Monday, January 2, 2017PrintSubscribe
Authenticating Users with Windows Live

Every application requires a list of user accounts that have been granted (or denied) access to the data. In order to maintain membership consistency, every user needs to be associated with a password. Recommended practices for passwords dictate that every password must be unique, contain a long series of mixed alphanumeric characters, and that users should change their passwords regularly. It is likely that many users do not follow these recommended practices, and tend to reuse simple and easy to remember passwords across various systems. This can lead to a security issue if one of the systems becomes compromised – malicious users can then gain access to all systems that share the same password.

In an attempt to solve solutions to the problems mentioned above, authentication can be delegated to a “higher authority”. Application admins can register their app to accept responses from a federated authentication server. When a new user attempts to sign up to the application, they can choose to register an account using their federated account. They will be redirected to the authentication server’s login page, and grant permission for the app to gain access to their email. This information is then used to automatically create an account in the app and sign them in. Therefore, the user simply has to ensure that their account in the federated system is secure.

Applications created with Code On Time can use OAuth 2.0 to register their users. Simply define a resource under the Content Management System (CMS) that lists your client ID, client secret, and redirect URI. A local redirect URI can be defined for testing purposes.

Registering Your App

The first step to enable Windows Live authentication is to register your app.

Navigate to https://apps.dev.microsoft.com. In the top-right corner, press “Add an App”. Enter a name for your app and press “Create Application”.

Adding an application to Windows Live.

Under the “Application Secrets” section, press “Generate New Password”.

Generating a new password for the application.

Make sure to copy the new secret.

Next, press “Add Platform” under the “Platforms” section. Select “Web”.

Adding a platform for the app.

Enter your application URI, with the path “/appservices/saas/windowslive”. Optionally add a local URI for testing purposes.

Adding redirect URI for the app.

Scroll to the bottom of the page, and press “Save”.

Enabling Windows Live Login in the App

The connection needs to be registered in your application. Navigate to the Site Content page of your app, and create a new record with the following settings:

Property Value
File Name windowslive
Path sys/saas

Client Id:

Client Secret:

Redirect Uri:  

Local Redirect Uri:

Make sure to change the Text to the correct values for your app.

Logging In with Windows Live

Log out of your app, and press Login to open the login form. The “LOGIN WITH WINDOWS LIVE” action will now be displayed.

The login form now displays a button to "LOGIN WITH WINDOWS LIVE".

Press “LOGIN WITH WINDOWS LIVE”, and you will be redirected to the Windows Live login screen. Once logged in, a permission request will be displayed.

Windows Live displays a permission request - the app is requesting access to the profile's email.

Press “Yes”, and your browser will be redirected back to the app. The app will attempt to sign in with the account matching the returned email. If no account is found, then an account will be created with the email as the username, and a random GUID assigned to the password and password answer.

Monday, September 26, 2016PrintSubscribe
Conditional Visibility in View Templates

Conditional visibility on data fields and categories allows hiding or showing page elements based on field values. View templates give the ability to define custom presentations. When a custom template is defined for the view, the client library is not able to determine which page elements should be displayed or hidden based on the conditional visibility expressions. As such, the creator of view templates must mark up the template in order to bind these expressions with the correct elements.

When the template has been correctly defined, data fields, categories, and even custom page elements will be able to displayed or hidden depending on field values. For example, a large label is displayed in the sample below when the order has been shipped past the required date.

Warning displayed in New Order form conditionally.

Let’s use the create form for Orders in the Northwind sample database.

Arranging Data Fields into Categories

First, let’s rearrange the data fields into multiple categories, in order to control visibility of each category, instead of each individual data field. The user will only be able to enter shipping information if a shipped date is assigned.

Start the Project Designer. In the Project Explorer, switch to the Controllers tab. Right-click on “Orders / createForm1” view node, and press New Category.

Creating a new category for "createForm1" view of Orders controller.

Define the following settings:

Property Value
Header Text Ship Info
Visible When
$row.ShippedDate != null

Press OK to save the category. Next, drag data fields ShipVia, Freight, ShipName, ShipAddress, ShipCity, ShipRegion, ShipPostalCode, and ShipCountry into the new category.

Dragging shipping fields onto the second category in Orders.     Data fields have been separated into two categories in "createForm1" view of Orders controller.

Adding Data Field Visibility

Users should not be able to set the shipped date until the order date has been set. Let’s add a data field conditional visibility expression to ShippedDate data field.

Double-click on “Orders / Views / createForm1 / c1 – New Orders / ShippedDate” data field node.

Selecting ShippedDate data field in Orders controller.

Make the following change:

Property Value
Visible When
$row.OrderDate != null

Press OK to save the data field.

Adding the View Template

Let’s add a custom view template for editForm1 of Orders controller.

On the toolbar, press Develop to open the project in Visual Studio. In the Solution Explorer, right-click on the “WebSite” node and press “Add / New Folder”.

Adding a new folder to the project

Give this new folder the name “Views”. Next, right-click on the folder and press “Add / HTML Page”.

Adding a new HTML page to the Views folder.

