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.

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Today is going to be a fun day


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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…

Listbox Patch


OI Eye SquareFollowing the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update by Microsoft recently, Revelation found that OpenInsight Listboxes were affected by the update.

A Listbox Patch for OpenInsight 9.4 has therefore been released to address this issue.   The Windows 10 Creators Update has caused Listboxes to no longer display properly in OpenInsight 9.4 and this new patch resolves this issue through the replacement of the existing OInsight.exe.

OpenInsight will show the version as 9.4.2 which can be viewed in the top left corner of the IDE.  OpenInsight Works Members can download the Listbox Patch for OpenInsight 9.4 from the Works Download section of our web site.  If you are an end user, please contact your application author to obtain your application upgrade accordingly.

Vote for OpenInsight


DBTAVoting has now opened for the 2017 Database Trends and Applications Readers’ Choice Awards and OpenInsight has once again made the shortlist in a couple of the categories.

The competition is fierce with some high profile candidates and household names across all sectors of the database technology community but I am pleased to see OpenInsight listed.  If you are an OpenInsight developer or user of one of the many OpenInsight based solutions around the world, it would be great to receive your vote for OpenInsight.

Please Click Here to cast your vote today for one of the most complete and easy to use Application Development tools available.

OECGI4 and REST


didyouknowoiOne of the upgraded features of OpenInsight 10 will be OECGI4, the newest version of our web support routines.

One of the enhancements to OECGI4 (available as both a Windows executable for Windows web servers, and as a PHP routine for Windows or Linux web servers) is additional support for some of the less well known “verbs” used in the HTTP/HTTPS protocol. When using OECGI to support or access web pages, the HTTP and HTTPS protocols use the “POST” and “GET” verbs to submit, and request, information respectively. These have been in common use since the World Wide Web first standardized on the HTTP/HTTPS protocols. But in addition to the familiar POST and GET, HTTP/HTTPS defines other verbs that can be useful when writing RESTful interfaces.

REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer, and is in a way the underlying principle of the Web. When a client makes an HTTP or HTTPS request from a server, the response from the server contains not only the specific information needed to answer that request, but also details that the client can use to get more information, all “bundled up” in the answer. For example, when a request for a web page is made, the web page may contain images, or stylesheets, or script calls. The client has no way of knowing, in advance, if there is one, or a hundred, images in the returned page – but the page itself contains the instructions the client can use to retrieve the images, or the style sheets, or the script pages. The page may even include the data and instructions needed for the client to retrieve other pages (via links, or via pagination). Because of its familiarity, this may seem simple and straightforward when it comes to web pages, but the concept (that nothing is “predefined”, but rather everything is embodied in the responses) can be expanded upon to make much more advanced inter-operating systems.

REST can be used, not just for retrieving and updating web pages, but also to enable computer programs, as well as people, to interact with web services. By building a RESTful interface, a web service designer opens up their web site to the possibility of having other software query it for information, or update it with changes, thus allowing anyone else to put different user interfaces (if any!) on these interactions. While not required for REST, using HTTP and HTTPS, and the additional HTTP/HTTPS verbs, is currently the most common way of implementing this.

In addition to “POST” and “GET”, HTTP/HTTPS (and OECGI4) support the verbs “PUT”, “DELETE”, and “PATCH.” In the RESTful programming world, the “GET” verb is used to retrieve information – either about the other available interfaces this RESTful interface supports, or information about specific “objects”. For example, if you were to create a customer maintenance web service, the “GET” verb might be used to retrieve the list of customers, or the information about a particular customer – or the list of commands that can be applied to those customer “objects”. The “POST” verb is commonly used to create new “objects” – in our example, the “POST” verb might be used to create a new customer. “PUT” and “PATCH” both are commonly used to update existing “objects” – in our example, either “PUT” or “PATCH” may be used to change the customer’s phone number (PUT may wipe out any data in fields that aren’t specified, while PATCH should only update the specified fields). Finally, “DELETE” is most commonly used to remove “objects”.

When using OECGI4, you can examine the request parameter to find the “request method” (defined in the INET_EQUATES insert), and – with the appropriate INET_XXX stored procedures – you can begin to implement your own web service.

Interested in learning more about RESTful programming? For additional information, please see the following resources:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/671118/what-exactly-is-restful-programming

http://blog.octo.com/en/design-a-rest-api/