Monday, February 7, 2011

Reporting Enhancements, Search By Hidden Fields, etc.

Numerous enhancements to Code On Time web application generator were released with this update.

Reporting

Hidden fields are now available in the search bar. Previously the hidden fields were searchable through “quick find” only.

Dynamic report template has received multiple improvements in ASP.NET 4.0 version of the generated applications.

New option “Word Document” is now available in Report menu on action bar of views. The option will produce a Microsoft Word version of the report. All reports are being rendered by Microsoft Report Viewer component. There is a long standing bug confirmed by Microsoft - the page footer from the first page of the Word document duplicates to the other pages of the report. This makes the new reporting option less exciting.

User defined filters are now displayed on reports. This is a unique feature available only with Code On Time applications.

Aggregate functions defined on data fields of a view are now reproduced on dynamic reports as well.

New view property Report Label allows specifying a title that must print on dynamic reports. Previously the label property of a view was used for the same purpose.

“Report” action command now supports extended arguments. For example, command argument “mytemplate.xslt,grid2” will print a dynamic report with the data supplied by grid2. Command argument “CusotmerList.rdlc",customerGridView” will print a static report based on a custom RDLC template using cusotmerGridView view as a source of data.

Business Rules

Read-only fields are now being transferred along with the writable fields from the client to the server, which allows accessing this data in business rules. Previous implementation was ignoring read-only fields including fields that were not accessible to the user due to role restrictions. This is a big change.

The values are passed as instances of FieldValue class. This class provides new ReadOnly property. If the value of the property is set to True then the field is ignored by the application framework when INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements are being constructed.

The Controller class has been refactored. The entire functionality of the data controller implementation has been moved to DataControllerBase class. The Controller class has been declared as a partial class based on DataControllerBase. This allows creating custom partial implementation of Controller class that may override virtual methods of the base such as CreateConnection. This may be useful if you wish to supply an alternative method to produce a connection string for your application at runtime.

Client Library

Client library now features new shortcut that can be used to locate user interface elements rendered by client library.

The prototype of the function is presented below.

function $dvget(controller, view, fieldName, containerOnly)

The last parameter can be used to find a DOM element that includes the header, value, and error elements of the corresponding data field if the value of the parameter is set to true. Otherwise the function will return the actual physical DOM element that holds the value of the data field.

Framework

New and long awaited field property ItemsDataView now complements ItemsDataController and allows specifying a lookup view other than grid1 in the lookup fields.

New view property Group allows sharing of user-defined filters. For example, declare two views grid1 and grid2 in a data controller. Run the application and apply filters to grid1. Select grid2 in the view selector and observe that filters are absolutely independent. Set property Group on both views to X and observe that filters assigned in one view will be “transferred” to the second view.

New view property Show In Selector allows declaring views that are not selectable in view selector (the box on the right hand side of the action bar). Simply uncheck the check box to hide the view from the selector.

New data view property Show Quick Find allows hiding the “quick find” box from the grid views of a data controller on a page.

New data view property Show Search Bar allows hiding the search bar controls from the grid views of a data controller on a page.

Code Generator

The code generator has been enhanced to display the page with release notes when updates are being installed.

The code generator will hint if Microsoft SQL Express is not available on the computer when ASP.NET Membership option is enabled in the project.

The code generator will detect the physical location of Visual Studio / Visual Web Developer if the IDE is installed into a custom location.

Future Enhancements

We are getting ready to release support for My SQL and Sybase as data sources of Code On Time projects.

Enhanced image/file processing with automatic support for content type, content length, file name, and custom location for uploaded content is coming soon.

New “basket” lookup style is being worked on as well. This will be a combination of “check box list” and “lookup” functionality.

The date time picker will be introduced to allow selecting time component of dates in AJAX fashion.

Tree view will offer a great mechanism of working with hierarchies.

Azure Factory project will allow deployment of the generated apps to the cloud.

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