Tag Archives: Get Started

Video Tutorials: Getting Started with Crosslight

After you have successfully installed Mobile Studio by following the previous blog post, it’s highly recommended that you understand how Crosslight works as a framework, and how it can add significant values to your current application lifecycle management. The blog post will cover highlighted features of Crosslight in a high-level overview that reflects Crosslight values to the mobile world, especially when you’re coming from .NET. The video highlights the following:

  • Cross Platform Mobile Development Challenges
  • Crosslight Overview
  • Crosslight Architecture Overview
  • Crosslight Technology Overview
  • Hello World in Crosslight
  • MVVM Pattern Overview in Crosslight
  • Crosslight Solution Overview
  • Crosslight Enterprise Benefits
  • Crosslight Form Builder
  • Crosslight Mobile Services
  • Crosslight extensible architecture
  • Crosslight Project Wizard

This blog post has outlined how you can leverage Crosslight to your existing ALM, and how you can benefit from it. We truly believe that Crosslight will greatly improve your existing workforce. Cut development times, reduce costs, improve productivity and faster time-to-market.

You can find out more about Crosslight and Mobile Studio by visiting our site. Feel free to try out Crosslight for 30 days from the Request Trial page to see Crosslight for yourself. Got any questions about Crosslight? Visit the our forums or drop us a mail at technical@intersoftpt.com. Contact sales@intersfotpt.com for licensing schemes. Stay tuned for more blog posts and video tutorials on Crosslight.

Cheers,

Nicholas Lie

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Get Started with ClientUI 5

Now that ClientUI 5 is officially released and the new license keys are delivered, you’ve got the most comprehensive and  powerful tools in your fingertips. The first thing you will be doing after installation is probably to figure out what you can do with the new ClientUI. There are really a lot of exciting and never-before-possible capabilities that you can now add to your business applications. Let’s take a look at some of them in this blog post.

Discover the New Possibilities

I have been extensively blogging about UXGridView in the past several months since it was in the planning phase and all the time through the CTP and beta releases. There are many other new controls that are not less important in this new release which I haven’t been blogging about before due to the milestone readiness. It’s now the time to discover all these exciting new tools.

At a glance, the ClientUI 5 release is strongly focused on essential line-of-business controls which consisted of three key areas: high-performance data presentation, advanced navigation, and rich document controls. Let’s start from the document controls.

Silverlight Document Management Made Easy

I’ve been often asked by business friends and clients, “What’s the best way to store our corporate documents and make them available for rich viewing in client apps?” And some often added with “And ones that support printing, zooming and navigation?”. Some geeks would add another requirement, “And definitely one that supports cross-platform development”. Wow, I think these are all interesting stuff, yet challenging. I couldn’t satisfy everyone with a confident single answer back then – because it was never been done before.

Earlier this year, I sat down with our top engineers discussing these business challenges and we don’t even have ideas if such capabilities can be done at that time. And today, I’m excited that we have turned these dreams into reality – thanks to the team’s great passion and high dedication to defy the challenges found all the way during the development until it’s delivered today.

Introducing ClientUI document controls, this brand-new lineup includes a range of feature-rich document viewers, engineered from the bottom-up with a solid architecture to allow room for future extensibility. That said, these viewers aren’t merely fancy controls with sleek toolbars and glassy interface. They are built on the top of document framework, a set of comprehensive document interface and APIs that the viewers understand.

Enough introduction, so what can you do with these document controls, you might asked. There are a lot to say – from presenting sales invoices, project plans, business documents to high-fidelity chart reports. The fact that Microsoft has been working hard to bring XPS to becoming an industrial standard for easy document exchange has further confirmed the adoption of using XPS as the first-class document format in business organization. Essentially, all documents in the form of XML Paper Specification (XPS) are supported – whether they are produced from Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, or Excel; or generated by the XPS Printer Writer which is installed in both Windows Vista and Windows 7 by default.

The ClientUI document viewer lineups such as XPSDocumentViewer enables not only pixel-perfect document viewing, but also WYSIWYG printing. This means that whatever you seen in the screen should print out exactly the same in 1:1 ratio, which makes it ideal for online business document sharing. See an example below.

