Martyn's blog for the Revelation Software community, sharing ideas, news, views and more. NOTE – Views and opinions expressed in this blog are personal and do not necessarily represent those of Revelation Software.
Revelation Software’s latest release of OpenInsight, version 10.1, has changes, new functionality, and improved performance throughout the product. In this webinar, Bob Carten and Bryan Shumsky will be highlighting and demonstrating some of these improvements, including a new Database Tool panel, a brand new Examples application, new REST functionality, updated help and support documents, and more.
The new Examples application, included in the 10.1 download, provides sample forms, reports, popups, and source code. It is intended to show developers some of what can be done with OpenInsight 10.1, and perhaps more importantly, how to get it done, with real world, practical examples.
This webinar will also show menu designer updates, new databinding functionality, changes to the Form Designer tool panel, plus more.
No matter your development focus, there is probably something for you in this new version of OpenInsight. We strongly recommend that anyone who is considering developing applications in OpenInsight attend this webinar.
Don’t miss this live event on Thursday, July 22nd, 11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET.
Register Now to attend the webinar OpenInsight 10.1: New and Improved.
So, this is more of a note to myself, more than anything but some of you might find this useful.
For the longest time, I have been battling with enabling and disabling Cut, Copy and Paste buttons in my applications. They were all handled on a per control basis with cumbersome code trying to work out how to set the buttons. I was never professional and never very good.
Enter OpenInsight 10 and the new EditStateChanged property, Carl’s OI10 blog posting on the subject and a lesson from Andrew about promoted events.
A couple of hours later (mostly learning and debugging, so most of you would do this in 5 minutes), I now have a system where the Cut, Copy and Paste buttons are correctly enabling and disabling based on the state of the system. For example, you select some text and the Copy and Cut buttons enable. You clear the Windows Clipboard and the Paste button disables.
OpenInisght 10 really is making building Windows desktop and web applications easier and easier.
I must apologise for the delay in getting my new demo application (video preview linked above) to RevUS and in turn to our WORKS subscribers. A few of you have been asking when and how you can get hold of the system and I thought it best to provide everyone with an update.
The reason for the delay is that I was proud of what I had managed to achieve using OpenInsight 10 and I thought that I ought to run it passed Andrew before releasing it to the world. And, therein rests lesson number one – You are rarely as clever as you think you are when it comes to things that you don’t really understand and boy, did I come down to earth with a bump.
I jest of course. I do these little projects for personal development and to better understand the tools that I am selling here at Revelation. I therefore know that what I do is very basic and there are always better and more efficient ways of doing things. This project has been one huge example of that fact.
So, I gave Andrew access to the system and he reviewed the programs. Pretty much every program needs some enhancement of varying degrees. Much of it is repetitive and one or two of the programs have been completely rewritten by Andrew for me. I’ve just needed to copy in the draft code and debug for some programs and I have had to fully understand and apply that new found knowledge to others – learning lots and lots and lots along the way. The code will no doubt not be 100% efficient and right, but it’ll be a whole lot closer following this work.
Now, his post has sounded a little negative thus far and that is all tongue in cheek. But, I did get my own back last week by being a massive thorn in Andrew’s side. Some questions were painfully stupid, leaving me hanging my head in shame and sometimes I was just too slow to grasp the concept, but Andrew has been super patient with me and I am now nearing completion of the code changes. There is just one large hurdle to overcome and yes, I will be asking Andrew for his help with that one.
So for his time and patience and understanding, I’d like to thank Andrew for helping me to make this new examples application so, so, so, so much better.
So what have been some of the changes. I will not go into all of them but some noteworthy changes are:
The use of arrays in place of stacked Set_Property statements. In some places, I had stacked half a dozen or more Set_Property calls, not knowing that each was an overhead in its own right. These have now been changed for arrays and only a single call which is much more efficient.
I had a few places where I was existing out of programs mid-way through the code. Andrew taught me to use a different technique to let the code run to the end properly.
I had been using <-1> in places when working with some arrays and he has shown me how to change that for better and more efficient code.
I had a MOUSEMOVE event which was being checked hundreds (possibly) or times as I moved the mouse over buttons. A quick change to my code now only does this once as I enter the button and not as I move across it.
The list goes on, but it has been a fascinating and sometimes frustrating few days. The end result is a head that is about to explode but better code for those of you that will be diving into it to see how things have been done.
Again, a massive personal thank you to Andrew for the education and his time.
With the release of the 10.0.8 beta program, I decided to give the desktop development side of the software a good test and I looked around at a system that I could write from the ground up. This is nothing new because, now that things are so much easier in version 10 and because they enable me as a junior developer to build functional systems, I have taken this approach to test most of the version 10 releases. It is also much nicer to build something with some perceived value, you don’t feel like you are wasting your time.
Anyway, here is where I let the cat out of the bag and expose my awful guitar skills. For the last year of so, I have been trying to learn how to play the guitar and (under a pseudonym) I have been documenting my journey online. Progress has been woefully slow and I had been trying to keep motivated using some free online practice logging tools but, as usual, none included all of the things that I wanted to cover.
Enter OpenInsight 10 and another hair brained idea to build my own system.
Version 10.0.8 is definitely the best OpenInsight release yet and I have been amazed at what I can now build using the software. So much so, I have invested a lot of time learning how to build this system better than my previous script driven systems. I have removed a lot of my code and used the system code (via simply setting the properties) and I have also taken the leap into the world of commuter modules. With the ability to have both data entry form AND your code open at the same time, makes working in OpenInsight 10 a dream.
