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Friday, November 17, 2017PrintSubscribe
Notifications

Users love getting a confirmation for their actions but would not appreciate if the flow of data input is interrupted with blocking popups. Touch UI now has a built-in ability to automatically confirm Update, Insert, Delete data manipulations and Sort, Group, Search/Filter actions. In the screenshot below you can see an “Update” notification displayed at the bottom of the screen after product has been changed. Notification slide up from the bottom and stay for a short duration visible to the user without blocking interactions with the app. Notification automatically slides away or disappears if the user taps on it.

A notification confirming user action in app with Touch UI.

Notifications take the full display width on devices with small form factor.

A notification on a small factor device takes the entire width of the screen in the app created with Code On Time.

Modify ~/touch-settings.json to allow displaying notifications on the left side of the screen on large display devices.

{
  "ui": {
    "notify": {
      "location": "left"
    }
  }
}

Action notifications can be displayed on the left side of the screen in apps with Touch UI.

It is easy to setup your own notification on any action. For example, set Notification property of Actions / ag2 (Form) / a4 – Update, Save when Edit action in Products controller as follows:

Property Value
Notification Saved "{ProductName}" priced at {UnitPrice}.

This will result in the following notifications:

Custom notifications in Touch UI apps can reference field values.

The framework will automatically assign standard notifications to Insert, Update, and Delete commands in your data controllers if there is no value there.

Command Name Standard Notification
Insert Saved - {0}
Update Saved - {0}
Delete {$selected} deleted

Specifying {0} will include the value of the first visible data field in the view. Indexes are zero-based.

You can also {$selected} to specify the number of selected items or {$count} to specify the total number of items in the view.

If you want to disable a standard notification for a particular action, then enter $none in the Notification property of the action.

The fastest way to change the format of the standard notification is to change ^Saved^ and ^Deleted^ tokens using Visual Studio in the file Solution Name / Code On Time Items/ ClientLibrary.en-US.txt. Note that the culture in the name of the file may be different for your project. Save the changes in the file and re-generate the project. Use Ctrl+F5 to refresh the page to force the browser to load the update resources.

If the business rule forces a display of a message with Result.ShowMessage or Result.ShowViewMessage, then a corresponding notification will be displayed with medium duration.

Here is an example of SQL Business Rule handling a custom action.

set @Result_ShowMessage = 'Archived "' + @ProductName + '" product.'
set @Result_Continue = 1

A custom notification emitted in an SQL business rule implemented in the app with Touch UI.

Standard notifications are always displayed with short duration.

The standard notifications can be displayed with ui.notify.enabled property. The default duration of the notifications expressed in milliseconds is defined as follows:

{
  "ui": {
    "notify": {
      "enabled": true,
      "duration": {
        "short": 2500,
        "medium": 5000,
        "long": 10000
      }
    }
  }
}

JavaScript business rules can send notifications as follows:

$app.touch.notify("Hello World");
$app.touch.notify({ text: "Hello World", duration: "long" });

The duration can be expressed in milliseconds. If force option is specified with value true, then any visible notification will be dismissed and your own notification will get displayed instead.

Future releases of the framework will further enhance notifications with an ability to provide a custom action or callback function that can activated by a button displayed directly in the notification.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017PrintSubscribe
Announcing Custom Native Apps and Offline Sync Add-on

Code On Time release 8.8.0.0 is expected to be available December 22, 2017. See our current roadmap at https://codeontime.com/roadmap.

With this release, will make it possible to download custom Windows 7 native client for your app based on embedded Chromium browser. The second option is a custom Universal Windows App for distribution via Microsoft Store. Both options will be available directly in the Publish screen of the app generator. We are also introducing a new product to enable “always offline” mode in those apps!

In a world where apps are everywhere, it makes sense to package your application in a native shell on all platforms, be it Windows, iOS, or Android. Such shell must not merely provide a custom online browser. The shell must host a local set of client-side application files while using the server components of the app to read and write data. This will not only increase speed of page loading (all required files are already on the device), but will also enable access to the device equipment and make it possible to work in a disconnected mode.