Give this page the name “Orders.createForm1.html”. Replace the contents of the file with the following:

<div data-container="collapsible" data-header-text="New Order">
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="description">Enter new order information below.</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="CustomerID">CustomerID</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="CustomerID">CustomerID</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="EmployeeID">EmployeeID</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="EmployeeID">EmployeeID</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="OrderDate">OrderDate</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="OrderDate">OrderDate</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="RequiredDate">RequiredDate</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="RequiredDate">RequiredDate</div>
    <div data-container="row" data-visibility="f:ShippedDate">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="ShippedDate">ShippedDate</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="ShippedDate">ShippedDate</div>
    <div data-container="row" data-visible-when="$row.RequiredDate < $row.ShippedDate">
        <h3 style="color:red">WARNING: THIS ORDER HAS BEEN SHIPPED LATE</h3>
<div data-container="collapsible" data-header-text="Ship Info" data-visibility="c:c2">
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="description">Enter shipping information below.</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="ShipVia">ShipVia</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="ShipVia">ShipVia</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="Freight">Freight</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="Freight">Freight</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="ShipName">ShipName</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="ShipName">ShipName</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="ShipAddress">ShipAddress</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="ShipAddress">ShipAddress</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="ShipCity">ShipCity</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="ShipCity">ShipCity</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="ShipRegion">ShipRegion</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="ShipRegion">ShipRegion</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="ShipPostalCode">ShipPostalCode</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="ShipPostalCode">ShipPostalCode</div>
    <div data-container="row">
        <div data-control="label" data-field="ShipCountry">ShipCountry</div>
        <div data-control="field" data-field="ShipCountry">ShipCountry</div>

Notice that there are three highlighted pieces in the sample above.

The yellow highlight shows how to apply data field-level visibility to an element by using the attribute “data-visibility”, and setting the value to “f:” followed by the name of the field. This will inherit the visibility from the field “ShippedDate”.

The green highlight shows how to apply category-level visibility to an element. Use the attribute “data-visibility”, and set the value to “c:” followed by the category ID. The example will inherit visibility from the category “c2”.

The orange highlight shows how to use custom JavaScript expressions to set visibility. Use the attribute “data-visible-when”, and set the value to your JavaScript visibility expression.

Switch back to the browser, navigate to the Orders page, and create a new order. Notice that the OrderDate data field, custom header, and shipping category are hidden.

When Order Date is not set, ShippedDate and ship info are hidden.

Enter a value for Order Date. Notice that the Shipped Date data field will appear.

The ShippedDate data field appears when OrderDate is set.

Enter a value for Shipped Date. The Ship Info category will appear.

Ship Info category appears when Shipped Date is set.

If the Shipped Date is after the Required Date, the warning text will appear.

A warning appears when the Shipped Date is after the Required Date.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016PrintSubscribe
Smart Dates

At a glance, dates can be hard to comprehend without having to open a calendar. Starting with release, date values will be replaced with Smart Dates. These smart dates represent text labels that will replace the original date value and show simplified versions of the value that are significantly easier to read and understand.

Smart dates will follow this algorithm:

  1. If the date is in the current year,
    1. and the date is in future days,
      1. and the date is tomorrow, the word “Tomorrow” will be shown.
      2. and the date is occurring within the next 7 days, then the shortened day of the week will be displayed.
      3. and the date is occurring 7-14 days in the future, then the label will be “Next” plus the day of the week.
      4. Otherwise, month and date will be displayed.
    2. and the date is today,
      1. and the time is midnight, then the word “Today” will be displayed.
      2. and it was within the last hour, then the words “XX min ago” will be displayed.
      3. and it is happening within the hour, then the words “in XX min” will be displayed.
      4. Otherwise, the time will be displayed.
    3. and the date is in past days,
      1. and the date is yesterday, the word “Yesterday” will be shown.
      2. and the date occurred < 7 days ago, the label will be “Last” plus the day of the week.
      3. Otherwise, the month and date will be displayed.
  2. Otherwise, the full value is displayed.

When the time value is not midnight, then the time will be displayed after the date.

See an example in the following picture.

List of Orders with Smart Dates enabled.

These smart dates are much simpler to read and understand than the original values, displayed below.

List of orders with Smart Dates disabled.

Hovering over the smart date will display the original value, when needed.

Hovering over a Smart Date will show the original value.

The same smart dates are displayed in the form.

Smart Dates displayed in the form

When the user edits the field, the true value will be displayed.

Editing a value in the form, the original date will be displayed.

The user can choose to disable this feature from the Settings panel. Click on the three-bar “hamburger” menu in the top left corner of the web app.

Activating the hamburger menu.

Select the “Settings” option in the panel that appears.

Selecting the Settings panel from the menu panel.

From the list of settings, select “Smart Dates”. Select Yes or No, and confirm to refresh the page in order to enable or disable the feature.

Enabling or disabling Smart Dates from the Settings panel.

The default value for this user setting can be configured in the Touch UI section of the Features page of the Project Wizard.

Modifying the default value for Smart Dates in the Features page of the Project Wizard.