Online document sharing made easy

Sharing a knowledge base document with rich content makes much sense as well, such as a comprehensive getting started. Thanks to the state-of-the-art virtual rendering, working with a large multi-page document won’t slow down your apps at all.

Getting started document

More importantly, XPSDocumentViewer includes world-class user interface that matches the industry’s popular readers such as Adobe PDF Reader. As shown above, it has a sleek navigation pane supporting thumbnails and outlines navigation mode, search box, minimalistic tool bar, and rich controls such as dropdown and slider for easy zooming. And of course, view presets is also supported, including fit to width, fit to height and actual size mode.

Furthermore, the page canvas, resizable layout concept, industrial theme with natural design and subtle drop shadow effect have all been thoughtfully designed by our experienced UX artists – ensuring the best viewing experiences for your users. And for you, developers, that means you can just drop an instance of the viewer in your apps, set the source and deploy.

We shipped a host of business-inspiring samples that showcase the key features of the document viewers. You can access and try all of them here.

So with all these compelling solutions available, the answer to earlier questions is now obvious. And if you’re either asked or tasked with the similar requirements, you know you can count on ClientUI’s rich document controls.

Complex Navigation Interface Simplified

As the leading UI tools provider, we aren’t merely creating new controls without prior knowing the nature and concept of the design patterns, unlike many other competing vendors. Since the invention of ClientUI, we’ve been extensively focusing in UI design patterns and create tools that uniquely and consistently satisfy the UI requirements of line-of-business application development.

With design patterns, we have a solid answer for everything. If you wanted to create a rich MDI application, use our windowing and dock interface. If you wanted to create a rather classical SDI application, use a simple list for navigation. For containers, choose either group box, expandable group box, or accordion; while using toolbar and status bar for commands interaction. As we’re also providing UI/UX consultant and professional services, we have most UI patterns well predefined to be able to address clients’ requirements that are specific to their business.

In this new release, we’ve developed a new pattern targeting medium to big-sized applications that employ complex and hierarchical navigation. That said, three new controls have been introduced, a hierarchical tree view, a resizable container, and a versatile navigation pane.

The combination of these three new controls, and together with ClientUI’s powerful navigation framework, enable you to create immersive business applications that “scale” along with the growth of your business. The scope of the “scale” here may be too general, so let’s scope it in the context of user interface and navigation. The essence of the scalable navigation support means that you can create applications with fewer modules/features initially and add them later without have to revamp the entire navigation and user interface.

Naturally, this means that your navigation interface should employ a fluid design pattern, where new modules can be consistently accessible regardless of the real screen estate. Here is the true challenge, because real screen estate has limitation. Another challenge is that the real screen estate might be various depending on the user’s display device. Users with larger resolution display will expect to see more navigation items, while users with lower resolution will expect the screen estate that arranged accordingly and makes sense to them. This is what fluid design pattern is all about – smartly adapting to the environment while still consistent in function and behaviors.

Our solution to the fluid design requirements above is the UXNavigationPane control. You can place any number of navigation items to the control as you desire. If the screen estate is not sufficient, they will overflow to the footer area, and smartly hidden when the footer area is full which is easily accessible through the context menu. See an example of a UXNavigationPane below.

UXNavigationPane displays navigation items in fluid fashion

Notice that each navigation item can consisted of sub navigation items. This design provides an elegant solution to nearly all complex navigation challenges. For instances, you can use a simple flat list for one-level sub navigation. If you need a two-level sub navigation, use UXAccordion. Or if you need a nested hierarchical sub navigation, use UXTreeView.

This navigation control is also very versatile in the way that you can resize, expand and collapse it to maximize real screen estate. You can still access the navigation item’s content through the “Quick Access” button. See the illustration below.

Versatile navigation pane control

Finally, this navigation pane control is unlike the others in the market in many ways such as the support for real navigation functionality. Most of the similar controls I seen provide only the “UI” part, which means you can click an item to reveal its content. True, you can also put sub navigation controls like buttons or treeviews. But they aren’t real navigation controls, which means that they won’t let you navigate to a specific page, or have the items synchronized with the current navigation state.

