugins in an MDK App

June 3, 2020
Created by
March 23, 2020
Build and run the Mobile Development Kit client with a non-visual extension functionality for Android and iOS platforms.

You will learn

  • How to reference the NativeScript Geolocation plugin from a rule
  • How to add a NativeScript plugin to your branded MDK client
  • How to build a Mobile development kit client for iOS & Android and connect to SAP Cloud Platform Mobile application
  • How to capture the device’s current location

You may clone an existing metadata project from GitHub repository and start directly with step 4 in this tutorial.

To extend the functionality, or customize the look and feel, and behavior of your client app, you can use the existing NativeScript plugins like nativescript-geolocation, nativescript-nfc etc. , add this to the client and reference it from a rule.

In this tutorial, you will use the existing NativeScript plugin nativescript-geolocation to capture the device location: latitude & longitude.

Step 1: Set up the application foundation

This step includes creating the Mobile Development Kit project in the Editor.

Launch the SAP Web IDE and select the MDK perspective by clicking on the icon in the left panel.

  1. Right-click the workspace folder and select New | MDK Empty Project.


    More details on MDK template is available in help documentation.

  2. Enter the Project Name as mdk_geolocation and click Next.

  3. Leave the default values in Application Creation step as it is, click Finish.

After clicking Finish, the wizard will generate your MDK project mdk_geolocation based on your selections.

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Step 2: Create a new rule to capture the device location

In the MDK editor, you will create a new JavaScript file called GetCoordinates.js to capture the device location: latitude & longitude.

You can find more details about writing a Rule.

  1. Right click the Rules folder | New | File.

  2. Enter the file name GetCoordinates.js, click OK.

  3. Copy and paste the following code.

      import * as geolocation from "nativescript-geolocation";
      import { Accuracy } from "tns-core-modules/ui/enums";
      export default function GetCoordinates(context) {
    	var logger = context.getLogger();
    	console.log("Current Log Level: " + logger.getLevel());
    	// check if geolocation is not enabled
    	if (!geolocation.isEnabled()) {
    		// request for the user to enable it
    	// Get current location with high accuracy
    	return geolocation.getCurrentLocation({
    		desiredAccuracy: Accuracy.high, //This will return the finest location available
    		updateDistance: 5, //Update distance filter in meters.
    		timeout: 11000 //How long to wait for a location in ms.
    	}).then(function (loc) {
    		if (loc) {
    			console.log('\nCurrent Location: (' + loc.latitude + ',' + loc.longitude + ')');
    			var locMessage = '(' + "Latitude:" + loc.latitude + ',' + "Longitude:" + loc.longitude + ')';
    			logger.log('Current Location: ' + locMessage, 'INFO');
    			return locMessage;
    	}, function (e) {
    		logger.log(e.message, 'ERROR');
  4. Save the changes.

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Step 3: Display the coordinates on a page

You will add this registered control in a Form Cell page.

  1. Double-click the, drag & drop Static Key Value container control to the page area.

  2. In Properties | Layout, change NumberOfColumns to 1.

  3. Drag & drop Key Value Item to the container.

  4. Provide the following information:

    Property Value
    KeyName Coordinates
    Value Bind it to GetCoordinates.js
  5. Save the changes to the

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Step 4: Deploy and activate application

So far, you have learned how to build an MDK application in the SAP Web IDE editor. Now, we deploy this application definition to Mobile Services.

  1. Right-click the mdk_geolocation MDK Application in the project explorer pane and select MDK Deploy and Activate.

  2. Add ;nativescript-geolocation;ui/enums in the Externals and click Next.


    Filter Files: will be filtered and ignored in web packing process.

    Externals: are the list of NPM modules that are part of the MDK Client application and should not be validated in the bundle.

  3. Confirm the destination name and application id match where you want to deploy.


    By default, automatically deploy option is selected, In other words, the application is automatically deployed from Mobile Services to your MDK client.

  4. Click Next to finish the deployment from SAP Web IDE.

You should see Application deployed successfully message in console log.

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Step 5: Add NativeScript plugin and External dependencies in your local .mdkproject

In order to use the existing NativeScript plugin in MDK client, you will need to first add it in .mdkproject and then create your branded MDK client.

  1. Make sure that you have already completed steps 1 to 3 from this tutorial.

  2. Open MDKProject.json file and replace existing content with below:

      "AppName": "Demo Sample App",
      "AppVersion": "1.0.0",
      "BundleID": "",
      "Externals": ["nativescript-geolocation","ui/enums"],
      "NSPlugins": ["nativescript-geolocation"],
      "UrlScheme": "mdkclient"
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Step 6: Add googlePlayServicesVersion in Android App Resources (Required only for Android client)

With Google Play services, your app can take advantage of the latest, Google-powered features such as Maps, Google+, and more.

  1. Navigate to /demosampleapp.mdkproject/App_Resources/Android and create a new file before-plugins.gradle.

  2. Provide the below information:

    android {  
      project.ext {
          googlePlayServicesVersion = "16+"
Which file/folder is part of an .mdkproject?
Step 7: Create & Run the MDK client

Follow steps 4 & 5 from this tutorial to create your branded MDK client and run it in your device.

Tap OK to update the client with new MDK metadata.


Allow your app to access your location.


In Main page, you will see device’s current location.


Tap OK to update the client with new MDK metadata.


Allow your app to access your location.


In Main page, you will see device’s current location.


Congratulations, you have learned how to capture device’s current location in an MDK app and you are now all set to Extend Your MDK App With a Map Custom Control (Using Metadata Approach).

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