OpenInsight 10.0.6 is now available


didyouknowoi10As many of your will know, I have been a avid supported of OpenInsight 10, working with the alpha, beta and now every release since it was released to the world.

With every new release I find something that makes my life as a developer easier, faster and more pleasurable.  Only last week, I stumbled on the fact that I no longer need my VScroll code to make tab controls work, you now only need the click event and OI10 take care of the rest.  Yet another example of more of my code that I can remove in place of professionally written and optimised code and a time saver for the future when adding new tab controls to my forms.

So, what is new in OpenInsight 10.0.6, which has just been released.

Presentation Server

General

  • Optimised page swap rendering
  • Implemented PAGESWAPRENDERMODE property for paging components
  • Implemented REPAINT method
  • Added Repaint parameter to the INVALIDATE method
  • Removed “inherited event” processing
  • Added RDW_FRAME when setting REDRAW back to TRUE$

DATETIME object

  • Implemented Relative time specifiers for VALUE-based properties

WINDOW object

  • Implemented READPREV method

O4W

General

  • Improved performance by reducing redundant output (for duplicate events and classes)

O4WQUALIFYEVENT

  • Added new event “classlink” for optimization (used for example with a whole table of links or buttons so that there’s only a single function that gets called to act on the click, based on a class name )

O4W Form Wizard

  • Changed to use new optimised classclick event instead of individual qualifyevents on icon buttons
  • Added ability to specify foreground and background colours on search results page

O4W Report Wizard

  • Changed to use new optimised classclick event instead of individual qualifyevents when called as multi-select popup

Lock Manager (OI Console)

  • Changed to use new classclick event

Banded Report Writer (BRW)

  • Added support for SYSDICT items.  Example code added to supplied RTI_BRW_SUPPORT example routine.

Miscellaneous

RTI_CHAIN_SELECT

  • New routine to optimise multiple sequential SELECT statements, when issued either to local OI system or back-end BFS.
  • Subroutine accepts a series of SELECT statements (@fm delimited), determines if local or server selects, runs the statements as a block, and returns the final set of keys as an active select list.
  • Currently implemented for OI, D3, QM hosts.

Click HERE for a copy of the OpenInsight 10.0.6 ChangeLog.

 

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Lots of data to capture in a single form? OpenInsight 10 has the prefect solution.


PropertyGrid1I occasionally have people ask me about user interface design from an end user’s point of view and mostly this is when a developer is tasked with capturing a very large amount of data, needing lots of controls, in one logical place.

Often, it is possible to break up the required data into bite sized chunks, or to categorise it somehow and then present their data controls as a smaller subset on two or more forms.  Sometimes, probably more often than not, it makes sense to break up the form using the tab control and display these subsets of data controls over multiple pages.  This is something that I have done a lot in my demo applications.

However, I am told that this is not always possible and I have seen data entry forms with hundreds of controls, split over countless tabs.  I recently heard of one OpenInsight based system where a control limit had been reached, forcing a rethink of how the data was to be presented to the end users.

Now, I am currently working on a ‘real world’ application that also demands that, on several of the data entry forms, I need to be able to display and capture hundreds of data fields.  For the form that I am currently working on, this means nearly 400 hundred data items and this translates to well over double that number of controls to be maintained on the form.  AND, I can find no logical way to split these controls over multiple forms 😦

A form with this number of controls means that I had a massive tab control and a form running over 20 or more pages.  From a developer’s point of view, this results in a very cumbersome form to manage and maintain at design time.  For example, how would I easily add in new data prompts without having to spend a large amount of time moving controls around to make the new items fit my already crowded forms?   Worse still, it resulted in a very difficult to navigate form for my users.  Yes, they could probably learn where everything is over time, but in the interests of providing my users with an intuitive display from day one and a far easier to navigate user interface, I had to find another method.

So, following a quick prompt from Carl, I took a look at the brand new Property Grid control in OpenInsight 10.  This is not yet data aware (and I’m not sure of any plans to make it data aware), so there is a code to be written behind the scenes for my use of the control, but it was definitely the perfect solution.

So what did I build to get over this large number of controls issue?

PropertyGrid2

As you will see in the data entry form above, I have managed to reduce the tab count to just 12 tabs.  Although this is still quite a lot, they make sense because most of these will be displaying related data from other data tables.  For example, a list of actions to be undertaken or that have been completed with dates, status and notes, or viewing details.  These will be largely edit tables, one on each tab.

The main tab reduction was achieved through the use of the Property Grid, displayed on the right of the form.  When the user is on the Summary tab (shortly to be renamed), the property grid maintains a few hundred property details that were originally split over numerous tabs.  This data is now displayed in a easily navigable, collapsible, categorised list, enabling the user to show and hide data as required.

