User Interface

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User Interface
Wednesday, January 24, 2018PrintSubscribe
Cloud On Time App

Cloud On Time app runs cloud applications created with Code On Time products directly on your device with an optional offline mode. Integrated access to device camera and sensors contributes to enhanced user experience.

Employee Registry cloud running hosted in the native Universal Windows Platform app Cloud On Time.

The entire front-end of the cloud application is downloaded and installed on the device for a smooth and responsive user experience.

Installed cloud application front-end is automatically updated whenever the cloud is changed. You can maintain multiple accounts for each installed app with automatic secure sign-in.

If you are installing a cloud application with Offline Sync enabled, then the relevant data is also downloaded on your device. You will work with the local data in offline mode whether your device is online or disconnected. Synchronize data with the cloud when online connection becomes available.

Connect to a compatible application in the Cloud On Time app by specifying the name or URL. If the cloud application can be connected, then its name, icon, and description are displayed in the prompt to install.

Adding Order Management cloud to native Universal Windows Platform app Cloud On Time.

Cloud On Time app will redirect to the application in the cloud and prompt to sign in to authorize access on the device. Enter username and password to confirm your identity.

Logging in to add Order Management cloud to native Universal Windows Platform app Cloud On Time.

If your identity has been confirmed by the application in the cloud, then Cloud On Time app will download a manifest of files required to run the application front-end. Files listed in the manifest are downloaded to the device.

Optionally, the data that you can access in the cloud is download to the device during the last step of installation. This requires the cloud application to be configured for offline mode.

A list of cloud applications installed on the device is displayed on the home screen of Cloud On Time app.

List of clouds displayed in native Universal Windows Platform app Cloud On Time.

List of clouds displayed in native Universal Windows Platform app Cloud On Time.

Tap the application name or select “Launch” in the “more” menu to start the app. Choose “Delete” option to remove the app from the device.

Removing a cloud from native Universal Windows Platform app Cloud On Time.

Cloud On Time app will compare the local manifest of files with the one available in the cloud when the installed application is launched from the home screen. Any missing or changed files are downloaded before the front-end of the selected Cloud is displayed.

If the launched app is working with the local data in offline mode, then the manifest verification is skipped. The manifest will be processed when you initiate data synchronization and successfully commit local changes to the cloud.

If the Cloud On Time app is closed and started again, then the last used front-end is started automatically.

Use “Exit” option in the application front-end to get back to the home screen of Cloud On Time app.

Exiting a cloud in native Universal Windows Platform app Cloud On Time.

The cloud app launched from the home screen will operate under the same identity that was confirmed by the cloud application during installation. If you need to use multiple identities on the same device, then launch the installed application front-end and add an account. Cloud On Time app will redirect you to the cloud to confirm the new identity.

Adding an identity to a cloud in native Universal Windows Platform app Cloud On Time.

Unique files of the front-end specific to the confirmed identity are downloaded and the application is launched on the device. Use the account manager of the installed front-end to switch between identities. Cloud On Time app will use the last selected identity when the application is launched from the home screen.

Log out of all identities of the installed front-end to uninstall the application. It will remain to be listed on the home screen of Cloud On Time app until explicitly deleted. User identity will need to be confirmed to run the front-end of the uninstalled cloud application.

Use Cloud On Time app for instant access to applications deployed in the cloud on your native device. Work with your data offline, online, and on-premises.

Cloud On Time app is perfect for enterprise environment. An administrator can compose a simple text file listing names or URLs of custom enterprise business apps in the cloud. The entire collection of the apps is installed when Cloud On Time app is connected to the text file. Cloud On Time app will automatically check for the revisions of the file and update the contents of its home screen. Administrator can optionally disable ability of users to connect to apps manually or delete from the home screen.

Friday, January 19, 2018PrintSubscribe
Dark Theme and Client/Server Configuration

Code On Time release 8.6.12.0 introduces the new Theme Engine with support for custom themes. The new engine comes with new “Dark” theme. Now developers can choose from 70 color combinations provided by 2 themes and 35 accents.

We have also renamed Settings/ Web Server Configuration section Settings / Client & Server.

