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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.

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

    Thursday, October 26, 2017PrintSubscribe
    User Pictures in SharePoint, Facebook, Google

    Release 8.6.7.0 introduces automatic capturing of user profile picture for Facebook, Google, and SharePoint accounts when configured for Single Sign-On with OAuth. The user picture is captured directly from the identity provide and stored in the CMS of the app.

    We have corrected the latest iteration of themes to re-enable conditional styling rules. Just make sure to place your CSS rules into ~/css folder instead of ~/touch.

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    The release aslo corrects muscellaneous issues related to the introduction of the new file structure compatible with the upcoming native apps. See the details below.

    • Restored modal-never tag function to force fullscreen presentation even when modal forms are allowed by the screen size.
    • Summary in the sidebar does not display NULL values anymore.
    • Fixed. If Int field has Text values in Items then advanced search must be configured as text. Previously the lookups were displayed as simple “numeric” values.
    • Lookups with static context field values (e.g. "CategoryName='Condiments'" or "CategoryID=1, CategoryID=5") do not expose them in the filter that can be cleared. Also the specified fields are hidden in the filtered view. This reproduces the behavior of the Classic UI.
    • Static lookup fields with Context dependencies will first cause Calculate if defined and then popuplate the list of values. Previously items stopped being populated.
    • Actions in "Custom" group are rendered as "hidden" if defined in the view layout but not available in the controller in Touch UI apps.
    • Automatically created row of "Custom" actions is removed when there are no "visible" custom actions in Touch UI apps.
    • “Form Layout” feature in Developer Toolbar of Touch UI apps correctly pre-selects the current page size for the layouts available for download.
    • Calendar view style correctly displays tabs making possible interactive selection of Day/Week/Months/Year/Agenda mode.
    • Resolved the bug with “Controller not found.” when ~/controllers folder is spelled in camel notation.
    • SharePoint OAuth now downloads user profile photo if supported.
    • Fixed - Blob fields marked as "required" will allow submitting a form. Physical BLOB  columns in tables must allow NULL values for apps to allow uploading of large content. Developers can mark BLOB fields are required to force a submition when the record is created.
    • Facebook OAuth now supports download of profile picture.
    • Fixed issue with "Sync Roles" showing true in oauth wizard.
    • Google OAuth provider now downloads user avatar.
    • Fixed issues with Web App Factory publishing.
    • Files daf-resources.js and daf-resources.min.js are now removed from ~/js/sys folder, since these files are not needed for an application to execute correctly. Only the localized versions of these files will remain in the project.
    • Fixed issue where ASPX projects adding an account would navigate to "login" instead of "login.aspx".
    • Removed "Sign Up" and "Forgot Password" if Active Directory is enabled in Membership and Autentication Settings.
    • Included images & fonts in Web App Factory. Fixed regression when js folder does not exist.
    • Toolbar located at the bottom of the sidebar will become hidden if there are no icons displayed in it.
    • Model Builder - Duplicate model field names are not created when columns are borrowed from the master tables joined in the model query.
    • Ensured duplicate site content is not created if model exists with name "SiteContent".
    • Removed legacy rules app-icon-check to prevent interferance with the ui-btn::after in the grid/list/cards.
    • Ensured bootstrap CSS link in Classic projects is formed correctly.
    • Disabled Native App SUpport for ASPX projects.
    • Removed unused references to AJAX framework script resolution.
    • Fixed issue with OAuth registration - adding system identity no longer sets content type to "application/octet-stream".
    • Ensured that Active Directory authentication configuration will cause the login button to display.
    • Fixed issue with Web App VB not including culture JS files in assembly.
    • Fixed compilation issues of GetManifestFileServiceRequestHandler when implemented in Visual Basic.
    • Removes remaining references to Sandbox project created in WebApp Factory projects.
    • Fixed issue with Localizer JavaScript encoding values in controls.