Tag Archives: Mobile Development

Crosslight 2.3 Adds Cross Platform Localization Service and Major Stability Improvements

We are truly excited to announce that the ultimate cross-platform development toolset now sports even more features and stability updates. This new service pack update includes a new localizable business template, over 50+ item templates for Visual Studio, dynamic localization service, new template definitions for iOS, major stability updates for Android, support for application-wide single sign-on, and much more.

The Crosslight Project Wizard now includes an additional and noteworthy template, which is the localizable business template. The new localizable business template allows you to change the language of the application dynamically at runtime, thanks to the dynamic localization service. If automatic language is set, when the device’s language is set to the one supported by the application, then the language changes automatically. However, you can also force an application to use a specific language of your choice, regardless of the language setting used by the device. The following screenshots show the improved Crosslight Project Wizard and the running app respectively.

New Crosslight Project Wizard

banner-developer-crosslight2-update-eng-jap-narrow copy

We have also shipped more than 50 templates for Visual Studio, ranging for variety of projects, this includes, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and shared Core project. The templates itself is clear and concise, with instructions inside each template on how to use it. Your development process will be significantly accelerated since you can now quickly add common Crosslight items to your project. Say goodbye to the tedious, error-prone copy and paste.

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In addition, Crosslight for Android platform has received major stability improvements, including the support of Xamarin.Android.Support.v4 library, revamped overall lifecycle, elegant rotation handling to ensure that view state is restored without performance degradation, improved tab caching, and reliability of the Android services, such as camera service, location service, social services, and more.

So far, we’ve only touched the surface of what’s revamped in this SP1 release. For a complete list of the updates, make sure you check out the Crosslight 2.3 release notes in our Developer Center page.

All the installers on our site have also been updated to reflect the new bits. Of course, this update is free of charge for customers with existing subscription for Mobile Studio or Premier Studio. Click here to sign in and access your downloads. If you haven’t tried Crosslight today, request a trial now and see how Crosslight transform the way you build cross-platform apps entirely.

Last but not last, we hope you enjoy Crosslight as much as we love building it! Stay tuned for our upcoming video tutorials and hands-on guide to apply these exciting features in your apps!

Cheers,
Nicholas Lie

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Webinar: Building Gorgeous Mobile Apps with Advanced Crosslight UI and Services

We’re very happy to introduce the release of our flagship development toolset for Silverlight and WPF, ClientUI 10. ClientUI 10 has now equipped with powerful enterprise reporting services that allows you to author any kind of reports quickly and easily. What’s also great about the enterprise reporting services is also that the reports are completely viewable in Crosslight applications.

Not only that, push notification services introduced in Crosslight 2 takes away developers’ pain of having to tediously configure the necessary configurations to allow push notifications on their apps. Crosslight 2 has streamlined this process into a single unified entry point, starting from registering the device token to the platform service, receiving the device token back and saving them to the WebAPI database, and much more.

The social networking services also allows developers to perform various social network operations such as authenticating with social networks, getting the user profile info, getting list of friends, sharing content, and much more. What’s great about the social networking services, is that services are completely UI-agnostic. You can design any kind of views to use with our social network services and have them in your application, just the way you want it to be.

Watch as Nicholas introduces you to the integrated enterprise reporting services, how to view the reports on Crosslight apps, push notification services for Crosslight and how to send them across multiple devices. Last but not least, the social network services that allows you to perform various Facebook authentication completely with custom UI.

You can also find the recordings to the first and second day of the webinar, in case you’ve missed them. Also, visit our Developer Center to learn more about Crosslight. It contains hundreds of documentation topics, illustrations, walkthroughs, video tutorials, and more. If you have any questions regarding Crosslight, feel free to open up a new thread at Crosslight community forum.

Cheers,
Nicholas Lie

Webinar: Building Data-Aware Apps with Crosslight Enterprise Framework

Building enterprise apps will almost certainly involves data access. Crosslight aims to be the holistic solution you need to build enterprise mobile apps quickly and easily. Therefore, in this release, Crosslight 2 ships with powerful data access that supports the latest Microsoft techonlogies such as WebAPI 2 and MVC 5. To accelerate your development even further, Crosslight 2 took the extra step of creating entity designer extensions for VIsual Studio 2012 and 2013.  The entity designer extensions allow you to create reusable entity models, entity context, entity controllers, and entity services.

