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Thursday, June 8, 2017PrintSubscribe
Announcing Advanced Search 3.0

We are pleased to announce the new feature of Touch UI called Advanced Search 3.0. This feature is re-introduced with many new capabilities and complete customization support.

If option “Search On Start” is enabled in the view, then an automatically constructed Advanced Search window is displayed.

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Users can collapse the search form into the standard Quick Find search.  Button “more” will activate Advanced Search from Quick Find mode.

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Dedicated filtering options of the data columns will display a “single field” advanced search form with a variety of filtering options.

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Users can search across many fields and create multiple matching groups for complex searches.

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Sophisticated type-specific data filtering options are automatically displayed.

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Automatically constructed Advanced Search survey forms are controlled by field properties described at http://codeontime.com/learn/data-controllers/data-fields/search-mode and http://codeontime.com/learn/data-controllers/data-fields/search-options/overview.

Don’t forget that completely custom search forms can be designed. Next week we will publish new videos dedicated to search customization on our YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/codeontime. Stay tuned!

The release 8.6.3.0 will be out any day now. We are working tirelessly on getting it out.

Friday, February 3, 2017PrintSubscribe
Custom Logo and Theme

Universal Business Apps (UBA) created with Code On Time are designed to run on desktop and mobile devices.  UBAs may be packaged as native applications and also work in the web browser in online and offline modes. Each app store dictates certain user interface requirements. The new theme framework of Touch UI 2017 makes it easy to fulfill them.

Native applications are distributed through app stores of the operating system verndors. These app stores have a common requirement not to place your logo directly in the user interface, making it visible at all times. The focus must be on application functionality rather than on company branding.

At the same time, it is important to keep the user aware of your brand. Touch UI makes this easy.

Consider the following logo of a fictitious company:

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Let’s incorporate this logo into an application created with Code On Time or Cloud On Time.

Creating a Theme Accent

The default theme of the application is Light with Aquarium accent.

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We will choose Social accent as a basis for the customization.

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Create a copy of the file ~/touch/touch-accent.social.json and name it touch-accent.acme.json. Open the new file in your favorite text editor.

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Change the “name” to “Acme”. Find and replace the color #3b5999 with #006940 everywhere in the file. Change header.icon.default from #eee to #ee3a43.  Also change the value of properties button.promo.icon.default and buttons.menu.icon.default to #ee3a43.

Both #006940 and #ee3a43 represent the codes of the main colors used in the log. You can use the standard CSS color names, such as “green” and “red”.

Save the file, switch back to your application, proceed to Themes section under Settings, and select the new theme “Acme”.

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The application colors will change to match the branding of our fictitious company. It only took a few minutes to give your app a branded look-and-feel.

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Changing Application Name

The name of the app needs to be changed as well. By default, the name will be derived from the page header text specified in the project settings. If the project’s settings for the header is blank, then the name will read as “Code on Time” or “Cloud On Time”.

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There is configuration file in the root of your project, called ~/touch-settings.json. It controls the application behavior and appearance. Open the file and specify appName property to provide a name for the app.

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Do not use the brand name there. Instead specify the name that reflects the purpose of the app. Let’s use Inventory Manager for this example. Save the file and refresh the page. The new app name will be visible in the top left corner of the toolbar.

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Explicit Branding

The best place to display your branding is the Splash Screen and Account Manager.

The splash screen is displayed briefly when the user starts the app.

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The picture on the left side of the screen and the application name can be replaced with alternative images.

Add a new configuration element splash to the file ~/touch-settings.json, as shown in the screenshot below.

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Properties logo and background must reference the high-resolution images for the branding of your app. You will need to keep the balance between the quality of the images and their size.

The duration property controls the duration that the splash screen is displayed to users in milliseconds.

Restart the app and see the splash screen displayed.

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Your branding is also displayed when the user is automatically logged into the app, or when account manager is activated.

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Disabling Themes in Settings

If you do not wish the theme and accent to be changed by the application users, then add settings section to the ~/touch-settings.json with theme option disabled.

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Additional settings options can be disabled as needed. The property settings.disabled will prevent the user from modifying any settings.

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Further Customization

If your projects requirements call for a prominient display of branding, then you can add a logo to the application toolbar with the help of CSS. Create a file under ~/touch folder with the following rule:

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This result of customization is shown next.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017PrintSubscribe
New Theme Engine in Touch UI 2017

A new theme engine in Touch UI is included with the release 8.5.12.0. The brand new themes provide a modern look-and-feel for your line-of-business universal apps. Designed to work with both Desktop and Mobile devices, Touch UI offers a universal solution to application developers. Your end users can point with a mouse or a stylus and click or touch the responsive user interface elements.

