My App’s now full of Bugs :)


BugSo, I am a week into my OpenInsight 9.4 to OpenInsight 10 (OI10) conversion which is basically just playing around with the interface and I really like how things are going.  I have a brand new colour scheme and ripping out loads of code.  I was keeping a tally, but I’m about 2/3rd of the was through and nearly 2,000 lines of cobbled together code have been deleted in favour of setting properties and thereby using professionally written code to run my application.

Last night, I managed to introduce a long overdue and much longed for Progress Bar which runs whilst my data grids are loading during system startup.  A trivial task for most of my blog readers, but quite a result for me all the same.  It’s nice when you manage to achieve something after a struggle and this is one such case.  It does put a smile on my face every time I launch my OpenInsight 10 application, so it’s well worth it in my mind.

Progress Bar

Using graphics in OpenInsight to build some really nice interfaces is child’s play now.  the key is having a good graphics library to pull from and I’m extremely lucky to have access to Icon Experience‘s graphics library.  With nearly 3,000 images in the library that I’m using, and they have several libraries and numerous sizes of each image in each library, they have a graphic (.png and .ico) that just about meets any requirement when building an application.

Anyway, I’m pleased to now be 100% OpenInsight 10.  Since rebuilding my computer, I have found no reason to install OpenInsight 9.4 and I’m now both developing in OI10 and using my Revelation Contact Manager on a daily basis running under OI10.

Great job guys.

I cannot produce any videos of my progress thus far because I’m working with live sensitive data.  However, once this project is done, I will look to put a video or two together using the old Clinic application that I used for the OI9.x tutorials.  Watch my blog for more information and video links as I begin that project.

If you are an OpenInsight WORKS subscriber, you can get the OpenInsight 10 Beta 4 software from the WORKS area on www.revelation.com.   If you are not a WORKS member, please drop me a line and I’ll be pleased to arrange a time to talk a little more about OpenInsight 10 and the supporting WORKS subscription service that underwrites the development suite.

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10 + 10 = Ouch!!


So, I had some computer issues yesterday (not OpenInsight based I am pleased to confirm) but the end result saw me blowing my machine away and opting for a complete factory reset.  This is usually a pretty painful task, but ‘boy’, did I not know the half of it.  This posting is therefore a reminder for me and also to enable all OpenInsight installers to better prepare for their OpenInsight installations.

With my machine sitting with a newly installed copy of Windows 10, I updated my Internet Security and immediately dived into installing OpenInsight 10 on my machine – well it is the most important piece of software on my box and an application that runs my working life.  Well, I say install but I actually did what I have done a thousand times before and simply copied the RevSoft folder from my backup drive onto my new Windows 10 installation and launched the ClientInstall.exe to install those all important files that OI10 needs to operate properly. 5

Before doing anything with OpenInsight and as per the normal OpenInsight installation documentation, I took the added precaution and checked to make sure that I had the .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.6 installed on my machine.

All was good with both Frameworks displayed in the “Turn Windows features on or off” window.

I therefore ‘thought’ that I was good to go and copied over my backed up RevSoft folder, then I located and launched the ClientInstall.exe file using the ‘Run As Administrator’ option.  However, half way through the install I got the following warning.

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Now, I know that I don’t have the later .NET Framework installed, so I clicked ‘Yes’ to launch the Microsoft webpage.  This presented me with the .NET Framework 4.7.1 option front and centre and that seemed like a good choice – well it can’t hurt to have the latest version.

Alas, after downloading the file and running it, I was presented with a Microsoft .NET Framework Blocking Issue warning and the only option is to Close out of the installation.   2

OK, so the OI system did say that I needed 4.7, so back to the Microsoft website and towards the bottom of the page are several options including 4.7.  Naturally, I downloaded and installed that version.  Alas, the exact same Blocking result:

3.png

I knew that I’d had the earlier version installed, so I tried 4.6 but, as expected I was told that it is already installed.  Out of desperation I thought I’d try the 4.6.2  version and success, it ran through a full installation.

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Jumping back into the OI ClientInstall I ran the file and crossed my fingers.  Again, the installation failed.  OI really does want 4.7 and nothing else will do.

Time to dive into the ‘More Information’ link and something that I really should have done first off.  This presented me with a long page of different things that can affect the .NET installer but towards the bottom covering just a couple of lines is a note about the .NET Framework 4.7 needing the Windows 10 Creators edition.  Checking my machine and because this is a machine that is a couple of years old, I naturally have an older version.

So, into Update and Security and I began to download the upgrades.

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With the first set of upgrades installed, I ran the updates check again and the system went off to pull down the Creators Fall Edition, one heck of a long download and almost as long to install.  This process began at around 10:00 hrs this morning.  It’s now gone 16:00 hrs and the Creators Edition is finally installed.  One last update check and one last batch before a final check and we are finally up to date.

