Monday, October 16, 2006

WYSIBTB: What You See Is Better Than Before

OK, you've been asking about the new features in eDeveloper V10. So I'll start with the GUI improvements. Future posts will get into the nitty gritty of other aspects of the latest version.

1. Windows XP Style - Provide your end-users a standard-looking application that adheres to the Windows XP style. For most developers, this single enhancement is worth the price of admission to the whole eDeveloper V10 upgrade show. Let's face it, a well designed, fresh looking user interface is 90% of the battle in user satisfaction and user acceptance.

2. Shifting Table Columns - Enable your end user to freely re-order the columns of any table style display. This is a runtime feature and I love it. Just click, drag release and the column is moved. As a developer, you can disable it if you want to, but in most cases this is just grease. Love it.

3. Improved Tab Control - The new Tab control style enables you to set as many tabs as you need to be easily viewed using a vertical scroll or using multi line display. And let's not forget, customize the tab order. That's been a pretty highly requested feature and should make most magicians very happy.

4. Tab, Radio, and Check Box Icons - Enrich your application's UI by adding a relevant icon for every tab in a tab control, for every option in a radio button, and for check boxes. These new icons are clean and easy to use. The GUI editor is, well, really a GUI editor now. Cool.

5. Manageable Radio Buttons - Get better control on Radio Buttons option by freely laying out any Radio Button option. And this means you can put the radio button where you want it for best use of application white space, etc.

6. 3 States Check Box - Provide a proper visualization for NULL values of logical fields by using the 3 State support of the Check box control. The NULL value is the indeterminate state and it looks like a square filling the check box. Basically letting the user know that in this instant, the check box is not relevant to be checked or unchecked.

7. Box Style for Radio button and Check box - You can choose between common display of radio button options & check boxes and a button style of appearance. Some people prefer this box around the radio buttons and check boxes, I personally think it makes the user interface a bit too busy and less Web-like. But hey, one of these days the CEO is gonna say, "Can't you put a box around that?" and it will be nice to be able to do it in a second rather than writing some ActiveX or whatnot.

8. Automatic Wide Mode - Set edit controls to automatically open the Wide view screen whenever the end-user reaches the end of the edit control. Is anybody using this yet? If so, please comment.

9. Form State Persistency - Easily configure each screen to keep the end-user's customizable state. So we also end on a "wroth the price of admission" type feature. Do you remember what kind of machinations we used to have to go through to retain all this? Sure is easy now. Check. Done.

10. Report Generator - Does this qualify as a user interface improvement? Not sure. I'll save this one for another post. Blog you later.