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Wednesday, May 13, 2015PrintSubscribe
Action Bar, See All, 250 Icons, Desktop Master-Detail Enhancements, Metadata Compression

Code On Time release 8.5.2.0 significantly improves the speed of loading of complex master-detail pages in Desktop UI and introduces new user interface options in Touch UI. Both presentation modes can now take advantage of more than 250 icons  from Bootstrap library  integrated in the generated apps. Meta-data compression reduces the size of JSON responses for requests to read data by more than 60%.

Master-Detail Pages in Desktop UI

Desktop applications with complex master-detail pages will see immediate increase in speed of initial page loading and refreshing of selected master rows and linked children. We have recently discovered that a large number of data views may lead to degradation of page rendering. One customer has close to 40 data views connected in various master-detail configurations on a single page. Application essentially uses data views to create an electronic data record giving a comprehensive understanding of a business process at a glance. Application has been created two years ago and has performed very well. Recent modifications have uncovered that the same page is rather slow when produced with newer releases of Code On Time. We have corrected the issue – the page with 40 data views loads fluidly and rapidly.

Touch UI Enhancements

This release brings the action bar to Touch UI. Compare the screenshots of Products screen presented in two different interfaces.

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User interface components of Touch UI look almost identical to the Desktop presentation. If the promoted actions are turned “off” in settings then the floating “+” button will disappear and New Products action will migrate back to the action bar.

Summary views now display “See All” button with the count of records when only a subset of records is visible. Summary views also keep track of the current selection.

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Also note that the page title is not displayed anymore on the toolbar if there is enough space to display at least three menu options. The title will reappear in the toolbar on devices with narrows screens. The navigation menu migrates under “menu” button on the left-hand side of application toolbar.

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We are committed to transforming Touch UI in a true replacement for the legacy Desktop user interface of generated apps. Future releases will allow displaying all levels of master-detail relationships on the pages in Summary mode. This release finally introduces complete support for cascading lookups in Touch UI. We now support dynamic lookups for Drop Down List, List Box, Radio Button List, and Check Box List with full processing of Context Fields.

Icons in Actions

It is now possible to use glyphicons from Bootstrap library as icons of actions in Desktop and Touch user interface. Touch UI also supports a dedicated set of icons from jQuery Mobile. See sample icons at http://demo.codeontime.com/northwind/touch/icons.html.  Follow the link to see configuration instructions. The screenshot below shows a custom glyphicon-leaf icon in configuration of New Products action.

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Miscellaneous Enhancements

Here is the list of fixes included in this release:

  • Annotations are disabled in Touch UI. Multiple file upload will be implemented in the future instead of "one note" + "one file" at a time in Desktop UI.
     
  • New drag & drop file upload works with annotations in Desktop UI.
     
  • Desktop UI shows summary on first selection of a master row when a child view with "Show In Summary" = true is placed on a different tab.
     
  • Touch UI supports creating new lookup values with context filter based on the current field values.
     
  • Cascading lookup works with Drop Down List, Radio Button List, Check Box List, and List Box.
     
  • Dedicated login page issue on iPad has been resolved in Touch UI.
     
  • Pivot API: Quarter calculation fixed.
     
  • Minifier now adds ";" to every script file as a fix for DNN script compression.
     
  • Fixed transparency issues on iOS and made enhancements to the keyboard input on android.
     
  • Charts: Added ICU Decimal Format support with "pivot1-val1-format:'##'" tags. Supported .NET-compatible formats are “c”, “C”, “d”, “D”, “e”, “E”, “f”, “F”, “n”, “N”, “p”, “P”, “x”, “X”.  Example of Orders chart:
  • EmployeeID Tag: pivot1-row1-column

    Freight Tag: pivot1-val1-sum-format:'c' 

  • It is now possible to use $row.FieldName and $master.FieldName syntax in business rules and various expressions instead of old syntax ([FieldName] and [master.FieldName]).
     
  • Dates are correctly processed in JavaScript business rules in Touch UI.
     
  • Enhanced error reporting when compiling JavaScript business rules.
     
