I am pleased to announce that we have just released a new version of CodeGen with the following enhancements:
- We modified the way that key loops are processed so that if a repository structure has a mixture of access keys and foreign keys defined, the foreign keys are ignored when processing key loops.
- We added a new key loop expression <IF FIRST_SEG_NOCASE>.
- We added four new field loop expressions <IF AUTO_SEQUENCE>, <IF AUTO_TIMESTAMP>, <IF AUTO_TIMESTAMP_CREATED> and <IF AUTO_TIMESTAMP_UPDATED> which can be used to determine if fields are defined as auto sequence or auto time-stamp fields.
- We added two new key loop expressions <IF AUTO_TIMESTAMP_CREATED> and <IF AUTO_TIMESTAMP_UPDATED>.
- We added two new key segment loop expressions <IF SEG_AUTO_TIMESTAMP_CREATED> and <IF SEG_AUTO_TIMESTAMP_UPDATED>.
- We changed the behavior of the field loop expansion token <FIELD_TYPE_NAME> when used in conjunction with auto-sequence and auto-time-stamp fields.
This version of CodeGen is built with Synergy/DE 10.3.3a, requires a minimum Synergy runtime version of 10.1.1, and can be downloaded from here.
Apparently UI design is more than just picking colours for you controls – who would have guessed it. Now if the Senior Director of Design @ Infragistics is telling you this then I guess it’s time to listen. I’m all for a good UI design – but in our world sometimes it’s just too easy to take the “take what we have and make do” approach. If you have a cell-based or even a UI Toolkit screen cluttered with fields, drop-downs, lists etc. then surely that’s what the users want to see in your shiny new app right? Well maybe, but then you struggle with new prospects because your UI looks, well, wrong. The functionality of the application beats the competition hands-down, but often it’s not good enough to even get your foot in the door. And for all you in-house developers who don’t have a system to “sell” – don’t look away now as your users are just as important to keep happy as the next sales prospect. Imagine if you had to write that cool new app using “notepad” – no intellisence, drag and drop didn’t exist, only one edit buffer available, the list is endless – but in a nutshell you’d leave and go program somewhere where they provided the best tools for you to do your job. And so it is the same for your users – give them the tools to perform at their best.
And then we come back to the age old problem – ten-key. You just can’t beat data entry on a cell based system. While this is generally accepted as true, there are ways to improve the process. Reduce or in many cases eliminate the chrome around the application (I think the cool term today is “flatten”). Does every other field have to be a comb-box – why not let the user enter the “known only to them” code and provide the newbies with a clickable button to “find” the one they want – you’ll soon find them entering the code! Choose a colour scheme that matches the environment. If you application is for office based people then make the screen light and bright – it’s easier on the eyes in a bright open office. Or maybe your application is being used in a dark control room – no windows or natural sunlight, so make the application darker and milder to reflect this. Align your controls, prompts and buttons to a gird like structure. Don’t overdo the font types and sizes. And of course there is the 1.617 rule!
It’s interesting that many of the sessions this year are more about making your apps look right and not actually making you aps.
A few of you may remember me from my days with various software companies, where for many years I developed vertical market software. We may have rubbed elbows at an SPC, or met more recently while I was a Synergex PSG Consultant. After a really quick year or so in that role, I have now moved into a managerial position with Synergex, so, this is now Don Fillion, Director of Professional Services, kicking off PSG’s contribution to the blogosphere, the Synergy/DE PSG Blog!
As you are probably aware, we have some pretty fine consultants in the Professional Services Group: masters at working with customers to apply the technology Synergex develops. This blog is really their forum, a place for them to expound on their thoughts concerning software application development in the land of Synergy/DE (and beyond…!)—and hopefully pass along some insight gained during their various engagements. But it’s your place too, as we hope posts will engender some lively discussion.
So, welcome! If you have ideas or suggestions about future posts, or you would just like to discuss the latest technology trends and how they impact you, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to working with you!
PS… As I was researching weblogs, I came across some pretty cool sites. One of the best was LIFEHACKER – tips and downloads for getting things done. It’s kind of a toolbox and discussion forum for modern (techie) life. Check it out!