7

This time when I ran the ClientInstall, the system ran through as expected with no call out to Microsoft and no need to manually install the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7, that appears to be installed as part of the update.

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Somewhat relieved that all now appeared good, despite nearly a whole working day taken to run the upgrades, I launched OpenInsight 10 and my application and it is now functioning exactly as expected – PHEW!!!

So, what is the moral of this sorry tale or woe, angst and dead ends.

The Number One Rule:  Make sure that you or your client have your windows 10 machines fully upgraded BEFORE you step through the door to undertake any software installation that needs a .NET Framework and especially OpenInsight 10.

I’d have hated to have arrived on a client’s site to install their new OI10 based system, to find myself sitting there waiting for Windows 10 machines to update.  One would hope that the machines will have been installed for a while and be fully updated, but you just know that there will be people who only opened the box and turned it on that morning.

Also, be warned that if you have to blow your machine away and back to factory settings and it’s running an earlier Windows 10 release, you will have to factor in a long wait.  I guess that there can be something said for keeping mirror image backups.

So, now that I have my OpenInsight 10 working you’d think that I’m about to dive in and continue with my conversion.  Nope, I’m off to coach archery and OI10 will have to wait until a little later.

Resolving Open File Security Warning when Launching OpenInsight.


OInsight.exe File Security Warning Message

If you deploy OpenInsight systems and come across the Open File Security Warning in Windows, then Jared at SRP has three very useful options for you to consider and which will enhance and ease your OpenInsight deployments.

Jared has blogged the options in details and they can be found at the URL copied below.

http://blog.srpcs.com/resolving-open-file-security-warning-when-launching-openinsight/

 

When is a bug not a bug…


… when Martyn is playing with the OpenInsight 10 Beta and his knowledge of the new system is lacking <lol>.

OI10Beta

As many of you will know, I have been working with the OpenInsight 10 alpha for sometime and I recently downloaded and begun playing with the official OI10 Beta which was released a week or so ago.

I’d reported a good number of issues to RevUS during the Alpha program and I’m pleased to see many of those issues resolved in the Beta and a mountain of other things now working and working really nicely.

OI10 is a massive change from the old 9.x versions.  It is so much easier to use and massively more developer friendly.  I’ve only really played in the forms designer (image above), popup designer and scripting tools but it is a brand new world compared to the old interface and tools.

For example, the Main Application Manager window lists your recently accessed entities, making access to those entities a day or two later super easy.  Once in the forms designer, you can now have multiple forms open and you can work on them all at the same time – although I’ve confused myself on numerous occasions and found that the tab bar gets a little full.  However, I absolutely love the ability to have a form open and then scripts and Quick Events open for that form, popups associated with that form, graphic files associated with that form and more – it’s just so intuitive and super, super easy to jump between entities.  No more closing things, drilling down to find new entities and opening them – it’s just a massive, massive time saver, let alone more organised.

Then you have the properties and events readily available at the side of the interface.  I usually have the Properties panel open because there are just so many properties that have been exposed to make life even easier for developers.

I used to write loads of lines of code to handle row shading, window positioning and the like, now it’s a value in the properties window.  This makes for exact positioning, the creation of some lovely looking windows, better graphics handling and much much more.

As I get more into OpenInsight 10, I find that it is the little details that are making all the difference.  For example, when compiling a form, I get an immediate notification of an issue in the output panel at the bottom of the window in red text.  So  much more is delivered right to the developer in the interface.

All of the usual tools are in the toolset, although just about everything has had a makeover or some level of enhancement.  The changes within the toolset are huge and massively beneficial.  The only downside is that there is going to be work for all of us moving existing OpenInsight applications to OpenInsight 10 but the benefits will be well, well worth the time and effort.

As for non-OpenInsight developers.  Well, Revelation are now delivering one of the few fully integrated application development suites for both super rich desktop and amazing web based applications.  We now have a very intuitive toolset that developers using other tools will be right at home with and which features form design tools, coding tools, debugging tools, reporting tools and much, much more for both desktop and web, right on one comprehensive toolset.

Another massive leap forward is O4W.  This ground breaking toolset, that I used some time ago (as a non developer) to build a proof of concept application and which was finished by the VAR and now used by the employees of some of the Internets biggest names (no need for me to say who), used to be based on a couple of columns and creating more complex interfaces was not overly easy.  With OpenInsight 10, all of that has been addressed and O4W10 (not it’s official name) has really matured into a brilliant piece of technology for those of us who don’t want to learn HTML5, Javascript and the like.

I might be more than a little biased, but I am totally and utterly blown away by what Revelation are now very close to delivering to the OpenInsight development community, the MultiValue development community for widely and business in general.

The beta program is currently open to all OpenInsight WORKS subscribers.  If you are reading this and you are not a WORKS member or you are new to Revelation Software, please contact your nearest Revelation office and we’ll be pleased to assist you in any way that we can.