When designing the Property Grid, the OpenInsight developer is presented with 29 pre-defined control options that are embedded in the new control.  Things like Dialog, Static and colour pickers, right through to combo boxes, file pickers and more.  The user’s choice is then displayed in the grid and it is pretty easy to them pick up those values and save them to the database.  It is also super quick and easy to add in new data items and to have them display under the correct category.

The Property Grid control is fully documented in the ‘OpenInsight 10 Presentation Server Reference Manual’, but writing data to a cell in the grid is just one line of code.  In the example below, valPropertyStatus contains the data to be written and “Property Status” is simply the name that you have defined in the Property Grid row when you built out the various rows.  It really is that easy, no messing around trying to work out in code which cell or row you are in, you simply use an ‘English’ name.

 Call Set_Property_Only ( CtrlEntID, "VALUE", valPropertyStatus, "Property Status" )

Now, as I might have mentioned earlier, the Property Grid is not yet data aware, so you will need to get these data changes and write them to the data record yourself.

However, I have taken a slightly different approach.  I am not a professional OpenInsight application developer, so I in no way suggest that this method is right and proper but it works for me.

As shown in the image below, I wanted to have collector windows for ‘each’ of the data items in the grid.  This enables me to provide my users with a consistent and easy to navigate solution.  It enables me to present my users with all manner of data controls in easily built and maintained collector (dialog) windows.  In the example below, when the user clicks on the Vendor cell (a button displays), the user is presented with a collector window with, not only the vendor’s name, but also their contact information.  This includes the email address and if the user clicks the blue text, OpenInsight will open up the user’s default email client and drop in the vendor’s email address.

PropertyGrid3

You will notice that the orange Record ID box displays the Record ID.  This will be made invisible for the beta, but it is displayed for development purposes at the moment.  This Record ID is passed to the collector window from the calling window and the record is automatically read and displayed for editing.  When the user has made their changes, the data is immediately written to the record.

When the data is saved and the collector window is closed, the Property Grid is updated to display the new value, or values.  In the case of a collector window with multiple data items, I have chosen the best piece of data to display.  In the example above, this is the Vendor’s name.  In some other instances, I have used three dots (. . .) to indicate that there is data to be viewed.  This solution is used when no single data value works.

A nice, easy and good looking solution.  

Now, those of you that are professional developers and observant, will have noticed a flaw in my design.  If I am passing in a record ID, what is to stop the user from saving a value from the Property Grid without a valid Property Record?  This could quickly result in useless data – property characteristic details without a property address and other meaningful data to readily identify the property,

This issue is addressed by simply checking for a valid record on file when the Property Grid is accessed. If there is no record yet saved to file or it does not meet my requirements of having a valid address, access to the Property Grid is blocked, a message is displayed and the message and collector window closes when the user clicks the message’s OK button.  i.e. the user cannot add data to the grid without a valid record being already saved to disk.

PropertyGrid4

Yes, the method that I am using is a little more complicated than just allowing the user to change the data in the Property Grid and have that data saved when the main save button is pressed.  And, I’ll probably allow that as an option further down the line.  However, I’m pretty pleased with this solution and it is definitely making it easier to develop and use my application.

Oh, and for those of you that think creating and maintaining many collector windows is long winded and time consuming, this is actually pretty quick and easy.  I simply:

  1. Use a template window – So, Open and Save As.
  2. Use a template Commuter Module which prompts me for certain bits of information which are dropped into the code automatically and then this is compiled and saved.
  3. Test run the window and add any additional event code that might be needed.

I am not saying that this is the right, recommended or perfect solution but if you would like to see this in more detail please comment below and I’ll look to put a video together with a look at the Property Grid working and the code used behind the forms.

 

How To Deploy OpenInsight 10 To Your Customers


How To Deploy OpenInsight 10 To Your Customers

didyouknowoi

Deployment in OpenInsight 10 is significantly different from prior versions.  Because system information is now encrypted on a per-system basis, you must tell the copy of OpenInsight 10 that you are changing the serial number (which is used in the encryption process) ‘before’ you change it.  Failure to do this will result in a system that cannot be accessed (until you put the original serial number back into the system).

The steps to making a deployment as you want are as follows:

  1. Request, and receive, the new authorisation code from Revelation Software with the new serial number and new number of users.
  2. In your “master” OpenInsight 10 system, in SYSPROG, go to the Settings/Users/Policy Setup menu choice in the IDE.
  3. In the policy configuration window, check the box “System Deployment Preparation” and press the OK button.
  4. In the Serial Number Entry dialog that appears, enter (and re-enter to verify) the new serial number you obtained from Revelation Software and press the OK button.
  5. Remove or change as appropriate the REVPARAM file from the cloned copy of OpenInsight before deployment.
  6. Clone your copy of OpenInsight.

