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I have an app that sends/receive data via HTTP POST, and communicates with PHP/SQL on the backend.

I however wanted to integrate GCM to I can tell the app to "check for an update" to query the server. I wanted to sell the app, and the user has to run the server themselves (the PHP backend). However, I assume I can't publicly list my Google API key. Am I correct in saying that? That throws GCM out the window.

I'm new to sockets, but can I create a TCP connection between the device and server, and send requests back and forth. Or does there need to be two sockets, one to send request, and one to listen?

Thanks.

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No struggle, you can create a small sample code using your favorite language (PHP, Java or C#) and give it as integration sample of GCM into your clients, of course on this sample you can hide your Google API Key and ask them to create theirs..

If they do not know how to create one, well you can create a small how to.. I am not Guru but the TCP and sockets idea seems to me will cost a lot for something that exists.. good luck

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Isn't the version of the app tied to the version of the server? Let's say you implement some new features, doesn't your app have to be updated as well as the server component? In that case I would have the app make a request to the server when it starts. The server can simply send an indication to apps making this starting request that it is outdated. The app would flat-out refuse to function if it's version does not match the servers.

(This also takes away much of the headaches of having to deal with old apps calling newer servers or newer apps calling old servers.)

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