Custom Native Apps

Presently, the app generator offers a number of Publish options for deployment to a web server. After an application is published for the first time, an “App Store” option is displayed. The option is not implemented in the current release.

Generator will display “App Store” option on the Publish screen as soon as you publish your application to any of the supported targets (Azure, File System, FTP, etc). Deployed application is available on internet and native apps can access services provided by the server components of the app.

image

The Publish / App Store option will be expanded to allow getting access to the native implementation of the app for each supported mobile platform. The initial implementation will offer two options:

  • Mobile App for Windows - this is a customized version of the Universal Mobile App based on embedded Chromium browser (CMA-W7). Developers will be able to download the installation package for the app directly. Unlimited Edition users will have an option to download the source code as well

  • Universal Windows App - this is a customized version of the Universal Mobile App for Windows 10 and 10S (CMA-10). Developers will be able to download the installation package for Windows App Store. Unlimited Edition users will be able to download the source code as well.

Follow up releases will make available similar options for Apple iOS, Google Android, and Apple MacOS. We are hoping to complete support of the other mobile platforms by the end of March 2018. See the roadmap for details.

    Offline Sync Add-on

    Offline Sync Add-on makes its appearance in this release. The add-on will be available for purchase at https://codeontime.com/buy. The purchase will be delivered to you as a zip file with the name “addon.OfflineSync.YOURCOMPANY.zip”. Copy the zip file to ~/Documents/Code OnTime/Addons folder. The application generator will automatically expand the contents of the file when the app is generated.

    Installed addon will enable “always offline” mode in your application. Any pages marked for offline will magically become fully autonomous. The relevant data will be downloaded when application is installed on the native device. Any data modifications will be executed locally while requests to change data are logged and saved. User interface will expose Sync option in the menu. If synchronization is requested, then the log of changes will be submitted to the application server and requests will be executed as a single transaction. If there were no errors, then the transaction is committed. Otherwise, the user will have the option to reconcile issues for each individual error and attempt to resubmit the entire change log.

    Here is a screenshot on app with Offline Sync Add-On installed. The tablet-sized screen will display synchronization status icon as a cloud in different states. In this case, all data is downloaded and there are no pending changes.

    image

    User can access “Sync” option in the context menu of their app shown next. This option is always present in the app enhanced with Offline Sync Add-On. It provides additional settings such as automatic synchronization.

    image

    See the roadmap for more details about offline features.

    Tuesday, November 7, 2017PrintSubscribe
    Alpha Anywhere (Alpha Five)

    Code On Time is the rapid application development tool designed to help you build forms, reports and apps. It provides integrated deployment to your choice of application server via FTP, File System, Microsoft Azure, and more. End users work with the forms, reports, and apps offline, online, and on premises.

    Our product is a great alternative to many “low code” development tools available on the market. We would like to offer a comparison of our product with a few of those tools.

    A frequently asked question we are getting is to highlight the differences of Alpha Anywhere (formerly Alpha Five) and Code On Time app generator. Please take a few minutes to read our Comparison of Alpha Anywhere and Code On Time and let us know what you think!

    The article discusses the following subjects:

    • Modern Application Architecture
    • Application Development Process
    • Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools
    • Server-Side Technology
    • Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
    • Data Access
    • Business Rules
    • Server Deployment
    • Client-Side Technology
    • User Interface Design
    • Data Binding
    • Client Deployment

    We also delve into “bells & whistles” available in Alpha Anywhere (formerly Alpha Five) such as:

    • Pre-Built Apps
    • Integrated Deployment
    • PhoneGap Build Integration
    • Easy Integration with NoSQL
    • Image Annotations
    • Offline Data
    • Scanner Support
    • CSS Editor
    • Video and Image Gallery
    • Custom Control Support
    • Device-Specific Preview

    Comparisons of Code On Time with other low-code and RAD tools will be published on our blog in the future.

    Continue to Video Tutorials