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Tuesday, September 1, 2015PrintSubscribe
“Calendar” View For You

Applications created with Code On Time use a well defined entity model that prescribes presentation of data as grid and form views and determines transition of views via actions. Data may come from any source. For example, a developer can defined an SQL query or stored procedure to read data from the database. An entity can also be programmed to read/write data from a web service, file system, or any other source. Application framework interprets the entity and displays data in various view styles. For example, a typical grid view can be rendered as responsive grid, list, collection of data cards, map, and charts. Request an interactive Webex presentation to learn more.

“Calendar” is a brand new view style that will become available with update 8.5.5.0 on September 2, 2015 . A presence of a “date” field will tell application framework that there is possibility of rendering data as a calendar. New view style offers Day, Week, Month, Year, and Agenda modes. Any field in the view can serve as a “color” field. The framework will assign a color to each data value.  End users can drag and drop events to change values of date fields. Standard form view of an entity is display when an event is selected enabling seamless editing of data.

“Day” view in the screen shot shows 4 data records rendered as events.

'Day' mode in calendar view of an app created with Code On Time.

Mini calendar on the side bar uses bold font to indicate dates of the month with events. Mini calendar alternates presentation of data between day and week mode when a particular date is clicked. Color legend shows associated data values, which represents the name of the employee assigned to the “order” event. An “event” is a record from Orders table of the Northwind sample.

“Week” view offers seven days of events. Future updates are expected to support 3 and 4 day weeks. Both “Day” and “Week” view are infinitely horizontally scrollable.

'Week' mode in calendar view of an app created with Code On Time.

“Month” view offers infinitely scrollable events organized in months.

'Month' mode in calendar view of an app created with Code On Time.

Click on any item in the color map on the sidebar and the application will “dim” events associated with other employees in “Day”, “Week”, “Month”, and “Agenda” views.

'Dimming' of events is possible by tapping on the color legend in 'Day', 'Week', 'Month', and 'Agenda' modes of calendar view style in apps created with Code On Time.

“Year” view offers analytical presentation of an entire year and also enables quick data-driven navigation to a month or a specific day.

'Year' view in Calendar view style of an app created with Code On Time.

“Agenda” view provides a convenient condensed summary list of events with a dynamic timeline.

'Agenda' view in Calendar view style of an app created with Code On Time.

All modes of the calendar view style are responsive. Smartphone users will see presentation scaled to fit the form factor of their device. For example, these two screen shots demonstrate “Day” and “Agenda” view on a typical smart phone.

'Day' view in Calendar view style of an app created with Code On Time displayed on a screen with small form factor.   'Agenda' view in Calendar view style of an app created with Code On Time displayed on a screen with small form factor.

These amazing capabilities require no programming or coding. Developers can opt to disable the calendar when not desired. Otherwise application will simply offer the end user yet another way to see their data.

Calendar view now joins a first class collection of presentations styles that were made available in the previous releases and greatly enhanced with this new iteration. View selector and sidebar provide access to every view style available for a particular dataset.

Selecting a view style for data presentation in an app created with Code On Time.

For example, charts view displays automatically constructed charts without developer writing any code.  Any number of custom charts can be defined when needed at design time.

'Charts' view style in an app created with Code On Time.

“Cards” view presents data items as multi-line cards with the same size. Application framework breaks each three fields in paragraphs offering another way to see data. Cards presented in 3, 2, or 1 column based on the screen size. The screenshot shows two columns of automatically configured cards.

'Cards' view style in an app created with Code On Time.

“List” view is the most universal presentation style that will work with fields of any length and any screen size. Field values float from left to right and continue on the next line.

'List' view style in an app created with Code On Time.

“Grid” view style enhances responsive presentation by introducing automatic data balancing. The new release reduces the number of visible columns by applying 2, 5, 8, 10, and 12 column breakpoints based on screen size when data is rendered. This makes it possible to display a grid of rows with “important” fields without being forced to scroll horizontally. For example, this screenshot shows five columns of data rows in Orders table.

Responsive 'Grid' view style in an app created with Code On Time.

Developers can indicate the minimal screen size that a particular column must be displayed on. For example, tag “grid-tn” will force a column to show up even on “tiny” screen. Small screes with show every column marked as “grid-sm”. The release notes of the update will explain expected logical pixels of tiny, extra small, small, medium, large, and extra large screens.

Previous release required explicit tagging of each field. The new approach is to assume that all fields must be displayed if possible. The mere intent of a developer to place a field in a grid implies that it must visible. Developer-defined tags simply enforcing display of fields on particular screen sizes in responsive grid. The next screenshot shows 8 columns displayed when the sidebar is not visible. Automatic data balancing ensures that “shorter” fields reclaim more real estate from “longer” fields with enforced minimal width to ensure quality “balanced” presentation of data in columns with fixed width.