What’s really cool in UXNavigationPane and also one of my favorite features is the fully-functional navigation features in addition to the sleek and fluid user interface. This means that clicking on “Mail” item would let you navigate to Mail.xaml with a simple NavigateUri definition. It also adheres to the entire ClientUI navigation framework, where you can specify a friendly address instead of raw address, such as /Mail/Inbox to go the Mail page with Inbox selected.

Not only that. UXNavigationPane can also intelligently synchronize its user interface elements based on the current navigation state consistently – all without additional code. It’s so smart that it will not only synchronize the first level state of the navigation item – but also the sub navigation item that matches the current navigation state. For users, this means that they can access the applications in the way they expected it to be. Typing /Contacts in the address bar to go to contacts, typing /Documents/Corporate to see all business documents, or loading the Mail from browser’s bookmark for an instant access to inbox. See the following illustration for details.

Automatic navigation synchronization

You can browse many of the new navigation control samples from the ClientUI Showcase.

As a business application developer, these are exactly the tools I need and the one that I will seriously invest and use in my mission-critical applications. Why? Because it lets me focus on what’s matter the most – the business requirements – I don’t have to write even single code to maintain the navigation stuff. And more importantly, it enables me to rapidly create pages without have to concern about code maintenance, because there’s no code needed to maintain. I could create as much as XAML pages, bind them to the Source, design the View and bind them to the ViewModel and entities – and get my tasks done in realistically shorter time frame.

I hope this post gives some insights on what you can do with ClientUI 5. In my next post, I will delve into more learning resources and development aspects using Visual Studio. For now, feel free to expand your creativity and get ready to create your next-generation applications with amazing user experiences. Click here to get your trial copy of ClientUI 5. For technical support, please post your questions to Intersoft ClientUI Forum.

Best,
Jimmy

Part 6 – ClientUI 3 For Silverlight and WPF. Delivered.

Few days ago, I posted a blog that details several aspects that are very fundamental in a real-world business Silverlight application specifically on the navigation architecture, authentication and security, MVVM and more – and more importantly, how we engineered ClientUI from the ground-up to address all these challenges and enable them to work in concert.

After a long journey of development, today is the day we’ve all been waiting for. The wait is over – we’re excited to officially announce the ClientUI Release Candidate (RC) which is now available for public download. More details below.

Silverlight & WPF Developers – What Can ClientUI Do For You?

Beyond just a set of components, ClientUI takes Silverlight development to a whole new level by putting together MVVM-ready framework, supercharged navigation framework with nested navigation support and role-based authentication, WPF-style routed command and events and powerful, easy-to-use drag-drop controls. And with over 60 rich UI controls with strict ISO-standards conformance, now you can quickly and rapidly create any types of rich Silverlight applications where your creativity is the only limit.

Since ClientUI resembles a wide range of feature-sets ranging from architecture to development to runtime, it gives all the tools needed in RIA development for different types of users, from system architects, web developers to UX designers and end users. Read our recently published newsletter to discover what ClientUI can do for you.

Download Intersoft ClientUI 3 RC

Visit ClientUI.com and click on the Download button to start your download, then follow the guided step when you reach the download form. We’d love to hear your download experiences, tell us when you got couple minutes!

Select Platforms

If you only want to evaluate ClientUI, make sure you choose Web Setup in the download instruction that sent to your email. When you’re asked to select platforms, select only Silverlight and WPF platforms. This allows the Setup to download only the necessary files required for ClientUI development. See the image below.

ChooseEdition

By default, the Setup will include all development platforms. If you also develop ASP.NET apps, I highly recommend you to install it as well – we’ve got 8 amazing, most-wanted ASP.NET widgets, from iPhone-style sliding menu, accordion, slider, list box to calendar and progress bar.

Read the Getting Started

Rest assured that you get only the best-in-class user experiences with WebUI Studio! After installation, a Getting Started document will appear. Each year, we revamped our Getting Started to make it even easier and faster for you to find the information you need. To quickly jump start with ClientUI, make sure you click on the Silverlight part such as shown in the red-highlighted mark below.

GetStarted

Explore The Samples

ClientUI Release Candidate ships with three reference samples for Silverlight 4 which demonstrate the use of various ClientUI components in line-of-business scenarios. The solutions are provided in Visual Studio 2010 format for best development experiences.

