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Thursday, March 2, 2017PrintSubscribe
Native Online and Offline Apps

The new product release 8.6.0.0 is coming out March 3, 2017. See the video tutorials that explain the development process at https://youtube.com/codeontime.

The release introduces new Touch UI 2017 and provides the foundation for the future Native Online/Offline Apps. The foundation is provided by the following features:

Batch Import in Touch UI 2017.

Native Online Apps

The next release 8.7.0.0 is expected to go out last week of March. This release will introduce generation of native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows 10.

Here is how you will build a native app with the release 8.7.0.0:

  1. Create an application with SPA page model for a "real" database engine such SQL Server, Oracle, MySql, etc.
  2. Indicate platforms required for native deployment. This will enable CORs support in the app.
  3. Publish an app.
  4. App generator will make special versions of all pages in "Native" deployment folders. All scripts and CSS stylesheets will be copied there as well. Native platform code will be also created.
  5. Deploy the server code of the app to the web server.
  6. Deploy the native code to the app stores.
  7. Install the app and run it on native device.The native code will create a native WebView instance and load local instances of the pages, JavaScript, and CSS. Pages will make remote requests to the server side components. User login and session state is managed through the feature called Identity Manager.

Native Offline Apps

Release 8.8.0.0 is expected to be ready in May of 2017.

The new "Offline" property will be available for application pages.

The data controllers will be generated in ".json" format instead of ".xml". We also need that for both new CoT v.9 and Cloud On Time. The new format of controllers is used by built-in Project Designer.

If at least one page is marked as "Offline", then the following will happen when a native app is running:

  1. Native application will download controllers and data in JSON format from the server.
  2. Only offline pages will be visible/selectable in navigation system of the app if there is no connection.
  3. Any requests for offline data will be executed by the local JavaScript library. Data updates will be executed against the offline copy of the data. The log of requests to update data will be maintained and persisted. There is no need for additional software such as SQLite. We are providing a JavaScript equivalent of the server-side code that will use JSON data controllers on the client to work with data.
  4. "Cloud" icon will be displayed on the application toolbar. There will be several states for the icon:
    • Offline
    • Online + No Local Data Changes
    • Online + Local Changes Require Sync
  5. If the app is "online" then "Cloud" button will be in "Online+" state. If the button is pushed then the following will happen:
    1. The log of updates will be send to the server via the Batch Import API introduced in 8.5.12.0 if data synchronization is required.
    2. Conflict errors will be reconciled by the user when needed
    3. Fresh copies of controllers and data in JSON format will be retrieved from the server replacing the previous offline data set.

Transactional Data Input

Native Online and Web apps will benefit from this new "offline" capability as well. Starting with the release 8.6.3.0, forms will work in "offline" mode. It will be possible to enter child records when a new record is created. The data will be posted to the server only when the master record is posted. This capability will be available in all product editions.

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.

Saturday, September 5, 2015PrintSubscribe
What is a Premium Line-of-Business App?

Databases organize the real-world information and transform it into the structured data. Ends users can share, analyze, and process the contents of databases with the help of custom applications. Application developers write custom database apps. Custom database apps are known as line-of-business applications. What is a Premium Line-of-Business App?

Multiple data presentation styles, sophisticated data entry forms,  complex page layouts, and touch-enabled responsive screens are the hallmarks of  a true Premium Line-of-Business App. Premium features typically imply a premium price of a lengthy application implementation . Code On Time application code generator eliminates the word “premium” from the price and drastically reduces application implementation time for developers.

1. Premium Data Presentation

Naturally, the purpose of a database app is to present data items to the end users. A premium database application will allow viewing data in multiple styles whenever more than one data item of the same type is displayed. List, Cards, Grid, Charts, Map, Calendar, and Spreadsheet presentation styles are elevating an app to a premium level.

View styles available for selection by end users in a premium line-of-business database app.

List is a mandatory presentation style for a modern app. List makes it easy to present data on a device with any screen size. Data fields of list items in a premium database application will wrap to the next line on devices with a smaller screen size.

List veiw style in premium app created with Code On Time application generator.

List items must have a variable height to allow viewing data composed of any number of fields.

Cards is an alternative to a list view. Cards have the same height and will limit the visibility of long data values .

Cards view style displays data items of the same height in app created with Code On Time.

A premium database application will display cards in multiple columns on larger screens.

Large screen will display cards in multiple columns in a line-of-business database app created with Code On Time.

Grid presents data as a table of rows and columns to allow comparative analysis of data items.  This is a must-have view style for an application dealing with numbers.

A responsive grid of data items with multiple selection controls in an app created with Code On Time.

The variable screen size of devices in the hands of end users poses a challenge to the design of a grid presentation. Typical desktop computers have plenty of the screen real estate while the screen size of tablets and smartphones can vary widely. The hallmark of a premium database apps is ability to display a responsive grid. Responsive design of a grid will hide the less important fields from the view on a smaller screen size.

A responsive grid will collapse the less important columns in favor or more important information when a display area is small.

Premium database apps make it possible to display all data fields even on a small screen by enabling horizontal scrolling of data. Spreadsheet presentation style allows freezing columns and scrolling the invisible columns into the view.

Map brings work with data in  a real world in a premium database application. This view style can be triggered by a mere presence of City and Address fields.