Long press brings up a context menu with data sensitive options in an app created with Code On Time.

All view styles also support “long press” that allows displaying of context menu and selection of records on both desktop and touch-enabled devices. The screenshot above shows context-sensitive filtering and sorting options.

“Map” view style is one more method of presenting data that becomes available when latitude/longitude or Address/City fields are present in the gird view.

'Map' view style in an app created with Code On Time.

Context menus and data cards are now displayed at the bottom of the screen on devices with small form factor to enable easy touch operations. A couple of screenshots below show data card of “Map” view style and view selector on a small screen.

Data card displayed on a screen with small form factor presented by app created with Code On Time.   Context menu displayed on a screen with small form factor presented by app created with Code On Time.

The standard collection of presentation styles will be enhanced with horizontally scrollable “Datasheet” view and “Hierarchy” view styles. The implementation of remaining view style is well under way and is based on horizontal scrolling mechanism that was developed and perfected with “Calendar” view.

Sunday, June 2, 2013PrintSubscribe
Globalization and Localization

Globalization is the process of designing and developing applications that function for multiple cultures. Localization is the process of customizing your application for a given culture and locale. The topics in this section describe how to create ASP.NET web applications that can be adapted to different languages and cultures.

Learn more about globalization and localization of ASP.NET web applications at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/c6zyy3s9.aspx.

Globalization

Code On Time web app generator allows explicit definition of globalization options in the Project Wizard.

Globalization and Localization page of Project Wizard.

Each application has a default culture. Unlimited edition of Code On Time allows specifying additional cultures. The browser culture will be detected and used, if available. The user may also manually specify the culture using the Language selector dropdown in the top right corner of the web app.

Localization

At run-time, the client library automatically replaces text elements wrapped in “localization tokens” when the culture is different from the default. The translations are stored as text constants in resource files. The client library matches the culture to the end of the text file name. For example, when the culture is changed to Canadian English, the client library will find translations in files that end with “en-CA.txt”.

For example, let’s examine the standard Welcome user control that is present in every web app. Notice that each text block is wrapped in a descriptive word surrounded by the carat (^) character.

<div style="padding-left: 8px">
    <div class="ParaInfo">
        ^SignInInstruction^Sign in to access the protected site content.^SignInInstruction^
    </div>
    <div class="ParaHeader">
        ^SignInHeader^Instructions^SignInHeader^
    </div>
    <div class="ParaText">
        ^SignInPara1^Two standard user accounts are automatically created when application is initialized if membership option has been selected for this application.^SignInPara1^
    </div>

    <div class="ParaText">
        ^SignInPara2^The administrative account <b>admin</b> is authorized to access all areas of the web site and membership manager. The standard <b>user</b> account is allowed to access all areas of the web site with the exception of membership manager.^SignInPara2^
    </div>

    <div class="ParaText">
        ^SignInPara3^Move the mouse pointer over the link <i>Login to this web site</i> on the right-hand side at the top of the page and sign in with one of the accounts listed below.^SignInPara3^
    </div>

    <div class="ParaText">
        <div style="border: solid 1px black; background-color: InfoBackground; padding: 8px; float: left;">
            ^AdminDesc^Administrative account^AdminDesc^:<br />
            <b title="User Name">admin</b> / <b title="Password">admin123%</b>
            <br />
            <br />
            ^UserDesc^Standard user account^UserDesc^:<br />
            <b title="User Name">user</b> / <b title="Password">user123%</b>
        </div>
        <div style="clear: both; margin-bottom: 8px"></div>
    </div>
</div>

Let’s provide our own translations for the “en-CA” culture that will replace the text wrapped in tags.

Customizing Localization

Start the web app generator and click on the project name. Select Settings, and then click on Globalization and Localization. In the Supported Culture Sets text box, enter the following:

Property Value
Supported Culture Sets en-US; en-CA;

Press Finish and regenerate the web app. When complete, click on the project name and press Open to open the project folder. In the search box, type in “en-CA.txt”. This will reveal all translation files for the “en-CA” culture.

All localization files for 'en-CA' culture.

Open the file “Welcome.ascx.en-CA.txt”. Notice that each element is wrapped in named tags surrounded by the carat (^) symbol. The client library will match the tags with those in the Welcome user control and replace the text at run-time.

Make the highlighted changes:

*******************************************************************************
Your application uses this file to locate resource strings defined
in Welcome.ascx project item.