  • Data access objects correctly convert dates to Universal Time when using PageRequest to retrieve data.
     
  • MySQL will hide string primary key fields of length 36 (GUID).
  • Bug with "Remember Me Checked" in HTML page implementation has been fixed.
  • MySQL Session State Provider will use mediumblob instead of longblob.
     
  • Embedded ASP.NET membership provider for Oracle is now generated if membership feature is enabled.
     
  • Membership business rules correctly handle representation of GUIDs and "bool" in Oracle databases.
     
  • Synchronization command wraps primary key field names in "quotes" specific to the database engine.
     
  • Membership bar extender uses "_invoke" as a path for service requests in SPA applications.
     
  • Adding a GUID parameter to an SqlText or SqlProcedure will perform automatic conversion from Guid to byte[].
     
  • Partial implementation of ApplicationServices class allows overriding of UserSessionStart, UserSessionEnd, InstanceStart, InstanceStop, and HandleError methods to handle session-level and application-level events. Delete ~/global.asax file to ensure that the new code is being engaged if you plan to use any of these methods.
     
  • Custom Session State provider is now generated in Azure Factory, Mobile Factory, Web App Factory, and Web Site Factory projects if installed on database connection settings page of Project Wizard. Use session state provider if application is deployed in  multi-server configuration.
     
  • It is now possible to have a "root" page when CMS is enabled. Give it a name “index” with blank path.
  •  Dynamic Controller Customization in CMS now supports When-SQL and When-Test to allow data-driven customization of controllers
     
  • Application framework now support VirtualControllerConditionally method. Developers can call SelectFieldValue method to inspect values of the current row when virtualizing form views.
     
  • Added data view tags view-style-charts-disabled, view-style-grid-disabled, view-style-list-disabled, view-style-cards-disabled, and view-style-map-disabled to allow disablement of specific view styles.
     
  • Fixed bug in Firefox and IE10 of chart context menu not opening.
  • Data views can now be configures with the property "Tags" and "data-tags" instead of Tag and "data-tag".
     
  • Site content is not visible if Role or User exceptions are detected. Previously, both "Role Exceptions" and "User Exceptions" would have enabled access to content instead.
     
  • If a site content page exists in CMS and it is visible to the user then it will override the "design time" page definition. Previous implementation has been using the application-defined page even if a site content page is available.
Monday, December 10, 2012PrintSubscribe
Managed Oracle Provider, Report Action Parameters, Azure SDK 1.8

Code On Time release 7.0.6.0 is now a Microsoft.NET 4.0 application. This results in up to 30% increase in the speed of code generation. The benefit is especially visible on multi-core computers to Premium and Unlimited edition customers.

Full support for Managed Oracle Data Provider (ODP) and extended processing of Oracle-specific data types is now a part of the application framework. Learn to create projects with Oracle databases.

Action “Report” and its variations (Report As PDF, Report as Excel, Report as Image, Report as Word)  are extended with reporting parameters. Use Project Designer to configuring Data property of an action with parameters “_controller”, “_view”, “_count”, “_template”, and “_sortExpression”. Developers can also specify a filter referencing values of the data row selected in the browser. A tutorial will be available this week.

Application generator now supports Windows Azure SDK 1.8 released in November of 2012.

The following enhancements and bug fixes are also includes:

  • Custom Membership provider handles "password attempt window start" and "password answer attempt window start" dates.
     
  • Locked-out user will be able to re-try login when "password attempt window" becomes available. The time interval is controller by Password Attempt Window option. Its default value is 10.
     
  • Password reset is also controlled by the same option when user tries to answer the password question.
     
  • Custom Membership provider uses "Comments" as an SQL alias of "Comment" field.
     
  • Compatibility of field length and type for custom membership providers generated from Oracle databases is included.
     
  • Unique identifier columns of type raw(16) are fully supported by application framework in Oracle database projects.
     
  • Quick Find implementation creates dedicated parameters in Oracle apps when Managed ODP provider is detected.
     