The user inteface is customized with themes and accents. A theme provides the main color scheme. An accent provides additional color adjustments. The themes are CSS-based. The new release will ship with a single Light theme.  Additonal core schemes are expected to become available in the future. Accents are JSON files describing particular colors and other properties that will customize the theme. Release 8.5.12.0. ships with 35 accents. Developers can make a copy of any existing *.json accent under ~/touch folder and replace the colors with those that are matching the application requirements. Developers can standardize on a particular theme and accent for their app by deleting the standard themes and accents that are not needed.  The upcoming CoT v9 will also include an interactive theme builder that will allow producing custom accents within the live app.

The screenshots of the new Light theme with Citrus accent are below.

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This is the new Azure accent for the Light theme:

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The new Grapello accent in Light theme in the screenshot showing a modal form:

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The new Plastic accent demonstrates interactive filtering in Light theme:

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The new Berry accent demonstrates the view selector in Light theme:

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This is the Light theme with Dark Knight accent on a small screen:

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The user interface theme is constructed at runtime by applying properties defined in the JSON configuration of the accent to the chosen color scheme of the theme.

This is the actual configuration file for the Citrus theme.  You can create a new accent by making a copy of an existing one and replacing it’s colors.

JSON:

{
  "name": "Citrus",
  "color": "#FFA500",
  "header": {
    "background": "orange",
    "backgroundTransparent": "transparent",
    "border": "#FFA500",
    "paddingTop": 0,
    "icon": {
      "default": "#000",
      "hover": null,
      "selected": null,
      "backgroundOpacity": null
    },
    "text": {
      "default": "#000",
      "hover": null,
      "logo": null,
      "hoverBackground": "rgba(0,0,0,0.05)",
      "selectedBackground": "rgba(0,0,0,0.08)"
    },
    "split": {
      "background": null,
      "icon": { "default": null }
    }
  },
  "panel": {
    "icon": {
      "default": "#0a6332",
      "hover": "#003D00",
      "selected": null
    }
  },
  "buttons": {
    "promo": {
      "background": "#FFA500",
      "icon": {
        "default": "#000"
      },
      "menu": {
        "icon": {
          "default": null,
          "hover": null
        }
      }
    }
  },
  "sidebar": {
    "full": {
      "background": "#0a6332",
      "border": "#0a6332",
      "selectedColor": "#fff",
      "text": {
        "default": "#eee",
        "hover": "#fff",
        "active": null,
        "static": "#80ba99"
      },
      "icon": {
        "default": "#fff",
        "hover": "#FFA500",
        "active": null
      },
      "toolbar": {
        "background": "#0a6332",
        "border": "#0a6332",
        "selectedColor": "#fff",
        "icon": {
          "default": "#fff",
          "hover": "#FFA500",
          "active": null
        }
      }
    },
    "mini": {
      "background": "#0a6332",
      "border": "#0a6332",
      "selectedColor": "#fff",
      "icon": {
        "default": "#fff",
        "hover": "#FFA500",
        "active": null
      },
      "toolbar": {
        "background": "#0a6332",
        "border": "#0a6332",
        "selectedColor": "#fff",
        "icon": {
          "default": "#fff",
          "hover": "#FFA500",
          "active": null
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

 

The user interface elements and behavior are customized via the new ~/touch-settings.json configuration file in apps created with Code on Time 8.5.12.0.

JSON:

{
  "defaultUI": "TouchUI",
  "appName": "Inventory Manager",
  "map": {
    "apiKey": null
  },
  "charts": {
    "maxPivotRowCount": 100
  },
  "ui": {
    "theme": {
      "name": "Light",
      "accent": "Aquarium",
      "preview": null
    },
    "displayDensity": {
      "mobile": "Auto",
      "desktop": "Condensed"
    },
    "list": {
      "labels": {
        "display": "DisplayedBelow"
      },
      "initialMode": "SeeAll"
    },
    "menu": {
      "location": "toolbar",
      "tiles": null
    },
    "actions": {
      "promote": true
    },
    "transitions": {
      "style": "slide"
    },
    "sidebar": {
      "when": "Landscape",
      "mini": true,
      "apps": true,
      "toolbar": true,
      "icons": true
    },
    "toolbar": {
      "apps": true
    },
    "apps": {
      "location": "toolbar"
    },
    "showSystemButtons": null,
    "smartDates": true
  },
  "settings": {
    "enabled": true,
    "options": {
      "displayDensity": true,
      "theme": true,
      "transitions": true,
      "sidebar": true,
      "labelsInList": true,
      "showSystemButtons": true,
      "promoteActions": true,
      "smartDates": true,
      "initialListMode": true
    }
  },
  "membership": {
    "enabled": null,
    "profile": "view switch login logout",
    "help": true,
    "accountManager": {
      "enabled": true
    }
  },
  "help": true
}