Watch as our Chief Technology Officer, Andry Handoko Soesilo, introduces you to the plethora of data access services such as using the entity designer extensions, explaining the concepts of data synchronization and RESTClient for streamlined data retrieval, creating a simple mobile CRM app complete with incremental loading and pull to refresh, and much more.

Also, visit our Developer Center to learn more about Crosslight. It contains hundreds of documentation topics, illustrations, walkthroughs, video tutorials, and more. If you have any questions regarding Crosslight, feel free to open up a new thread at Crosslight community forum.

Cheers,
Nicholas Lie

Webinar: Crosslight 2 Highlights

Crosslight 1 marks a great start for developers jumping into cross-platform mobile development. Built solid grounds, the MVVM pattern, Crosslight paves the way for extensible, maintainable, scalable, testable, and making your code highly reusable to use on four platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8.

Crosslight 2 introduces an even more comprehensive additions to the powerful toolset to easily create enterprise mobile apps in just a very short time. This includes versatile data access services, beautiful UI components such as the navigation drawer, advanced master detail view, two new templates: business app template and the navigation drawer template. Watch the webinar recording to see how you can leverage Crosslight 2 and take advantage of its powerful features and start developing your own mobile apps today.

Also, visit our Developer Center to learn more about Crosslight. It contains hundreds of documentation topics, illustrations, walkthroughs, video tutorials, and more. If you have any questions regarding Crosslight, feel free to open up a new thread at Crosslight community forum.

Cheers,
Nicholas Lie

Welcoming 2014 With Exciting Product Roadmap

Happy new year to you from all of us at Intersoft! Thank you for being part of the Intersoft community in 2013. Your success means everything to us. Looking ahead, the new year is ripe with possibility. At Intersoft, we resolute to serve you better with improved products and new product category that will truly save development time and cost, as well as providing you with even better, responsive support.

We’re very excited to welcome 2014 with some great product plans and roadmap that we think you will really love. However, before we get into the new year’s roadmap, let’s take a quick recap on the achievements we’ve made during the past year.

2013 Year In Review

2013 was absolutely an incredible year for us! Considered our busiest and most productive year ever, we managed to ship over 400 high quality components across 7 platforms. And for the first time ever, we expanded our product portfolio to 4 new platforms and deliver them at once in a single release. At a glance, all 2013 product plans were successfully delivered, and exceeded much more than the plans.

Here are the list of our top 8 achievements that I would like to share.

  • Shipped Crosslight — the industry’s first advanced toolset for cross-platform native mobile apps development supporting iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows 8
  • Delivered 400+ UI components across 7 platforms, covering desktop, RIA, web, and mobile apps development — all packed with comprehensive documentation and tons of samples
  • All 40+ ASP.NET components revamped to support latest web standards, HTML5 and CSS3
  • Released Reporting lineup for Silverlight, the industry’s first reporting tool offering end-to-end, comprehensive business reporting capabilities.
  • Redesigned websites, streamlined account and license management with single sign-on, yielding more compelling and engaging user experiences
  • Modernized Intersoft experiences leveraging balanced design aspects that takes account minimalism, content exposure, layout, identity and typography.
  • Major product rebranding with the introduction of Premier Studio, the first time in our history as we’re expanding our products portfolio into new market segments such as the cross-platform mobile development industry
  • Joined Visual Studio 2013 Launch Partner, releasing a major service pack that updates all components to support Visual Studio 2013, Internet Explorer 11 and Windows 8.1 in timely fashion

2014 Focus — Enterprise Mobile Development Made Easy

In 2014, we will be laser-focused on the cross-platform mobile development tools. Our works in 2013 is just the beginning of our holistic mobile roadmap. Building on the foundations laid in the initial Crosslight release, we’re striving to make cross-platform enterprise apps development even easier and simpler with a multitude of new features, components and services that work reliably across multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, and Windows 8.

Our team is currently hard at work creating the next iteration of Crosslight which will make available many functionalities common to line-of-business apps development. Announcing “Crosslight 2”, we will be adding over 200 new features and dozens of new, highly reusable services to the already powerful mobile toolset.

The new Crosslight will be the industry’s first, one of its kind, that lets you create the most demanding business apps that leverage advanced capabilities such as offline data storage, pending changes management, automatic synchronization to cloud, push notifications, user authentication, social network integration and much more. And better yet, all these services can be programmed in a single codebase — not each codebase per platform. So imagine how many months you can shave off from your development time table!