We have extended the client framework with the foundation for “inline editing” in grids/cards/list. Keep reading to find more.

Dark Theme

An example of  Dark theme with Construction accent.

An example of  Dark theme with Construction accent in app with Touch UI.

This is an app with Dark theme in Vantage accent.

This is an app with Dark theme in Vantage accent. The app was created with Code On Time app generator.

Here is a bootstrap-based page in an app with Dark theme and Aquarium accent. We have implemented new “software breakpoints” for bootstrap content to enable correct rendering of bootstrap content in modal pages and the upcoming split screens. The menu is not displayed on the toolbar if every page with icon is referenced in the Tab Bar at the bottom of the screen.

Here is a bootstrap-based page in an app with Dark theme and Aquarium accent.  The app is implemented with Touch UI.

Client & Server

Project configuration section in Settings previously called Web Server Configuration is now called Client & Server.

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Client & Server section allows selecting the front end for your app. The default option is the Web Browser. This option is already familiar to developer using Code On Time. The app generator will start the default web browser of the operating system.

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Two additional options Generic App and Custom App will start a native app either based on Chromium Embedded Framework (all versions of Windows with API compatible with Windows 7) or Universal Windows Platform (Windows 10 and above).

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The native custom or generic app will install JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Fonts, and Images of your application on the device by downloading them from the server. IIS Express is the server that developers work with to test their applications.

Entire application framework is installed on the device in the native mode. Native app loads local pages in a platform-specific web view. Local pages will request data from the remote server (IIS Express in development mode). The main advantage of native apps is faster load time and ability to interact with the device.

We are launching a new product called Offline Sync Add-On that will enable native app to work in a completely disconnected or “offline” mode. It will perform preemptive downloading of data on the device. No changes to the server-side application will be requires. Any app created with Code On Time and deployed to a server will work in a completely offline mode with the help of the add-on.

The rollout of native apps will begin with Generic App for Windows 7 and Universal Windows Platform.

Custom apps for the same platform will become available in February of 2018. Offline Sync Add-On is expected to become available in the same time frame.

Generic and Custom apps for iOS will become available in March 2018, which will be followed by Android and MacOS.

Release Summary

The following features and enhancements are included in the release:

  • Theme engine has been extended to support multiple themes with accents. The new theme called Dark is introduced. It can be combined with any of the 35 accents.
  • Data fields with HyperlinkFormatString are displays as links in forms. TouchUI
  • SQL business rules use the connection string name specified in the data controller if any.
  • Bootstrap responsiveness is now based on "software" breakpoints calculated for each page in Touch UI.
  • Bootstrap responsiveness is fixed app-min-lg in Classic UI.
  • Method dataView.tagged() does not assign tag cache if there are no tags defined
  • Any view tagged as history-search-none will not retain values in filter, quick find, advanced search and will also forget selected view if different from the default.
  • The following configuration of ~touch-settings.json will disable the search history globally in the lookups.
    {
      "history": {
        "lookup": {
          "search": false
        }
      }
    }
    
  • Section on the project settings Web Server Configuration has been renamed to Client & Server. It allows configuring the front-end on the development that will be used to preview the app. Supported options “Browser”, “Generic”, and “Custom” apps.
  • Running an app created with Unlimited Edition in debug mode of Visual Studio will automatically link “debugging” versions of the JavaScript libraries.
  • Client library now includes uniqcode.js to allow better parsing of text with non-Latin characters.
  • Removed the code related to the legacy transaction management in the server-side framework. It will be replaced with the new code to support ODP (Offline Data Processor).
  • Menu strip is not displayed in the toolbar if all menu items have icons and the Tab Bar is visible. Touch UI
  • Menu strip is not displayed in the toolbar if all menu items have icons and the all icons are visible at the bottom of the sidebar. TouchUI
  • Touch devices with small form factor do not reduce density of summary views anymore.
  • Added "beforeusercontextshow.app" event to add user context menu items in sidebar, menu bar, user dropdown. Touch UI
  • Fixed issue with Web App Factory projects not finding "Template.xslt" file.
  • Password character is now rendered as "black circle" character. Touch UI
  • Tooltip for Boolean values in grids displays values as Yes and No. Touch UI
  • Added CSS minification to theme stylesheet generator. Touch UI
  • Removed the limits on the width of app name in the toolbar when sidebar is minimized. Touch UI
  • View Selector on action bar has the same color as actions and groups. Touch UI
  • Switching between Charts and [ViewStyle+Aggregates] correctly resets the page height. Touch UI
  • Method $app.touch.resetPageHeight will reset the height of the current page. Touch UI
  • Fixed security issue with anonymous access to controller XML in apps with HTML implementation.

