Parse.com is one of the most interesting cloud base solutions I have found so far, and most importantly; basic accounts are for free (up to 30 requests/second, after that is when you have to pay). Using Parse.com I can keep track of my applications, using the Analytics feature. This is an easy way of knowing how many installs you have running and also it provides cloud storage to add some more details etc. I'm using this module for my project "Flickr Photo Analytics" as I currently have over thousand downloads but I don't have a clue whether the app is being used or not. Here is where the Analytics feature of parse.com gets really handy.
Embarcadero has its own AppAnalytics but I just wanted something that I could handle on my own with an easy setup. I have been using Parse for a while for few mobile applications and now I've decided to extend it to my windows desktop applications.
To use it in Delphi, we can use the REST API via IdHTTP component. On their website they provide the syntax using curl and here is the correct translation to use it with Delphi and that works:
With just this little piece of code, the Analytics feature of Parse will start tracking down your installs. It's not a real time tracking so it takes time to appear on the dashboard. Once you have your applications there, you can review the stats:
As I'm not expecting any traffic at all in my app it is really a good solution and it serves my needs. I also have a small android app that pulls from there so I can read some of the stats published by my app anywhere I go. In the end it all lies to connectivity and what's the best and easy way to achieve it. Using this approach didn't take me long at all.
I hope it can be useful to the community.
PS: If you know any better solution out there, please do let me know!.