Replace the text between localization brackets as needed.
*******************************************************************************

^AdminDesc^This is the Canadian Administrative account^AdminDesc^

^SignInHeader^Canadian Instructions^SignInHeader^

^SignInInstruction^Sign in to access the protected site content.^SignInInstruction^

^SignInPara1^Two standard user accounts are automatically created when application is initialized
    if membership option has been selected for this application.^SignInPara1^

^SignInPara2^The administrative account <b>admin</b> is authorized to access all areas of the
    web site and membership manager. The standard <b>user</b> account is allowed to
    access all areas of the web site with the exception of membership manager.^SignInPara2^

^SignInPara3^Move the mouse pointer over the link <i>Login to this web site</i> on the right-hand side
    at the top of the page and sign in with one of the accounts listed below.^SignInPara3^

^UserDesc^Standard user account^UserDesc^

Save the file, and switch to the application open in the browser. Refresh the Home page. Use the Language dropdown in the top-right corner to change to English (Canada). Note that the changes made previously have been applied to the text in the Welcome control on the right side of the page.

Custom translations are applied for the Welcome user control.

In addition to any text translations, any money or date formatting for the culture will be used as well. If the culture supports right-to-left, the website will be formatted accordingly.

Preserving Localization Between Code Generation Library Updates

Code generation library updates automatically replace the previous versions of the code generation files. A backup of the web app can be restored from [My Documents]\Code OnTime\Backup when it happens. You can create a copy of your localizations and restore them after each update.

You can also submit the completed localization file sets to Code On Time for inclusion in the general distribution of the code generation library. The localization file sets will be shared with the community and will get installed automatically with each update. If you have localizations to contribute, please zip up the files and submit a ticket.

Sunday, June 2, 2013PrintSubscribe
Tall And Wide Pages

The picture below shows the standard page layout of a Web Site Factory application. The page features a membership bar at the top, followed by a page header and logo, a bar with application menu system, a page title, and page path. The is also a side bar on the left side of the page.

Employees page with standard page layout.

What if you want to maximize the real estate of the page and eliminate some of the standard page elements?

Using Custom CSS Classes

Start the Project Designer. In the Project Explorer, double-click on the Employees page node. Assign the following value:

Property Value
Custom Style Tall Wide HomePage

On the toolbar, press Browse. Class Tall hides the menu bar at the top of the page, class Wide hides the side bar and class HomePage replaces the yellow background with the standard home page background. These classes can be used in any combination.

Employees page with 'Tall' and 'Wide' custom class stying.

Maximize Real Estate of The Page

If the Tall and Wide custom classes are not small enough for the requirements, the page may be reduced even further with a user control.

In the Project Explorer, right-click on Employees / container1 node, and press New Control.

Adding a new control to 'container1' of Employees page.

Next to the User Control lookup, click on New User Control icon.

Creating a new user control.

Assign the user control a name:

Property Value
Name Maximizer

Press OK to create the user control. Press OK again to instantiate the user control on the Employees page.

On the toolbar, press Browse to generate the user control file. When complete, right-click on Employees / container1 / control1 – Maximizer and press Edit in Visual Studio.

Editing the control in Visual Studio.

The user control file will open in Visual Studio. Replace the existing code with the following:

C#:

<%@ Control Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" CodeFile="Maximizer.ascx.cs" Inherits="Controls_Maximizer" %>
<script type="text/C#" runat="server">
    protected void Page_Init(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        Page.Header.Controls.Add(new LiteralControl(
            "<style type=\"text/css\">" +
            "body {padding:0px!important;}" +
            // hide the membership bar
            "div.MembershipBar, div.MembershipBarPlaceholder {display:none!important;}" +
            // hide the page header and logo
            "div#PageHeader{display:none!important;}" +
            // hide the page title
            "#PageHeaderLeftSide,#PageHeaderContent," +
            "#PageHeaderRightSide{background-image:none!important}" +
            "#PageHeaderContent div.Title {display:none!important;}" +
            // hide the page path
           "#PageHeaderContent .SiteMapPath {display:none!important;}" +
            "</style>"));
    }
</script>

Visual Basic:

<%@ Control Language="VB" AutoEventWireup="false" CodeFile="Maximizer.ascx.vb" Inherits="Controls_Maximizer" %>
<script type="text/VB" runat="server">
    Protected Shadows Sub OnInit(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
        Page.Header.Controls.Add(New LiteralControl(
            "<style type=""text/css"">" +
            "body {padding:0px!important;}" +
            "div.MembershipBar, div.MembershipBarPlaceholder {display:none!important;}" +
            "div#PageHeader{display:none!important;}" +
            "#PageHeaderLeftSide,#PageHeaderContent," +
            "#PageHeaderRightSide{background-image:none!important}" +
            "#PageHeaderContent div.Title {display:none!important;}" +
           "#PageHeaderContent .SiteMapPath {display:none!important;}" +
            "</style>"))
    End Sub
</script>

Switch back to the browser, and refresh the Employees page. Note that all page elements except the views and any page body styles have been hidden.

Employees page with all page elements hidden except the body.