Building fully functional, usable data-driven apps is really time-consuming as there are a lot of things to consider. For examples, your apps need to be “timezone aware” if you have users located in different regions and time zone. Your apps need to handle two-way time zone conversion between the local device’s timezone with the server. Adding to the complexity — data synchronization, offline storage, and data editing — all need to be thoughtfully considered and integrated for them to work in harmony, ultimately producing great apps that are beautiful inside and out. Sounds too much hassles? Fear not — we’ve got it covered!

The new data services in the upcoming release will be built with “timezone aware” enabled by default. Furthermore, it will take account the best practices of building highly scalable enterprise-class apps, and consider every little detail that you might not aware of. All you need is simply consuming the services and customize the settings with a few lines of code, and Crosslight will handle the rest behind the scene.

To summarize the Crosslight roadmap, please take a look at the following diagram which lets you easily overview and compare the existing state of Crosslight with the expanded offering in the upcoming release.

Crosslight v1

Crosslight v2 introduces over 200 new features

As seen in the diagram above, the upcoming release will be strongly focused on enterprise data services and core mobile services such as discussed above which include entity services, authentication, social network integration and push notifications. In the second release later this year, you can expect more data visualization and user interface components optimized for the mobile apps scenarios.

An important announcement with regards to our release cycle, we will be adjusting the first iteration of the release to the beginning of the year while the second one is planned for the mid of the year. We believe this schedule changes are beneficial to us, our partners and our valued customers as the releases will occur in more appropriate timing for project planning, and more ideal time to market.

This blog post only provides a high level overview of the planned mobile tools roadmap. In the near future, we will post the complete details of the mobile features as well as the roadmap for other platforms such as ASP.NET and Silverlight in our public community forum. Stay tuned for the next announcement.

Last but not least, I hope you liked our upcoming product plans and roadmap. Please feel free to drop your comments or feedback related to the roadmap, or if you wish to see something in our next milestone.

All the best,
Jimmy

Crosslight December 2013 Update Delivers Many Refined Features

The best cross-platform mobile toolset refined to its core.

Two weeks ago, we released our SP1 milestone for Mobile Studio, bringing many new yet useful features such as the versatile navigation drawer for iOS and Android platforms. Today we have just released a more refined version of the the world’s most robust toolset for cross-platform development, with features that may not be plainly seen with the naked eye. In this post, we will cover many meticulous details such as elegant rotation handling for use with the Android navigation drawer and nested fragment navigation, updated navigation drawer samples, and also a delicate handling of the IsTransitioning state with the new left-edge swipe gesture and controller transition support introduced in iOS 7.

Rotation, Elegantly Handled.

Developers coming from the Android world will be familiar with the pain and frustration that we all share when designing apps for the Android platform, especially when fragments are used. When the Android device is rotated, the FragmentActivity as well as the Fragments are destroyed, which will then need to be recreated. Handled incorrectly, will result to incorrect app behavior that may confuse user and breaks overall user experience, not forgetting to mention how apps will crash more often.

Rotation Elegantly Handled

Crosslight for Android has been updated to address this issue, and developers will appreciate how all the intricate details have been taken care of. Now you will only need to focus on the ViewModel as well as the look and feel of their app, instead of having to handle the delicate rotation lifecycle. The ViewModels are now automatically persisted across rotation lifecycle, making sure that the screen view state and user’s editing session are correctly persisted when the FragmentActivity is recreated. Tested and proven on all form factors and orientation, this great time-saving feature will definitely shave weeks off your time table.

Nested Fragment Navigation in Navigation Drawer.

Previously, we have introduced the stunning and elegantly designed navigation drawer for Crosslight. Now, it has been updated to support nested fragment navigation as well as keeping the navigation stack intact when the user has navigated and the device is rotated, allowing greater user experience and flexibility of your app when using the navigation drawer.

Nested Navigation

We have also introduced a new RightButtonDrawerId property for DrawerSettings in Android, allowing you to toggle the right navigation drawer using the action bar, if you wish to. The feature can be easily enabled by supplying the RightButtonDrawerId with the ID of menu item you wish to use as the toggle in the ActionBar. We also have updated our Facebook-style and Worthy-style navigation drawer samples to reflect the changes.

Updated Navigation Drawer Samples

Left-edge Swipe Gesture and Controller Transition Support for iOS 7.

Since the introduction of iOS 7, Apple has introduced a new “hidden” gesture that most users might not be aware, which is the left-edge swipe gesture.  iOS 7 has introduced a new state where the view is transitioning, which is now handled correctly. Changes to the view model will now take place when the view has completely transitioned, which means, changes will not be processed if the user swipes halfway through and returns to the editing page. The view is now also smoothly transitioned with fading animation during transition. This subtle yet important feature reflects our commitment to pay attention the smallest details that can give impact to user experience.

