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Sunday, February 5, 2017PrintSubscribe
DotNetNuke Factory and DotNetNuke SaaS

DotNetNuke (DNN) is a popular content management system build with Microsoft ASP.NET technology with the loyal following. Developers love the ease of customization and native support for Microsoft Development Tools. Nevertheless it is difficult to build complex user interface when large number of data entry screens is required. Code On Time application generator provides DotNetNuke Factory project designed to produce native DNN module with complex data entry screens created directly from your database.

Applications for DNN created with Code On Time have a Classical (Desktop) user interface and cannot run outside of the portal on their own. Over the past years we have developed a new powerful user interface called Touch UI. This user interface relies on the pages with special structure to enable execution on both mobile and desktop devices. It is impossible to plug such pages into the DNN portal without disrupting its core functionality.

Our product used to offer SharePoint Factory project designed to create native web parts for this portal in the fashion very similar to DotNetNuke Factory. In fact, some core capabilities were shared between the two. Microsoft has greatly changed SharePoint portal starting with SharePoint 2013. It became impossible to incorporate custom web parts directly in the pages of this portal. Instead, developers have to create dedicated applications, which run in a completely isolated environment frequently on a different physical server. The output of the custom code is displayed in an <iframe> element allocated on the SharePoint page for the purpose of integration. The custom code must use OAuth protocol for authentication if access to the host site data such as current user is required.

Starting with release 8.5.12.0 we are retiring SharePoint Factory project and make it possible to integrate any Web Site Factory or Web App Factory project in Software-as-a-Service mode into SharePoint Online (http://sharepoint.com), SharePoint 2013, and above. A free web part from Microsoft Office Store (https://store.office.com/en-us/app.aspx?assetid=WA104380704) makes it easy to integrate Code On Time apps in SharePoint sites (http://codeontime.com/learn/sharepoint/add-in/configuration).

We will bring Touch UI and SaaS integration technology to DotNetNuke users in release 8.5.13.0.

Developers will create either Web Site Factory or Web App Factory project on top of their database. The database will have its own security system to maintain users and roles. The following will be performed when application is ready for integration:

    1. Application will be deployed to either dedicated server or on the machine where DNN portal is running.

    2. Developer will generate a secret key stored in the application database.

    3. Developer will install a Data Connector for Cloud On Time module into the portal and have it configured on portal page.
        1. The module will be placed on the page of the portal.

        2. The secret key generated in step #2 will be specified in the module properties.

        3. URL of the application page or its root address must be specified.

        4. Optional DNN tokens can be listed in the Data Connector configuration.

      1. Data Connector will communicate with the the application instance when the page is rendered by the portal on the server:
          1. Connector will make a server-to-server request to the application passing the encrypted secret key, name of the user, roles, and  optional values of DNN tokens.

          2. Application will confirm the secret key, process tokens, and return login token to the Data Connector.

          3. If the portal user does not exist in the application database, then the user with the same name and random password is created.

          4. User roles in the application database are synchronized with the portal roles.

          5. Data Connector will render an <iframe> element in the output of the page with the login token in the URL pointing to application page.

        1. The page with the <iframe> will be rendered by the web browser on the client device.

        2. Application will perform single-sign-on for the current user with the help of the login token in the URL of the <iframe>.

          Universal Business Applications created with Code On Time and Cloud On Time will work both on their own and also in SaaS mode within DotNetNuke, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Google G-Suite. If a hosted UBA is accessed directly, then the hosting environment will perform user authentication, which makes possible using apps on mobile devices outside of the host environment.

          Code On Time will continue to ship with DotNetNuke Factory. If developers have existing projects of this type, then they may choose to continue creating native DNN Factory apps with Classical user interface.

          Wednesday, January 11, 2017PrintSubscribe
          Announcing COT v9

          We are pleased to announce that the new year brings about an all-new version of Code On Time, called COT v9. This product will come in three flavors: Code On Time, Cloud On Time, and Cloud On Time Private Edition.

          The new version brings a unified development environment directly into your application. Users with development privileges will be able to activate the Project Designer from within the live app. The Project Explorer will be displayed alongside application pages and will synchronize itself with the currently visible content. Changes to the project will be reflected instantly in the presentation. The Project Designer communicates with the backend, implemented differently for every flavor of COT v9.

          The “Code On Time” flavor of v9 will interact directly with the application generator that you are familiar with. The app generator will run in a batch mode in response to developer actions. Application code will be created, generated, and modified in the exact same fashion you are used to. Visual Studio IDE will be launched when you need to see a C#/Visual Basic business rule, or would like to see the source code of the project. The source code is stored on your computer. You can use your own version control system. You can work with any supported database engine. You will install COT v9 on your computer. The price for Code On Time edition of v9 will remain the same as the current shipping version of the product. Licenses will continue to be perpetual. Active customers will receive “Code On Time” flavor of v9 as a regular product update.