On the client system, your steps will be as follows:

  1. Copy in the cloned copy of OpenInsight.
  2. Update the license information with the new authorisation code/serial number/number of users (see below).
  3. Run the clientsetup.exe routine found in your OpenInsight 10 folder.

At this point, your client’s copy of OpenInsight should be ready to run.

To update the license information, you have two choices.  In the cloned copy of OpenInsight, you can start up the system with your ‘original’ authentication (just by starting up OpenInsight normally), and then go to the Settings/Application Settings menu in the IDE, and choosing “License Renewal”.  You will be prompted to enter the new authorisation code, and (after confirming that the entered information is correct) you can save the new authorisation information, shut down OpenInsight, and restart OpenInsight.  You’ll find that the system is now running with the new serial number/number of users.

Alternatively, if you wish to ship out systems without your authorisation file in it, you can use the (non-GUI) routine to create the new authorisation file.  This step can be done on your ‘master’ copy of OpenInsight, before deployment to the client system.

Open up a DOS command prompt, and “cd” to your OpenInsight 10 folder.  Type in the following:

REVAUTH OI <authcode> CLIENT.LIC

Where <authcode> is replaced with the authentication code you received from Revelation Software (which I believe you can put in quotes).  So for example, you will type something like this:

REVAUTH OI "xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx" CLIENT.LIC

If there are any errors, revauth will respond with “Invalid code entered: <errcode>”. Otherwise, it will create a valid license file named CLIENT.LIC.  Take that CLIENT.LIC file, and copy it into your “cloned” system, RENAMING IT TO REVENGINE.LIC.  This will then become the license/authentication information for the “cloned” copy, and you should then be able to install that copy as outlined above.

Please remember to run the clientsetup.exe after copying in the cloned copy.

First published on www.revelation.com

New Create User Details function


RTI_CREATE_USER_DETAILS function for OpenInsight 10.0.5 and above.

didyouknowoi

OpenInsight 10 provides support for login policies including locking out of users after a definable number of unsuccessful attempts, password construction requirements, etc. Sensitive data for policy and user information is stored in AES encrypted records.  Policies and users are maintained via the OpenInsight 10 IDE.

OpenInsight 10.0.5 and above introduces a new function called RTI_CREATE_USER_DETAILS that allows developers the ability to create a new user or modify information about an existing user in the OpenInsight database.

Description: Creates a new user or modifies information about an existing user in the current database.

Note:  Only Level 1 (Administrator) and Level 2 (System Administrator) users can create users. Level 0 (User) users can only change their own, existing information.

Syntax: RTI_CREATE_USER_DETAILS(userID, currentPwd, userpassword, fullName, validValue, disabledFlag, disabledDate, disabledTime, resetFlag, userType, userLevel, o4wLevel, expirval, expirdate, errDetails)

Return: “1” if the create or edit succeeded
Value: “” or “0” if the create or edit failed, and additional details are returned in the errDetails parameter.

Parameters: The function has the following parameters.

ParameterDescriptionParameterDescription

Parameter Description
userID A user identifier. userID must begin with an alpha character, followed by any combination of characters, digits, and underscores and cannot include spaces.
currentPwd If enhanced authentication is enabled on this OpenInsight system, then a User-level user who wishes to change any user information must pass in the current password in this parameter. This allows the system to verify that they are authorised to make changes to this user information.
userpassword The new password for this user. If enhanced authentication is enabled, then the password must match the specified authentication policy. If legacy authentication is used instead, the password must be a string of characters, 6 to 20 characters in length, and – if not specified – the default is null, and a password is not required to access the database as this user.
fullName The full name of the user.
validValue This is a user-defined parameter that allows the developer to specify additional information that they would like returned if the user’s logged-in state is queried (for example, to implement additional permission levels and groups). By default, this value is “1”.
disabledFlag If enhanced authentication is enabled on this OpenInsight system, then if set (value is “1”), the user will be disabled; if it is reset (value is “0”), the user will no longer be disabled. If the user is disabled, pass in the additional disabledDate and disabledTime parameters.
disabledDate If enhanced authentication is enabled on this OpenInsight system, and the disabledFlag has been set, this parameter specifies the internal date that the user is disabled until.
disabledTime If enhanced authentication is enabled on this OpenInsight system, and the disabledFlag has been set, this parameter specifies the internal time that the user is disabled until.
resetFlag If this parameter is set (“1”), the user must reset their password at the next login.
userType If this user should only be allowed to access the OpenInsight desktop interface, specify “0” for this parameter. If this user should only be allowed to access OpenInsight via O4W, specify “1” for this parameter. If the user should be able to access both desktop and O4W instances, specify “2” for this parameter.
Userlevel If the user is defined as an OI user, or as both an OI and O4W user, specify the OI permissions level here. There are three levels of users. When the user is logged in, the value is stored in the system variable @ADMIN.