Inline Editing

The most frequently requested feature that we hear about from customers is the ability to edit data inline. The direct insertion of inputs in grid/list/cards view styles is complicated by the fact that these styles are displaying data inside of “A” tag. Our internal discussions have led to a conclusion that inline input will be integrated in the future rewrite of these view styles, further delaying availability.

Luckily our independent effort on Universal Input and Surveys allowed us to architect the method of inline editing in Touch UI apps compatible both with touch devices and device with keyboard/mouse input. The foundational components are already in place and will work with the current “link-based” implementation of grid/list/cards.

The complete integration of Inline Editing in the Touch UI in expected in a couple of weeks!!!

Monday, January 8, 2018PrintSubscribe
Dynamic Form Builder

Powerful custom data input forms with responsive design is the higlight of our product.

A modal master-detail form in the app with Touch UI.

A modal master-detail form in the app with Touch UI.

A fullscreen presentation of the same master-detail form in the app with Touch UI.

A fullscreen presentation of the same master-detail form in the app with Touch UI.

Developers can design forms with drag & drop operations.

Our team is working on further enhancing form development and making it possible creating forms at runtime. Our strategy is multi-pronged.

Assumptions:

Forms must allow collecting master-detail data that can be manipulated as a single complex entity. This requires enhancements in the Application Framework.

Form Builder must allow live preview of design changes in forms.

Form Builder can be a part of both design and runtime environment.

The Big Plan

1) Offline Data Processor (ODP) will make possible creating controllers that allow collecting data without posting records to the server. This enables createForm1 with visible child DataView fields in "New" mode. The new record with the child data is submitted to the server as single entity and saved to the database in the context of a database transaction. ODP will go live by the end of Junuary 2018.

2) Survey is a JavaScript definition of a data controller not based on a database entity. The framework reads definition and converts it into the data controller structures. Application Framework heavily utilizes surveys in Batch Edit, Quick Find, Advanced Search, Import, and OAuth registration forms.

3) ODP will make possible creating surveys with master-detail data collection.
Expected availability is February 2018.

4) ODP makes possible creating surveys and data controller forms collecting child data along with the master record.

5) ODP makes possible confirmation controllers with master-detail data. Child data will be accessible in business rules in JSON format. Expected availability is February 2018.

6) The framework will be extended with Data Driven Surveys. This is a simple but prominent feature on our Roadmap. In the nutshell, the purpose of Data Driven Surveys is to allow using surveys stored in the database to collect master-detail data at runtime. We already have prototypes of the technology and will have it integrated in the code generation library in the February 2018 when ODP is completed.

7) Next iteration of Code On Time is called "v9".  We are moving the design environment directly into the apps! The new Project Explorer is written in JavaScript and loads in live apps on-demand. Drag & Drop between the Project Explorer and live pages/forms will simplify development. Live inspection of pages will synchronize the selection in the Project Explorer. Build-in Object Inspector will make it easy learning about properties of selected objects. See our roadmap for details about Code On Time v9.

8) The forms of a Data Driven Surveys are stored in JSON format in the long text column of a dedicated table in the app. Application framework displays DDS as a textarea when the record is opened in an app. Developers can edit the definition of the survey directly or come up with their own "form builder" to do so.

Developers mark the corresponding data field with the tag "survey-form". The framework will activate the survey available in the same row when another field in a data controller marked with the tag "survey-data" is activated.

A new product called Form Builder Add-On will become available with the introduction of "v9". It includes the packaged design environment of "v9" activated at runtime in a live app. The add-on will cause the data field marked as "survey-form" to be rendered as “Design” button. Form Builder is displayed when the button is pressed.

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