Left-edge Swipe Gesture and Controller Transition Support for iOS 7.

This update marks as the last and most stable version of Crosslight until the next major version is available. Sign in to your account to download the new December 2013 update today.

In the next major release, Crosslight will ship the world’s first cross-platform data access framework with EntityContainer with tracking changes, async CRUD operation, async batch update, and much more . Supporting latest Microsoft technologies such as WebApi 2 and EntityFramework 6, Crosslight data service will provide advanced TT code generation as well as streamlined serialization and deserialization which were recently released, as well as support for transmission using OData. Stay tuned for more!

Got questions? Feel free to leave a comment or start a discussion at our forums.

Cheers,
Nicholas Lie

Crosslight Adds Stunning Drawer Navigation UI Components

It’s been really busy yet exciting time for all of us here at Intersoft. In just a few weeks time frame, we have recorded 9 new Crosslight video tutorials and publish all of them last week. At the same time, our engineering team is laser-focused in delivering new exciting updates across all product lineup. Today, we’re pleased to announce the first service pack of Premier Studio 2013 which is immediately available for download. Existing customers with active subscriptions can download the update from the account portal.

The service pack includes many important updates that you surely won’t miss. In particular, the new update includes full support for Visual Studio 2013. It also readies support for Microsoft’s latest browser, Internet Explorer 11. This is huge one – given that IE11 is completely redesigned for modern web standards and many proprietary API are no longer existed. The good news is we make it just in timely fashion. All 40+ ASP.NET components with over thousands of features have been enhanced and revived – each tested to work flawlessly in this latest browser. Go ahead and download the latest release to add IE11 support to your WebUI Studio-powered apps.

In addition to huge updates on ASP.NET, we also delivered significant improvements to our flagship cross-platform mobile toolset, Crosslight. There have been a lot of new features and addition to Crosslight since its update on iOS 7 support last month. Specifically, we’ve added a new, stunning drawer navigation for both iOS and Android platforms which lets you easily add Facebook or Path style navigation menu to your Crosslight apps. I’ll dedicate this blog post to discuss about this exciting component, share its key features and quickly brief what you can do with it.

Drawer Navigation Done Right

Many drawer navigation implementation I’ve seen were implemented in such a way where the view and content are tightly coupled, for instance, the drawer content should be a table controller in order for the drawer navigation component to work. Although the tight coupling between the view and interaction may sound common in this case, it creates a number of drawbacks and limitations to the way the component is used. Put simply, you cannot use any arbitrary content to the drawer which actually defeats the purpose of a content control.

When we designed our drawer navigation component from the ground up, we were strongly focused in the view architecture to make sure it is built right from the start. As the results, the Crosslight drawer navigation conforms to the industry-standards content control which allows developers to put any arbitrary content in the drawer while seamlessly automating all navigation processes to the view’s delegate. This is made possible thanks to the thoughtfully designed architecture that emphasize pure separation between the view and the user interaction. Crosslight was built right since the beginning, which enables future components (drawer navigation in this case as the proof) to leverage the same design pattern and get everything working seamlessly – without changes to the existing codebase.

To show you how easy and straightforward it is to change a standard table view navigation into a drawer navigation, let’s take the original Data Samples that shipped with Crosslight and transform it to a stunning drawer navigation.

First, create a new ViewModel based on the DrawerViewModelBase class – new in this release. Let’s name it DrawerViewModel.

    public class DrawerViewModel : DrawerViewModelBase
    {
        public DrawerViewModel()
        {
            this.LeftViewModel = new NavigationViewModel();
            this.CenterViewModel = new SimpleListViewModel();

            this.Open(DrawerSide.Left);
        }
    }

Then change the root view model of the app to the drawer view model that we just created. Generally, you set the root view model in the OnStart method of the application service

    public sealed class DataSamplesAppService : ApplicationServiceBase
    {         
        protected override void OnStart(StartParameter parameter) { base.OnStart(parameter); this.SetRootViewModel<DrawerViewWodel>();         } }

Finally, on the iOS project, simply add a new view controller class that derives from UIDrawerNavigationController generic class which is new in this release. Unless you’re doing extra customization to the drawer, you can leave the class empty without any single code within.