Your data is displayed in real world in Map view style of an app created with Code On Time.

Seeing a calendar of data items with dates makes enormous difference for the end users.

Calendar view must be available whenever the application end users are dealing with the dates. A premium database app will offer a variety of ways to see data on a calendar.

For example, Month presentation with drag & drop operations and infinite scrolling transform the traditional “wall” calendar into a powerful electronic record of events.

Electronic alternative to 'wall' calendar is the Month mode of Calendar view style in apps created with Code On Time.

Scheduling of events is convenient in the Day and Week modes. Make sure that your app does that too.

Drag & drop events to update start and end fields of data items in Day and Week mode of Calendar view style in apps created with Code On Time.

A premium calendar will give users a bird-eye look at the data in the Year mode.

Year mode provides a great summary of events in the database when displayed in Calendar view style of an app created with Code On Time line-of-business database app generator.

Everyone needs a “to-do” list. That is the purpose of the Agenda mode in a premium Calendar view style. Application end users will not miss a thing!

Agenda mode of Calendar view style is a perfect To-Do list for end users of apps created with Code On Time.

Charts allow the end users to “see” their data for what it is. A truly premium database app will offer a built-in ability to render data as charts whenever possible.

Agenda mode of Calendar view style is a perfect To-Do list for end users of apps created with Code On Time.

Ability to see the same data in multiple graphical representations will transform every list of data items in an instant dashboard. Zooming into charts and seeing data behind the graphs is what a premium database app shall provide. If the time is displayed on a chart then a premium app must choose the most appropriate time scale as well.

End users can zoom into charts, see data behind the graphs, and touch charts interactively in an app created with Code On Time.

Any filters applied to data must be instantly reflected in the charts.

Charts view style responds to data filters including the ones applied from mini-calendar in an app created with Code On Time.

Filtering, Quick Find, Advanced Search

Data discovery comes in all shapes and forms to the end users. Sometimes it is convenient to see weekly or daily data sets. The mini calendar will be required to make it trivial in a premium app.

Mini-calendar makes it easy to filter data to week and day level in apps created with Code On Time.

Sometimes a user looks at the data value and wants to find all data rows with similar characteristics. A premium line-of-business application will let users to right-click any data value and apply an instance filter to it. Mobile devices will allow tapping and holding the value to bring about filtering options.

Touch UI allows activating quick filters when users tap and holds or right-clicks data values.

Selecting multiple values for a filter should be very simple in a premium application.

Multi-value filters are available in columns of responsive Grid view style in apps with Touch UI.

Search controls must be a touch or a click away in a premium app. Data search with simple conditions need to be supported to assist users with any level of expertise.

Ability to quickly find data is inherently available whenever more than one item is displayed to the user in an app with Touch UI.

Switching between quick find and advanced search will empower experienced users of a premium app.

Touch UI includes powerful advanced search capabilities in line-of-business apps generated with Code On Time.

Multi-Column Grouping And Sorting

Sequence of a data flow can make or break an application. Grouping data items by any combination of columns will make your premium app to stand out of the crowd of mediocre solutions. Much more so if the end users are empowered to do that on their own without requesting help from application developers.

Multi-column grouping simplifies work of users with data in apps with Touch UI.

Business life is unpredictable.  Give your end users ability to sort data items by any combination of fields in any order. That will make their work a premium experience.

Multi-column sorting is something every end user dreams about when working with data. It is possible in apps created with Touch UI.

Premium Data Entry Forms

Data entry forms must automatically fit into any display size while offering sophisticated data lookups and data input controls.

Responsive data entry forms work on any device in apps created with Code On Time thanks to the responsive nature of Touch UI.

Data fields on the forms need to be organized into multiple columns with optional tabs. A premium application implementation will abandon physical positioning of fields if favor of logical field groupings to enable effective display of forms on any screen size. Any other approach will increase the development costs tremendously.

Logical grouping of fields bring order in the development of responsive user interfaces.

Complex Page Layouts

Simultaneous display of different kinds of data on a page is known as dashboard. Dashboards with complex page layouts should be easy to organize in a premium application.

Complex page layouts or 'dashboards' are needed in premium line-of-business apps.  Code On Time application source code generator makes it possible.

Of course, there is no dashboard without charts.

Dashboards can display both data and charts in premium line-of-business apps created with Code On Time application generator.

Support for Devices With Any Display Density

The display technology has improved and now even the smallest devices feature an exceptionally high density of pixels that cannot be seen with a human eye.

The following two screens are displaying the same exact application page on devices with a different density.

Touch UI responds in responsive fashion to available real estate and display density.

High display density will not blur icons or disable actions designed by application developer in an created with Code On Time.

Application must gracefully adjust to the available “viewport” that defines logical pixels of the display on the device. The icons should look crisp and functionality must be adapted in responsive fashion in a premium line-of-business application.

If your app looks too small or too large for a display then your app is likely not in the premium category.

Don’t forget that your end users will literally touch your apps on many devices. A premium app is ready for “touch” interactions on native touch screens and hybrid devices.

Conclusion

Does your app provide a less than premium experience to the end users? Does it take a lot of money and time to get things done?

If so then schedule a live demonstration of Code On Time. Our code generator will assist developers in producing consistently high quality source code of custom line-of-business applications with premium features for Mobile and Desktop devices. Give us a call at 1-877-467-6340.