Easter Weekend


Firstly, may I wish all of you celebrating Easter weekend a very good and safe weekend, especially if you are travelling – let’s hope that the weather stays kind to us.

The RevUK and Sprezzatura offices will be officially closed on Friday and Monday for the Public Bank Holiday weekend.  Normal service will resume on Tuesday 3rd April.

However, because we are so close to the OI10 release and because there is masses to do, some of us ‘might’ be monitoring email from time to time.  If you need us for any urgent technical issue that cannot wait until Tuesday morning, please be sure to email support@revsoft.co.uk or support@sprezzatura.com and mark your subject line as ‘URGENT SUPPORT REQUEST’, rather than calling the office by phone.

Whilst I cannot guarantee a response, or even a quick response, this will be the best method to contact us over the weekend.

Many thanks,
M.

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Major Milestone for OI10


didyouknowoi10As many of you will know, I have been an avid alpha and then beta tester for OpenInsight 10 (OI10).  I have fully converted my internal RevUK CRM system, worked on a few other OI10 based systems and posted a fair number of issues for the guys to look at over the last year or so.

Throughout the project those issues have been cleared and just recently I’ve seen a floury of activity on my issues and lots of them being addressed and closed.  It has been very rewarding to have been just one of the many beta testers and I just hope that, in some very small way, I’ll have helped to make the final release as best as possible for the team working on the next generation of our amazing Windows application development environment.

However, the big news is that Revelation have just reached a
major milestone with the development of OpenInsight 10.

Over the weekend, I learned that the OI10 Beta 7 has been released.  Nothing special in that, other than this has been cited as the ‘last (final) alpha’ to be released.  In his posting on LinkedIn, Mike has also gone on record to state that the scheduled release date for the full release is the 16th April.

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I’d like to add my thanks to everyone that has been contributing to the beta program through testing and working with the beta versions and feeding back their thoughts, issues and successes.

If you have not yet played with the OI10 software and you have an OI based system, now is the time to register for the beta, download the final beta release and run your applications through the conversion tools.  You might just find an application specific issue that you would like addressing ahead of the final release.

 

Snakes and Ladders


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Over the last year or so, I’ve heard more and more about Python and how development tools need to support the language.  I’m told that students are leaving college with Python experience and it is therefore a great way to bring new, engaging and dynamic ideas into the development community and the MultiValue market could sure do with a dose of that right now.  In addition, some of the MultiValue manufacturers are riding the current wave and actively promoting their support for Python.

Whilst there have been questions from the MultiValue community about who might be using Python, I’m yet to come across many people who have actually taken the plunge and it’s been a largely mute topic within our own Revelation community in the EMEA region – until this week though.

It is no secret that many OpenInsight developers are remaining in position and not moving around too much.  Coupled with the fact that the MultiValue market place is getting older and developers are retiring (it is an inevitable fact), and we find that we need to resource projects from outside of the community.  Just recently Andrew, from Sprezzatura, has completed another series of tutorial workshops for another RevUK client.  Like the previous workshop, this one included a number of highly skilled professional developers from India.  The first OpenInsight VAR was extending their internal team using their own developers in India, this time it was a pure outsourcing deal to expand the development and support resources.

Enter the snake (Python).  Yet another OpenInsight development house looked outside of the community to expand their team and the chosen candidate has been getting to grips with the toolset ahead of starting their position later this week.  As part his first steps with OpenInsight, he asked about support for other database technologies and this week Python finally came up.

It was only to be a matter of time before someone asked me about
OpenInsight and python.

A quick email to support and Bob Carten got back to me with the usual response that I’ve become used to from the OI development team, “Of course we can do that”.

The specific request was whether Python scripts could be easily and reliably called from within OpenInsight using the Quick Event tied to a button.  The pretty straight forward and basic request resulted in a detailed reply from Bob:

“Yes, you can call Python scripts from OpenInsight.  The simplest way is to use the utility ‘RUNWIN’ service:

    cmd = 'py ': quote(filename)
    call Utility("RUNWIN", cmd, 0)

The attached py_shell (Bob included this as a .txt document in his reply email to me) is an example program which would let you pass in the name of a python file or just the body of a python script.  At the end it just calls Utility “RUNWIN”, the rest is window dressing.

However, that window dressing demonstrates some common techniques we use for writing object-ish programs in OpenInsight.  The typical use case for these techniques is creating commuter modules for OpenInsight forms.  We use the term “commuter module” to describe a program which handles all the events for a window.  We have a standard quick event which will call your commuter module.  For a window named “MYWINDOW”, the commuter module is a Basic+ program named MYWINDOW or MYWINDOW_EVENTS, which follows some conventions.  The attached RTI_LH_STATISTICS_EVENTS program (again attached in Bob’s email to me) is an example of a commuter module.  You can cannibalize it for your own modules.  The relevant parts are from line 1 to 81, which is where it implements the “interface” for commuter modules.

See https://www.revelation.com/o4wtrs/KB_Articles/KB1040.htm “

Please drop me an email if you would like a copy of the py_shell.txt and rti_lh_statistics_events.txt files that Bob included in his email.

So that’s the snake, what about the ladder?

OpenInsight 10 is giving developers a real step up the ladder when it comes to Rapid Application Development.  So much is done for you and I find myself simply setting a property in the Property Panel, rather than writing, debugging and maintaining lines of code.  Better still, I’m then using optimised professionally written code and not code that I have cobbled together – well I’m no professional developer.

Anyway, I’m told that support for third party code gets even better in OpenInsight 10 and Bob is using the new technique a lot as part of RTI_GIT, which is one of OpenInsight’s native support programs for Git.

More on that in another posting, coming soon.