  • Long project names will not cause compilation error in Visual Basic projects with the application framework placed in a class library.
     
  • "Hidden" data fields mixed with visible data fields in a data sheet view will not break focusing of cells.
     
  • SQL and Email business rules are not executed twice when processing custom actions.
     
  • Action Navigate will not disable data view events when "_blank" or any other target is placed in front of the value in Command Argument.
     
  • Role provider binds ApplicationName parameter on-demand.
     
  • Fixed the bug with custom Google Translate API key processing.
     
  • Data sheet view with multiple selection will not scroll to the top of the view when a data row is selected.
     
  • The app generator will not fail to start project builder when Visual Studio without Web Developer Tools is installed on a computer. Only "Web Site Factory" projects can be created if that is the case.
     
  • Virtualization node sets now support MoveNext method and Current property to allow easy iteration when implementing virtualization of data controllers.
Saturday, December 8, 2012PrintSubscribe
HR Sample App (Oracle)

Sample database HR (Human Resources) comes standard with Oracle database server. Let’s create a web application straight from this database.

Getting Oracle on Your Computer

First, download the Oracle Database Express Edition 11g Release 2 installation files.

When the download is complete, extract the zip folder. Run the file at DISK1\setup.exe. Follow the steps to install Oracle Express Edition 11g on your computer.

When the database server has been installed, log in to the management website. The link to the page is available at C:\oraclexe\app\oracle\product\11.2.0\server\Get_Started.url. In the web browser, click on the Application Express tab, and create a workspace in order to access the database.

Native vs. Managed Data Provider

Code On Time web application generator creates web apps based on Microsoft ASP.NET, a component of Microsoft.NET technology. Database vendors offer middleware that allows ASP.NET applications to communicate with their servers. Oracle offers two providers:

The ODP.NET (Oracle Data Provider) is included in the Oracle Data Access Components (ODAC) for Windows package. The provider is a managed .NET wrapper that “speaks” to unmanaged native API of Oracle database server.

Because of this mix of managed and unmanaged code, there is a need to install both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of ODP.NET when working with Windows 7 and 8. Some components of development tools for Windows support only 32-bit architecture. Each version of ODP is around 230 MB in size.

The ODP.NET, Managed Driver is less than 2 MB in size and written purely in .NET. It has better performance and is easier to configure. This is the recommended .NET provider for ASP.NET web applications.

Click on one of the links above and install one of the providers for Oracle.

Creating a Web Application

Start the code generator, and click on the Create a new web application link on the start page. Select Web Site Factory to create the project.

Creating a 'Web Site Factory' project on the New Project screen.

Assign the project a name of “HR”, select the programming language of your choice (C# or Visual Basic), and press Create.

Assigning a name of 'HR' to the project.

Leave the default Namespace and Framework values and press Next.

Select the desired ODP provider in the Data Provider dropdown, and click on the “…” button next to Connection String field to access the Oracle Connection screen.

Selecting the 'Oracle Data Provider for .NET, Managed Driver' for the Data provider dropdown on the Database Connection screen.

'Oracle Data Provider for .NET' data provider selected. The '...' button next to Connection String field will activate the 'Oracle Connection' screen.

Enter your Server name, User name, and Password in the appropriate fields.

If you are working with Oracle Express Edition and using ODP.NET Managed Driver, leave the Server name blank. If you are using ODP.NET , then enter “127.0.0.1” in the Server name.

Press the Test button to test the connection string.

Alert showing that test connection succeeded for the Oracle connection string.

Press OK to dismiss the Connection Status window, and press OK to insert the configured connection string into the field.

Press Next twice to reach the Reporting page. Check the box to enable reporting.

Enabling reporting for the web application.

Press Next to reach the Themes page. Select Social from the list box.

Selecting a theme for the web application.

Hold down Shift, and press Next to skip to the Summary screen.

Activating the 'Generate' button on the Summary screen.

Press Generate to start the code generation. A window will open in your default web browser with the web app when complete.

Generated web application loaded in the default web browser.

Learn how to configure Custom Membership and Role Provider for your Oracle database.