There is no default value for Userlevel. If you do not specify a value, execution fails, and an error is generated.

Value Description
0 User
1 Administrator
2 System Administrator
o4wLevel If the user is defined as an O4W user, or both an O4W and OI user, specify the O4W permissions level here. The valid values for O4W permission groups are customisable on a per-site basis.
expirval Expiration parameter for the password. Possible values are:
Value Description
0 Expires at next login
1 Never Expires (default)
2 Expires at the expiry date
expirdate If expirval = 2, the expiration date (passed as a standard output converted date in a format such as mm/dd/yyyy).  Only required if expirval = 2. Note that this value is only relevant when legacy authentication is used on the OpenInsight system; if enhanced authentication is enabled, expiration will be as per policy.
errDetails If any errors are encountered during the execution of this function, they are returned in this parameter.

 

OpenInsight 10.0.5 now available for download.


OI10whiteOpenInsight 10.0.5 is now available in both full install and upgrade options from the WORKS subscriber area on www.revelation.com.

OpenInsight 10 is Revelation Software’s flagship product that provides modern application development tools for both desktop and web (mobile) based solutions.  With everything on one box, the tool-set is fully integrated to enable very fast and cost effective application development and deployment.  With Git features built right into the Integrated Development Environment (IDE), the tools support individual developers right up to multi-disciplined teams spread across countries around the world.

To find out more about the enhancements in this latest release, please click here for the  OpenInsight 10.0.5 Change Log.

To get a copy of the OpenInsight 10.0.5 evaluation and access to the OpenInsight Quick Start Guide videos, please click here.

 

Starting the Presentation Server


didyouknowoiWhile most of an application’s configuration information is stored in various application database records, there are some startup options that need to be determined before the actual database can be accessed (i.e. before the OpenEngine virtual machine is loaded).

The Presentation Server can be configured with a wide range of options at startup, via means of an RXI configuration file, and/or a set of command line switches.  Both methods support nearly all of the same options, but any option specified by a command line switch always overrides the same option specified in the configuration file.

Presentation Server configuration (RXI) files

There are nearly twenty options that can be applied when starting the Presentation Server and adding these as switches to a command line shortcut can be a tedious and error-prone exercise. In order to remedy this, it is possible to create an RXI (Revelation Xml Ini) file to store these options instead, where they are read and parsed by the PS during its boot-up sequence.  Read On…

What’s New in OpenInsight 10.0.4


didyouknowoiStarting with OpenInsight 10.0.4, “child” processes launched from OpenInsight can be configured so that they do not consume additional license seats. In particular, CTO, AREV64, BRW, and O4W calls (using the engine server’s built-in web server) made from a copy of OpenInsight will not count against the licensed count of users.

For example, a single user copy of OpenInsight can now run the IDE, a CTO session, and generate a BRW report at the same time.

Note that this enhancement requires both OpenInsight 10.0.4 (or above), and the Universal Driver 5.2 (or above).

OpenInsight 10.0.4 will work with the Universal Driver 5.1, but it will not exhibit these license enhancements until it is
“paired” with a UD 5.2.

To take advantage of this license enhancement for O4W and engine server tasks, users/developers must update their eserver.cfg file (either directly or through the Settings dialogs). In particular, any passwords that are currently explicitly embedded in the eserver.cfg can be replaced with an asterisk (“*”); this indicates that the specific connection should use the enhanced licensing.

This also has the additional advantage of no longer requiring manual updates to the eserver.cfg file when passwords are changed for the applications or users defined in the connection string. (As an additional enhancement, the username can also be replaced with “*” if you wish to use the ‘default user’ created for an application).     

OpenInsight 10 (10.0.4) will be the final version to target Microsoft’s .Net framework version 4.6.  The next version of OpenInsight 10 will target .Net 4.7.

Certain versions of Windows (for example, those running Windows 10 version 1507 or earlier) may have difficulty installing the .Net 4.7 framework.  Before you install the next release of OpenInsight 10, please ensure that all required systems have been upgraded to .Net 4.7.  For more information click HERE.

Click HERE for a copy of the OpenInsight 10.0.4 ChangeLog.