Anyway, with some tuition along the way, including some help from Revelation Software developers to create a wickedly awesome on screen report with animated charts, and a bucket load of time, mixed with the odd tear or two (sometimes I find writing code so frustrating), I am now very close to completing the system.
So why this article?
Well, I am hoping to make it available to all of our valued WORKS subscribers, as a brand new example application. Some (most) of the code that I have written is not optimised and it is not an example of best practice (I am still a junior, learning fast) but I hope that the system will provide a nice example of how Windows based systems can easily be put together using OpenInsight 10. And, if I can produce this as a junior developer, just imagine what you guys can produce as professionals.
I will be making this system available to my YouTube subscribers, via my personal guitar YouTube channel (My Sic String Journey). That system will be empty of data and supplied via a single setup.exe file. Revelation Software will also make the system available to WORKS subscribers.
OpenInsight 10.0.8 and above now optionally installs an open-source version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). During the installation process, you can choose to either install this open-source version, or – if you have a different version of Java already on your system, or you wish to manually install a version of Java – you can opt to NOT install the open-source version. Note that the open-source version installed via the installation process does not update your system paths; rather, it puts the JRE directly inside the OpenInsight folder. Both the commands (batch files) to install the EngineServer service, and to run the Engine Server in “debug” mode, are aware of the location of the JRE and thus do not require modifications to the workstation’s/server’s environment settings.
OpenInsight’s RLIST functionality and performance, improved with the 10.0.7 release, has now been changed to use this new version of RLIST (RLISTX) by default. If you wish to configure your system to use legacy RLIST behavior, you must create or update a configuration record in SYSENV. Using the Record Editor, or the Configuration Record option from the OI Console, you must create a CFG_RTI_RLIST record in SYSENV, with RLIST9 in field 1. If this record doesn’t exist, or has anything other than RLIST9 in field 1, then enhanced RLIST behavior (“RLIST X”) and functionality will remain. (Note that the CFG_RTI_RLIST information is cached by your system; after changing this value, you should exit and re-enter OpenInsight).
Other notable changes in the OpenInsight 10.0.8 release include an improved startup process, better OLE and custom property support in the Form Designer, and newly customizable login dialogs.
The 10.0.8 Release includes enhancements to:
Click HERE to view or download the OpenInsight 10.0.8 ChangeLog.
<Originally published in Revelation Software’s September 2020 newsletter>
Please be advised that the email system for both Revelation Software UK and Sprezzatura is down today – 14th March 2019.
We understand that email sent to us is ‘not’ bouncing back to the sender and therefore people might not be aware that there is an issue.
The issue is with our third party email provider and a support incident has been raised. However, at the time of writing, we do not have any details about the cause of the issue nor know when the issue will be resolved.
We will all respond to email as soon as the system is back up and running and we are receiving email again.
I’ll be the first to admit that, the above image is not a very pretty sight, but this is where is all happens – the recording of my YouTube videos of course.
It is a hive of furious activity at the moment and I really cannot crank out these OpenInsight 10 (OI10) lessons quickly enough.
Anyway, a few people have been asking me what I use, how I prepare, what my workflow is and the like. This has got me thinking and it builds on a conversation that I’ve been having with one of my UK VARs over recent months.
I am considering offering my skills to any Revelation Software VAR who needs to put together one or more videos for their OpenInsight based application. This could be a short introduction video, a training video or three, or anything else that you need. These would primarily be screen cast type videos, but we could consider personal videos (i.e. you in the video) if you prefer. That said, this proposal is more about getting your application in front of people and having it on YouTube, Vimeo or wherever you prefer.
Video really is one of the first ports of call when people are researching and evaluating things and software is no exception.
So, if this is something that you might be interested in exploring please comment below, or drop me an email if you’d prefer to keep things offline.
So, I’ve been quiet on the blog for a few days but I’ve been far from quiet in the office. As well as the day job, I have been busy creating OpenInsight 10 (OI10) Lesson videos and there are currently ten lessons online. I’m now getting into building forms, so now is a good time to head over to my new OI10 YouTube Channel, catch up on what I’ve been doing and also please remember to subscribe.
Subscribing and commenting lets me know that it is worth my time creating these videos and that people are finding them useful or not. If you are a positive comment, a like and subscribe online would be welcome. If not, please drop me an email explaining why and I’ll try to change before I get too much further into the series.
I am also pleased to feature the RevUS DBTA video from yesterday. This is a video that features Mike Ruane, Bryan Shumsky and Bob Catalano (all from Revelation Software in the USA) all talking about the many “Features and Benefits of OpenInsight 10”.
In addition, and a first for my YouTube channels, I have a guest presenter. Andrew from Sprezzatura worked on something for me recently and which will become a big time saver and another example of using the OI10 tool set, rather than cutting and maintaining code. His video went live this afternoon on the channel.
Anyway, please like, subscribe and comment and help me to keep putting in the hours to get the series of lessons completed and, once that’s done, I’ll be looking for other OI related subjects, hints, tips and how-to’s to video.
So, it was mentioned to me that I was using a static control to launch the pop-up in my video this morning. Whereas, Andrew was using a Hyperlink Control to do the same. So what’s the difference and why did I opt for the Static Control?
I’ve just uploaded a new video to show the difference between the two and to show why I preferred the static text control in my application – mainly for a little more control owing to the background colour scheme that I have been using in my windows – no other good reason.
I hope that you are finding these videos useful and I’ll welcome your comments, feedback and ideas for more snippet videos like this one.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.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.