Thursday, November 02, 2006

What's in the Kitchen Sink, Anyway?

With eDeveloper V10, the feature list goes on an on. 51 reasons clearly are not enough as this review misses major enhancements like full Unicode support, superior XML handling, the new report writer and much more. But before we look at the bonuses and extras not included in Magic's list of reasons, let's look at the general enhancements they do mention in the list of 51.

In the list of 51 reasons to upgrade to eDeveloper V10, reasons 47 through 51 are dedicated to an assortment of improvements, this where Magic's R&D department has "thrown in the kitchen sink" and now I get to describe it. No snoring! There actually is some good stuff in here!

47. Preload View Have every data-view fully loaded upon task execution for improved scrolling and for retrieval full view related information.

I think this advantage could have been expressed more clearly. Have you ever loaded a really large file and noticed that your scrollbar slider adjusted its size to the number of records. Well that's what we're talking about here. Now eDeveloper programmers don't have to come up with tricks and schemes to size the thumb on the scrollbar slider, it's built-in.

The scrollbar thumb reflects the size of the table content according to the number of records that are fetched while the task is running. When opening a task, the table reads the first set of records and the thumb size is based on that first set. Then, as an end-user scrolls through the records, the thumb is progressively updated.

48. Dynamic Menus Construct modular menu structures based on menu subsets that can be automatically added or removed from the pulldown menu.

eDeveloper V10's new menu-related functions let you dynamically add and remove menus to the menu structure. The functions allowed are MnuAdd and MnuRemove which enable the programmer to dynamically add or remove a menu structure to the current runtime pulldown menu structure. There is also a MnuReset function that restores the default pulldown menu structure. This gives you some very sophisticated contextual control over the user experience that can streamline and enhance the user experience.

49. Windows Menu Easily set the application menu system to cascade all selected open windows for easier end-user window navigation.

To quote on of my favorite lines from the movie Joe Versus the Volcano, "I have no response to that."

50. DateTime Support Simplify the retrieval and storage of DateTime data types by letting the Magic Rules Engine automatically map them into simplified and separated Date and Time units.

While many of you may have developed workarounds for this in the past, I am sure it will be nice to have automated conversion between DateTime and Date and Time.

51. Standard Keyboard Mapping Easily adopt a new Keyboard mapping scheme that corresponds to the accepted keyboard mapping standards.

Keyboard shortcut standards seem to change all the time. I've also found that certain user communities have differing expectations. eDeveloper users expect F5 to "zoom" of course, but what if your end users have a completely different map in their head because of some other application pervasive throughout their organization? Wouldn't it be better to change the keyboard mapping used in your eDeveloper application, rather than try to force all your users to learn a new set of keystrokes? Probably, so eDeveloper V10 gives you that option. You can map eDeveloper's studio keyboard map as well as the map used in your application at runtime.

The Keyboard Mapping settings you edit are kept in a special file. The file eDeveloper uses is named in the Keyboard Mapping File setting in the Options/Settings/Environment dialog box. By default this file is ACT_STD.ENG. You can create and use different mapping files. On conclusion of an editing session of the Keyboard Mapping repository, eDeveloper prompts you to save the changes with the File Save dialog box. You can save these changes to a file different from the one currently used by eDeveloper, by specifying a different name in the Save As... property.

This concludes our analysis of the original list of 51 "numerous reasons to migrate to eDeveloper V10." But don't worry, here in blogland, we've come up with some important reasons of our own. So stay tuned.