    [Register("DrawerNavigationController")]
    public class DrawerNavigationController : UIDrawerNavigationController<DrawerViewModel>
    {
    }

Similarly, add a new class to the Android project which derives from the DrawerActivity class. Remember to specify the drawer view model that we’ve just added earlier as the generic type parameter of the class.

    [Activity(Label = "Drawer Activity")]
    public class DrawerNavigationActivity : DrawerActivity<DrawerViewModel>
    {
    }

Run the project – and you’ll see the classic table navigation now magically turn into a stunning drawer navigation interface – complete with the touch gestures, close on navigate, and automatic navigation bar synchronization, all done right.

Crosslight Drawer Navigation

Incredibly easy, isn’t it? More importantly, you can reuse existing ViewModel as the content for either left or right drawer by specifying them in the DrawerViewModel. In case you would like to change back to the previous table navigation, you simply change the root ViewModel back to NavigationViewModel – and everything on the UI side reflects automatically.

How’s that possible – you might asked. The answer lies in the architecture design that carefully separates the user interaction out from the view. In this scenario, the master and detail view are actually two separate objects which is controlled by user interaction logic, in this case, the navigation logic. Since the navigation logic is implemented in a different layer, this allows us to tear these views apart and put them side by side without requiring code changes on the application’s end. The following illustration gives you a better visualization to understand how we built Crosslight to be a truly extensible, future-proof framework.

Drawer navigation done right

All The Great Features You’ve Ever Wanted

So that now you’ve got a handsome drawer navigation UI ready to be plugged into your next-gen mobile apps, let’s explore what you can do to make it looks and feels the way you desire. Note that the drawer navigation component is available for both iOS and Android platforms – both designed with the native UI guidelines.

Flexible one or two-sided drawer

Crosslight drawer navigation supports various drawer interface found in many popular apps today. You can choose one-sided drawer – where the drawer is either at the left or right side of the content; or two-sided drawer which are trending in recent apps such as Path, Worthy, and more.

The following illustration shows the left-side and right-side drawer navigation in iOS.

iOS Drawer Navigation

And the Android counterpart below.

Android Drawer Navigation

Keep in mind that although the drawer interface is designed according to the respective platform guidelines, the drawer view model and user interaction logic are entirely platform neutral which is defined in the shared application layer (portable project). As the results, when you modified the properties of drawer view model for example, the same app on both platforms will naturally reflect the changes.

Intuitive design based on platform’s native UI guidelines

In the iOS platform, the UIDrawerNavigationController class features dozens of drawer-related settings that you can easily customize through a single property set. One noteworthy feature is the status bar transition particularly useful in iOS 7 apps. We provided not only one status bar transition mode, but three. The first is the Facebook-style status bar transition where it smoothly fades from the original color to black. The second is the fading from any arbitrary custom color. The most interesting is perhaps the third one, translucent blur transition, where the status bar is smoothly faded with stunning translucent blur effect.

Crosslight drawer navigation features stunning status bar transition

Another noteworthy feature is the panoramic background image feature which lets you easily add beautiful photo to the drawer navigation control. Amaze your users with the combination of iOS7-style frosted-blur visual effect in the content view – creating sense of depth and great user experiences to your apps.

Background image with translucent blur drawer navigation

Other drawer settings on iOS that you might want to explore are drawer width, various shadow settings, fading animation, flick velocity, navigation bar tint color, status bar colors, status bar content styles, landscape background image, and much more.

The Android version has fewer customizable settings compared to iOS, although certain essential settings are must-have such as the background color, drawer width, and more.

5 Drawer Samples Included

Along with the service pack release, we’ve also updated Mobile Studio installer for both Windows and Mac with the latest Crosslight assemblies. The installers also include five new drawer samples that you can refer to learn more about the drawer navigation features. Or better, use it to quickly jump start your next mobile apps.

The included drawer samples are: Drawer Data Samples, Simple Drawer Style, Facebook Drawer Style, Translucent Drawer Style, and Two-sided Drawer Style.

Login to your account, download the new bits and test drive the new drawer UI components today.

What’s Next

In this blog post, I’ve covered the basics of our new drawer navigation UI components, how it’s designed and what features you can bring to your apps. In this milestone, you can now easily create great mobile apps for your business featuring great user experiences such as those popular apps in the store.

But, we still have a lot more to cover. In the upcoming 2013 R2 release, we’re planning to ship Crosslight vNext which will include a multitude of new cross-platform components and data services that will forever change the way you build data-intensive, enterprise-grade mobile apps. Stay tuned for our next announcement!

Best,
Jimmy