VS2010Solutions

To learn how to create Silverlight navigation application that used role-based security combined with WCF RIA Services, child navigation and many other features explained in my previous blog, open Business Application Sample.

To learn how to create Silverlight application that uses MVVM pattern and supports WPF codebase, check out Contacts MVVM Sample. If you’re interested in the WPF counterpart instead, we also ship the Contacts MVVM Sample under the WPF program group. Learn how commanding, input binding, UI controls and view models can work together in both Silverlight and WPF project.

If you prefer to see the samples in action, simply click on the Launch* shortcuts.

Note that the controls and features-based samples will be made available in the RTM release along with the complete documentations and walkthrough.

Create Your First ClientUI Silverlight Project using Visual Studio 2010

After exploring the samples, it’s now the time to build your own compelling, rich business Silverlight applications.

You can get started pretty much straightforward. Launch Visual Studio 2010 and click New Project. Then browse to the Intersoft Solutions > Silverlight node in the Installed Templates. In this Release Candidate, we shipped 6 professionally-designed templates that you can use to quickly start your next project.

All templates are designed with our high-standards development experiences quality – so all you need to do is simply pressing OK, wait for few seconds and press F5 to run the project. You don’t have to manually add the references or do any sort of extra stuff – we’ve done it for you.

Regardless of your experiences and skill level in Silverlight development, your best shot would be a MVVM Business Application. It already includes full-featured registration and login form with standards-compliance user experiences built into it. We’ve even taken care the WCF RIA Services connection and all sort of server providers configuration.

ProjectTemplate

Experience First-Class Designer Support

When we say first-class, truly it is! Upon installation, everything is up and ready – nothing extra needs to be done at your end. As well as Visual Studio 2010, this very statement is true for Expression Blend 3 and Blend 4 environment.

If you’re UI/X designer who preferred Blend more than Visual Studio, the next time you open Blend, get ready with a vast array of tools you can use to build your next-generation RIA apps! All ClientUI assets are grouped in Intersoft ClientUI group so you know where to look when you need them.

Our professional artists have even designed each icon very thoroughly and delicately – from small to large icons which simply blends in the Blend environment. This allows you to conveniently walk through the layers in your project and easily identify the visual elements through unique icons. See screenshot below.

ComprehensiveTools

Enjoy a whole new level of RIA development experiences!

Get Started with Your Business Application Project in 5 Minutes

A picture worth a thousand words. A video worth a billion words. Watch how you can get started with your immersive business application in less than 5 minutes. It shows how ClientUI enables a true rapid Silverlight development – adding new pages, adding new navigation buttons, run it and everything will just work – effortlessly.

Get The Support You Need

Unlike other vendors, we officially support ClientUI even in this Release Candidate version. As the RC already includes RTM-identical product bits, you can eventually use it in the projects that you currently working on.

As you jump start with ClientUI, I’m sure you’ll have questions around the usage, features, or how-to achieve specific tasks using the various ClientUI controls. We’ve opened a new ClientUI forum so you can discuss anything related to Silverlight and WPF development. And again, we’re the only US-based component vendor with professional 24-hour support service during business days. So feel free to post your questions to the designated forum mentioned above and expect a same-day response from our support engineers.

The Promised Demos

In the part 3 of my ClientUI blog, I’ve explained the MVVM concept and how it can be elegantly used with advanced UIs such as windows and dialog boxes. Numerous readers have emailed me to ask if they can see a running demo to see the solution in action. And here it is – the Contacts MVVM online demo.

More Coming Next

 

 

If you followed my ClientUI blog series from the start, most probably you’ll still remember the Contacts application that I showcased in the ClientUI Part 3 blog. If not, I suggest you to read and try the sample mentioned just in the previous section.

Continuing on the story that I left for a while in the part 3, we’ll take the simple Contacts application and make it a part of something bigger – a richer composite application that enables your applications to scale and grow in a way that never possible before.

In the next post, I’ll unveil how the simple Contacts application that we’ve built sometime ago, can be loaded into desktop-style interface without code recompiling and still working as it is – resulting into something similar to the image below.

The Ultimate RIA Experiences

Welcome to the future of RIA experiences. Stay tuned…

All the best,
Jimmy.