Blog: Posts from December, 2021

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Posts from December, 2021
Tuesday, December 14, 2021PrintSubscribe
December / January 2022 Roadmap

We are happy to introduce the Level 3 REST API Engine, the new amazing feature of Code On Time apps. Automatic production of Progressive Web Apps and the barcode scanning with the device camera will follow shortly 

Level 3 REST API Engine

The work on our own content management system and numerous inquiries from customers have prompted us to build a new REST API Engine. It is built directly into the server-side framework and exemplifies an exceptional piece of technology. Your app converts into powerful middleware with just a few keystrokes. The API of the app evolves as you create new data models and customize your app with actions and views. The new engine classifies as the Level 3 REST API according to the Richardson Maturity Model

The hypermedia links are self-documenting the API. Developers can extend their own Code On Time app frontend with the help of the built-in RESTful interface. Alternatively the entire application can become the backend of a custom mobile or web client making HTTP requests to the REST API to read and write data.

Here is an example of an application resource with the hypermedia controls embedded in it. The singleton of a product has the hypermedia links for the SupplierID and CategoryID lookup fields. Links to “edit”, “replace”, “delete”, and execute a custom action “custom-action2” are also available with the corresponding HTTP methods.

This is the same data item presented in the editForm1 view of the Products controller. Change the form and the API will change automatically.

The inventory resource corresponding to the dashboard controller Inventory is presented next. It has Categories, Products, and Suppliers fields of the dataview type and an alternative dashboard2 view. 

This is how the Inventory dashboard looks like in the application when running in the development mode.

The standard frontend of your application provides the visual interpretation of its  REST API resources. Naturally you can use this frontend as the primary user interface for your application or create custom mobile or web apps using the technology of your choice.

The new REST API engine produces the responses in JSON, Yaml, and XML formats.

Future releases of the product will include a complete GraphQL runtime that will convert the queries and mutations into the internal REST API calls.

Barcode Scanning With Device Camera

Your apps will finally have an option to scan the barcodes and QR codes without relying on the external scanners. The powerful UI Automation and Kiosk UI already available to the app developers are getting a boost! The QR code icon on the toolbar activates the camera-based scanner powered by the Zxing (zebra crossing) library.  

The camera scanner icon is available when barcode support is enabled. Developers will also have an option to automatically activate the scanner when a particular form is displayed or a field is focused. The scanned barcodes and QR codes are placed in the barcode processing queue, which is also populated by the external scanners and readers.

The simple and powerful IfThisThenThat API allows creating complex rules that force the UI of the app to perform various actions in response to the contents of the barcode queue.

Automatic Production of PWA 

We are finally bringing a unified native experience to Android, Chrome OS, and Windows. Code On Time apps are getting built-in support for Progressive Web Apps technology. Users running your application in Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome will see a prompt to install the app. Installed applications will have no address bar and will behave just like any native application does.

We will continue to support the Cloud On Time universal client for Apple and Mac OS platforms. 

Last But Not Least

REST API engine provides the missing building block for the Content Hub, the new Content Management System (CMS) for Code On Time applications. The new CMS will infuse them with the community forum, help desk, blog, and documentation library. 

Our website will move to our own technology. The documentation library and community forum will become integrated into New live design environment v9 integrates with the Content Hub to deliver the unmatched level of productivity when building applications with Code On Time. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021PrintSubscribe
Price Changes

 “Code On Time” Price Changes

The prices of our products will change on February 1, 2022

The new price for Code On Time Unlimited Edition / 1 user / 12 months of updates is $1999 USD.
The new price for Code On Time Premium Edition / 1 user / 12 months of updates is $1199 USD.

The prices for multi-user licenses for Unlimited Edition will also change to reflect the increase. 

We are also introducing the renewal pricing. The renewal price will be what you have used to pay for the new product license prior to February 1, 2022. 

For example, if you purchase Code On Time Unlimited Edition / 1 user / 12 months of updates on or after February 1, 2022 for $1999 USD, then you will be able to get the product license renewal for $1699 USD if you choose to renew before March 1, 2023

The current product owners will be able to renew the product for the same price it was purchased prior to February 1, 2022 if they do so within 30 days from the activation code expiration date

The licenses will remain perpetual. You do not have to renew the license if you do not wish to receive the product updates. Your applications built with Code On Time will continue to work. The app generator will have the same level of features that were available at the time of activation code expiration. 

The price increase is due to the following major enhancements:

  • Code On Time injects the  middleware in the generated apps with the introduction of the REST API engine. This significantly increases the value of applications created by developers.
  • Code On Time will include  Progressive Web Apps support in the generated applications, which will allow installing apps natively on Android, Chrome OS, and Windows.
  • Code On Time V9 introduces the new Live Project Designer integrated with online documentation, community forum, and help desk. This will increase productivity and ease-of-use.

Please consult the near term and  long term product roadmaps for more information about the upcoming features and enhancements.

“Offline Sync” Price Changes

Offline Sync Add-On will be sold only in packs of 10-device perpetual licenses for $990 USD per pack starting on February 1, 2022. The software will include 12 months of maintenance updates. 

The add-on will be hard-wired to work with the particular Internet domain only. The domain will be specified by the customer at the time of purchase. The “wildcard” domains are allowed. The “localhost” domain is included. One time change of the domain is permitted. The license is bound to the server (domain). Offline Sync Add-on will work in Progressive Web Apps mode. The required software will be automatically installed on the device along with the app. 

