Friday, August 20, 2021
August/September 2021 Roadmap

We are very pleased to announce the host of new features that are becoming available in the next few weeks. 2-Factor Authentication, new REST API v2, and barcode scanning with the device camera, are just some of the features that are coming at the end of the summer.

2-Factor Authentication

The next release will introduce 2-Factor Authentication that will be enabled by default in apps created with the Unlimited Edition of Code On Time.

End users will have an option to strengthen their username and password with the one-time verification codes that are delivered via email, text message, or “authenticator” apps such as Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator.

User context menu provides a new option that helps the authenticated user to set up the 2-factor authentication. If the user has the “authenticator” app on their mobile device, then a simple scan of the QR code on the setup screen will configure that app to generate the verification codes to confirm to sign in.

Authenticator app does not have a physical connection to your application. The scan of the QR code during the setup allows the app to retrieve the secret stored in the user record.  The app generates a new verification code frequently. There is no need to remember the code. You will be able to sign in as long as you have access to your phone.

You will be required to enter the username and password.

The successful sign in will result in the request to enter the verification code if the 2-factor authentication was set up for the account previously. 

Another default option is to receive an email with the verification code that expires in a few minutes. Developers also have an option to instruct the app to send a text message or call the user with the verification code. 

If the correct time-based verification code is entered, then the user is signed in. Incorrect input of verification code will count as a failed login attempt with the eventual lockout of the user account.

“Authenticator App” is a very secure option since there is no communication with the 3rd party systems. The default “Email me at...” option can be disabled in the application if required.

Users can also enter the single use backup codes provided to the user during the setup process.

REST API v2 / App Middleware

We are pleased to announce the new REST API v2 available in the apps created with the Unlimited Edition. 

The server-side framework automatically responds to the requests to read and write data  by creating JSON or YAML based output. Hypertext Application Language links are automatically included in the responses to enable the API discovery.

The new REST API is the automatic reflection of your data controllers, lookups, and dataview fields. The root entry point of the API serves as the introspection end-point that helps to learn what’s possible.

API Keys and access tokens help authenticating the request. The new API can be used internally and also as a middleware for the projects that require database access. Developers can even enable the “middleware” mode when no user interface options are available and only the API requests are being handled. 

Camera-Based Barcode Scanning

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.

V9 and Integrated Community

We have made great progress in delivering the new browser-based development environment for your apps. The screenshots above show the live preview mode of upcoming v9. It will become the default mode for Code On Time developers and provide property grids and  toolbars with drag & drop configuration and point-and-click inspection of live apps.

The community forum is integrated into the new development environment and will allow discussing and documenting various features right from the property grid. The news feed will also be readily available along with the place to see the latest discussions, tickets, and blog posts.