I was told sometime ago that OpenInsight 10 was set to be a game changer.  I now know why that person said that to me and I can’t wait to learn more about converting my applications and building new systems and proof of concepts for clients and prospects.

Today is going to be a fun day


stock_login_window

So, I’m all caught up on my regular work, far too many people are on holiday and Revelation Software have just uploaded a nice present to my FTP site.  As I write this email, the brand new OI10 beta software (an advanced copy) is being downloaded to my machine and I’ve cleared my workload to spend the next few hours playing with it before RevUS opens.

What a great way to start a Monday morning :D.

List User Locks Administration Tool for OI v9.4


OpenInsight 9.4

Revelation Software have released a new RDK via the WORKS section of http://www.revelation.com which contains an updated LIST_USER_LOCKS window, along with supporting LIST_USER_LOCKS and RTI_LH_INFO procedures.

This utility has been tested with OpenInsight 9.4 and above and the Universal Driver 4.7.2 and Universal Driver 5.0.0.5.

Execute the window LIST_USER_LOCKS. The window will display a list of locked records. Each line item will display computer name, volume, table and record keys. With the Universal Driver 5.0.0.5 the computer name will include the network logon and process ID so that you can determine exactly which session holds the lock on a terminal server.

Works members can download this utility from the Works Downloads section of the web site.
Read On….

New OI User Story


Plumbing Company Modernizes Services with Revelation Software
By Joyce Wells

New England Water Heater is a plumbing services company specializing in water heater repair and installation based in North Waltham, MA. The company provides a centralized service through a network of geographically dispersed plumbing companies in the surrounding region, including its own company, Home Services of New England (HSNE) Plumbing.

NEWH’s services include the sale, lease, installation, and repair of water heaters for non-commercial customers in the New England states, as well as other plumbing services, ranging from fixing leaking faucets to handling oil-to-gas conversions.

To support this work, the company provides a customer hotline in Massachusetts for more than 20,000 accounts. Revelation Software is the backbone of the overall IT system.

Goal
Today, businesses of all types are changing the way they operate. They are adopting hosted services rather than purchasing and maintaining software and hardware on-premises, and, as a result, employees also now frequently work remotely.

With the advances in IT services that have taken place over the past 5 years, NEWH saw an opportunity to move to a cloud-based system to support its employees and customers.  The goal was to improve its overall quality of service while also enabling office staff to access systems from home.

In addition, the company wanted to eliminate the overhead costs of office space, a local area network, and shared printers. Critical to the new set-up was the ability for its affiliated plumbing companies, as well as its own HSNE staff, to input information about service visits and billing into the system and access new assignments while on the road.

Process
In September 2015, NEWH and HSNE decided to eliminate their physical offices, where each employee was provided with a desk, telephone, shared printer, and a desktop computer connected to a local file server to perform their job, said David Harmacek of Harmacek Database Systems, who specializes in Revelation Software products. The process of publishing the company’s 28-year-old Advanced Revelation application to the cloud was handled by Harmacek, who has been a consultant to NEWH since 1994.

When the decision was made to migrate the system, NEWH had a typical Windows Server, internet connections, IP phones for customer support, and a range of website-oriented support interfaces, as well as a hybrid Arev (Advanced Revelation) 32 and OpenInsight 9.4 database system.

To modernize the operations, Harmacek put a plan in motion to switch to a hosted system and began implementing this new approach in February 2016.

The Arev32/OpenInsight system was migrated to a Parallels server. Since the telephones were already on an IP system, no adjustment needed to be made, but office documents and storage outside of the database needed to be moved to Microsoft Office 365 and OneDrive.

As a long-time Revelation Software customer, NEWH uses a system on Revelation’s OpenInsight 9.4 for business processes such as document management, phone calls, and customer support—everything but accounting.

Because the system is so critical to its business—handling processes such as document management, phone calls, and customer support—the NEWH migrated the system to the Parallels 2X RDP server, while also maintaining the physical system, to make sure that everything transitioned flawlessly.

Eventually, even though the company had not yet moved from its physical office space, it began using only the remote services, as if all the employees were working from home, said Harmacek. The dual on-premise and cloud approach lasted until late spring. By June 2016, the company no longer had physical offices, said Harmacek.

Biggest Challenge
“Working with a 28-year-old application, we found that there are many features that are no longer in use, while other capabilities are leveraged all the time and have been just working forever,” said Harmacek.

“The biggest challenge was eliminating the dependence on a local network for file storage and local printing, since the employees could no longer walk over to an office and hand someone a piece of paper, and they could no longer print anything,” he said.  This issue has been solved by using the feature in Parallels 2X that allows a local folder to be managed from the application. Reports and PDF files can be placed onto the remote desktop. Files, both PDFs and images, can be uploaded and integrated with the hosted database.  “Anything that needed to be done had to be accomplished by interacting with the system. I had to find all the places in the processes where this was needed and change the system to allow it to be done that way.”
Read On…