For example, if you purchase 5 packs of 10-device perpetual licenses for and include the add-on in the application, then up to 50 simultaneous client devices running the app frontend in offline/disconnected mode will be able to synchronize the data with this application. The same license will also work with the  “localhost” domain for developers.

Labels: Features
Tuesday, December 14, 2021PrintSubscribe
Roadmap 2022/2024

This roadmap does not represent a guarantee that the features will be delivered on the specified dates as described in this document. The delivery dates may change, and features may be added or removed at any time. It is merely an outline of our thoughts for the future, and is subject to change at our discretion.

Roadmap: January - April 2022 

Full implementation of project configuration in the browser with v9 Live Project Designer. This will be followed by the official announcement of Code On Time v9. 

The new Project Designer is activated directly in the “development” mode of the application.  The screenshot of the app in the development mode is shown next. Application is sized to fit a particular device and orientation. 

The main elements of the Project Designer are the Project Explorer and Properties Window. Both are activated in the sidebar that overlays the live application. The end user can inspect any visible user interface element of the application with a click. Project Explorer will synchronize the hierarchy of the project configuration with the developer’s selection. Properties Window will display all available properties of the selection. Standard properties such as Label or Header Text will be presented together with the “virtual” properties derived from the various tags supported in the application framework. Hunting for the tag description in the blog posts will be no more!

Project Explorer and Properties Window are driven by the project configuration database. The first components of the database will begin shipping with the regular product releases by the end of January 2022. The first target of the live project configuration will be the contents of ~/touch-settings.json and the main project settings currently configured in the Project Wizard. The developers will be able to continue using the current project designer and the new browser-based designer simultaneously. The browser-based designer will communicate with the ~/bin/addon.appbuilder.dll through the REST API. This DLL is required only during development and works if Code On Time is installed on the development machine.  The DLL is removed from the output when the app is published for deployment.

The project configuration database is also shared with the new content management system that replaced the current and The content management system (CMS) is implemented as a Code On Time application. It will offer the community forum, help desk, blog, and documentation library. The CMS is integrated with the Live Project Designer. Developers will jump straight to the relevant  documentation and will have an option to contribute the content, start discussion on the community forum, or open a help desk ticket. The new CMS will be offered as an add-on for purchase to help infuse the powerful content publishing features into custom applications created with Code on Time. The live project designer itself will also be packaged as an add-on for integration into custom apps built with Code On Time. 

The current user interface of Code On Time generator will become hidden when the new Live Project Designer meets and exceeds the configuration capabilities of the “original” Project Wizard and Project Designer. The app generator will put itself into the icon tray when started.  Management of projects and configuration will become entirely browser-based. We expect to complete this process over multiple regular product releases by the middle of Spring 2022. The app generator project number will change to v9.0.0.0 at that time.

Roadmap: Summer - Fall 2022

Transition of HTTP request/response processing of the server-side framework to a shared class and implementation of this class for .NET Core. This will enable cross platform deployment to Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Code On Time version number will switch to v10.

We will begin the transitioning to .NET Core right on the heels of the v9.0.0.0 release to production. The server-side framework in the foundation of the generated application is overriding the handling of request/response by .NET Framework.  First, the server-side code references to HttpContext class and its various properties will be replaced with the new wrapper class implementation. Next, we will migrate an app created with Code On Time to the .NET Core 6. The wrapper class will be changed to make use of the .NET Core facilities.  Finally, a new target will become available in the project configuration settings as we put together the new code generation templates. 

The changes will not affect the application framework and will not require any additional knowledge from developers.  Selection of the .NET Core as the target for the project will produce the output that can be deployed to Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. We expect to complete the work before the end of the year 2022. 

Code On Time v9 allows configuration of the apps entirely in the browser.

Code On Time v10 makes it possible to deploy the server-side components of  applications on multiple operating systems.

Roadmap: Winter - Summer 2023

The app generator will migrate from .NET Framework to .NET Core and allow cross platform development on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Code On Time version number will switch to v11.

Cross platform frontend and its development tools along with the cross platform deployment  will leave behind the only element of Code On Time tooling tied to Windows - the app generator itself. Presently the app generator is implemented as the Windows Forms Application with the Project Wizard and Project Designer with the WebBrowser control instances hosting the locally stored HTML files to enable the project configuration. The code generator can also run in the command-line mode to perform various tasks. 

With the release of Code On Time v9 the “original” Project Wizard and Project Designer will become dormant since the entire project configuration process will be browser-based. Instead the command-line capabilities of the app generator will be heavily in use. 

Our research shows that the implementation of all tasks can be ported to the .NET Core. Successful migration will make Code On Time into a fully cross-platform development environment with the cross platform deployment of the frontend and backend. 

Cross platform server-side code can be deployed in a container to various cloud providers. The cross-platform frontend will not know the difference given that it can also execute in the offline/disconnected mode. 

Roadmap: Fall 2023 - Winter 2024

Visual Database Schema Builder. Hosted version of Code On Time becomes a reality. 

Extending the Live Project Designer with the ability to create data models on top of the automatically generated database tables appears to be the next logical step. Our Model Builder makes use of the existing relational databases to create the denormalized views of data suitable for consumption by human beings through the user interface. 

Code On Time will introduce the Visual Database Schema Builder that will automatically create the corresponding models and physical database tables. Multiple database engines will be supported. The schema builder will create the database tables with the structure “preferred” by Code On Time data models. Tight integration with the Model Builder will radically simplify the app development. 

Visual Database Schema Builder and Live Project Designer will deliver the enterprise-quality application production in the hands of the developers with any level of expertise. Code On Time will be offered a cloud container available with a subscription and also as a standalone tool that is available today!

Labels: Features