          The “Cloud On Time” flavor of v9 will interact with a hosted version of the application generator. Applications and data are stored in the Microsoft Azure Cloud. A built-in Database Designer will be used to create database tables and views within the live app. Developers will be offered a choice of SQL, JavaScript, and Email business rules. “Cloud On Time” does not require installation, and works on any web-enabled device. A monthly subscription fee is based on the number of developers and the number of records in the database. A free trial will be available.

          The “Cloud On Time Private Edition” flavor of v9 will interact with a hosted version of the application generator installed on the customer premises. This product is targeted towards privacy-conscious customers with a need for rapid application development. It will be possible to create business rules with C# or Visual Basic to extend applications. The product will be sold with a perpetual license with 6, 12, or 24 months of updates.

          Applications created with COT v9 support code-free integration with Google Apps and popular content management systems, such as SharePoint or DotNetNuke.

          Rapidly build universal business apps on any device, and in any environment.

          Modal login form with three external login options.

          Split view displayed on Suppliers page created with Code On Time.

          Context panel with new material icons in application using Touch UI.

          Image headers and form action bar in Categories form.

          Modal page sliding when opening additional pages.

          Modal page with mini sidebar.

          Pricing for “Cloud On Time” and “Cloud On Time Private Edition” will be announced soon.

          We are estimating that COT v9 will become available in March-April of 2017.

          We know that many of you awaiting anxiously for the next product update. Release 8.5.12.0 is expected to arrive very soon, and brings many features of COT v9 into your hands. Please stay tuned.

          Wednesday, April 16, 2014PrintSubscribe
          Touch UI, Firebird Database, Azure SDK 2.3

          Code On Time release 8.0.4.0 introduces a new user interface concept Touch UI and support for Firebird Database Server.

          Touch UI (former Mobile Client) is the next generation of the client library. Mobile Client has been introduced in December of 2013. The main objective was to offer a close-to-native mobile experience when using web applications created with Code On Time. We have come to realize that intuitive navigation and new presentation style can benefit greatly users working with desktop computers. During the past two months we have reworked the Mobile Client and turned into a universal touch-enabled presentation system.

          The purpose of the new UI is to enable development of a single app that displays equally well on end-user devices of any type. The new enterprise computing concept BYOD (bring your own device) becomes a reality with Code On Time. If you are building an app with Code On Time, then you have already accommodated users of smart phones, tablets, and desktop computers.

          Try an app with Touch UI right now!

          An app with Touch UI displayed in iPad Air. The app has been created with Code On Time app generator.

          An app with Touch UI is displayed in iPhone 5s. The app has been created with Code On Time app builder.

          An app with Touch UI is displayed in IE 11. The app has been produced with Code On Time generator.

          Touch UI uses the same code base and the same set of business rules. If you are a building a line-of-business app for desktop users then you have already created a mobile version of it. If you are only looking forward and trying to please your mobile user base, then you are also offering a first class experience on the desktop (even if you don’t want to).

          Firebird database server is now supported by Code On Time app generator. This is another highlight of the release. Download Firebird and build powerful line-of-business applications with a lightweight database server.

          The following enhancements are also included in the release:

          • Touch UI is based on jQuery Mobile 1.4.2.
             
          • Client library provides an enhanced progress indicator.
             
          • Mandatory input fields display “Required” watermark if a custom watermark is not provided.
             
          • Batch Update commands correctly work with modal forms in Desktop UI.
             
          • Azure SDK 2.3 support is integrated in the app generator.
             
          • App generator uses “All CPU” parameter when building projects with MSBuild.
             
          • URL Hashing allows _mobile switch in the browser address bar to enable testing Touch UI on desktop computers.
             
          • Method ControllerNodeSet.CreateBusinessRuleFilter correctly works with data controller virtualization rules.
             
          • Tools for Excel recognizes Watermark property of data fields.

          What’s Next?

          Touch UI is not completely replacing the current desktop presentation. We will continue supporting desktop and will enhance the client library with further improvements in SharePoint Factory and DotNetNuke Factory.

          The desktop presentation in the other project types will eventually become a secondary “fall-back” option for browsers that do not support HTML 5. We will introduce built-in CMS (Content Management System) in the code base of these project types. This may become an attractive alternative to SharePoint and DNN if your application requires custom user-generated dynamic content.

          Touch UI is the user interface of the upcoming http://cloudontime.com hosted service.

          See the list of upcoming features that we are working on in the Roadmap 2014.