Tag Archives: Update

Crosslight 2 Update 2 is here!

As our enduring commitment towards agile development standards and compliance with CMMI Level 5, we’re happy to announce that the second update for Crosslight 2 is here! This update is a maintenance release which includes many new features and significant enhancements to the enterprise application framework and Crosslight core components. It also improves the overall stability for Android’s tab fragment and activity components.

Crosslight now supports batch update in sorted collections, with smooth animations and transitions. Not only that, our APIs are improved with a more modern async calls, which improves response time and usability of your Crosslight applications. Android form builder now also includes a new DateTime picker component that complies to the standard Holo theme. When Android L arrives, don’t worry, the look and feel of your apps will automatically comply to take advantage of the sleek look and feel of the new Android version. By popular demand, iOS now supports content navigation within the master detail component.

Without further ado, head over to our git repository to obtain this update. All Crosslight samples associated to this update have also been merged to the master branch. You can download or clone them here. Also visit our Developer Center for full changelog on this update. Expects more updates rolling out regularly, with more exciting features.

Till next time,
Nicholas Lie

Latest Product Updates and New Tutorial Videos

The latest product hotfixes for WebUI Studio across all platforms are now officially released. Make sure you implement the latest updates for improved stability and reliability. Checking for updates is easy – simply launch the Update Manager from Intersoft program group, click on the Check for Updates and then download away. Click here to view the complete hotfix application guide.

Some of the exciting updates are improved XHTML support for various ASP.NET products such as WebDesktop and WebTextEditor. WebGrid and WebCombo also get many enhancements and bug fixes, such as Customizable minimum height when the WebGrid is set to use fluid height mode, and WebCombo now supports client binding scenario with multiple selection and read only mode enabled. Click here to see the latest build’s version history.

Some enhancements are also applied in these updates, including:

  • Support for a nested UXDialogBox in a standalone environment
  • Ultra-smooth fading animation in ContentTransition control
  • Improved navigation support in UXTreeView integrated with UXNavigationPane.
  • In addition, UXScrollViewer now manages the scrolling behavior to improve user experiences which comply with ISO usability standards.

Find out more updates about ClientUI updates.

Last but not least, ClientUI also fixes some reported issues, including:

  • Showing UXWindow in a standalone mode no longer throws error.
  • UXDialogBox now displays properly when it is nested in third level,
  • UXScrollBar no longer throws exception when it is hosted in a UXWindow in WPF application.

New ClientUI Tutorial Videos

We’ve recently updated our support site with latest ClientUI videos. The updates include two videos about customizing cell editing template in UXGridView and licensing ClientUI application that is created using Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch for deployment.

Customize Cell Editing Template in UXGridView

 

This video demonstrates on how to use custom cell editing in UXGridView as well as how to use different editing template in each row using cell editing template selector.

Deploy ClientUI Application created using Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch

 

This video demonstrates how easy it is to deploy a ClientUI project created using Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch.

That’s all for now. I hope our new videos continue to provide a better understanding about our ClientUI products. Please feel free to post any feedbacks, thoughts or questions in the comment box below.

Please feel free to post any feedback, thoughts or questions in the comment box below.

Regards,
Martin

Enhanced ClientUI Navigation Framework for WPF

In my ClientUI blog series last year, I have covered the importance of navigation infrastructure which makes the application’s overall user experiences. There were many other details that I described in the blog post, including our support for nested navigation, easy role-based security configuration and more. You can read about them in my blog post here.

While the previous blog post gave impressions that the navigation framework was designed only for Silverlight, I would like to clarify that it is not. The ClientUI navigation framework supports both WPF browser and WPF desktop application very well since its initial release last year.

In this blog post, I will explain the essence of creating navigable desktop application, and tour the ClientUI navigation framework in WPF.

Navigation in Desktop Applications

When you hear about the ‘navigation’ term, what’s quickly popped up in your mind would be it’s a browser application. That’s true, navigation has always been always associated to the browser and the web. Unfortunately, many developers today disregards navigation infrastructure in desktop applications, and thought that the navigation is irrelevant in the desktop context.

As much as developers talk about desktop-style web applications, the fact is that desktop applications are revolutionizing toward web-style user interface. And one of the most prominent aspects in a web-style interface is always the navigation – it exactly means that content must be easily navigable. Surprisingly, you can easily find the kind of navigable desktop applications almost anywhere in your daily computing life, from Windows 7’s Control Panel and IIS Manager, to Windows Media Player, iTunes, and more.

Let’s take a look at Windows 7’s control panel interface for a clear picture of a navigable desktop application.

Windows 7 Control Panel

Based on the above illustration, there are at least five great benefits for building navigable desktop applications:

  1. Journal management.
    When you see Back and Forward (also known as Journal) buttons, you can quickly tell that it is a navigable application. The journal management allows users to easily navigate back and forth to the previously visited content.
     
  2. Direct content access.
    One of the best things about navigable interface is that it allows users to navigate a specific content directly. This is usually done through a simple breadcrumb, or a menu address bar such as introduced in latter version of Windows.
     
  3. Multiple content source.
    In a navigable-designed application, you can facilitate users with easy navigation from multiple sources, be it the address bar in the top, the hyperlink in the left pane, or just about anywhere else. This allows users to navigate the applications in the way they accustomed to.
     
  4. Searchable content.
    By designing your application to support navigation, it is easy to provide a search interface, allowing users to quickly finding the content they desire. Most traditional applications that don’t support navigation would face technical difficulties and limitations since there are no consistent interface that manages the entire navigation processes.
     
  5. Reusable content.
    Last but not least, a well-designed navigation application will refactor each navigable content into a reusable form, allowing the content to be easily accessible directly, to be linked from multiple sources, and to be searchable. In development terms, the reusable content means easier to extend and better maintainability.

Creating WPF Navigation Application with ClientUI

Now, I hope that I have well pointed out the main reasons why navigation is crucial for making a great user experience, regardless of whether it’s browser-based apps or desktop apps.

One of the features that set ClientUI apart is its powerful, thoughtfully-designed navigation framework. The main building block of the navigation framework such as the UXFrame and UXPage, implements unified API between Silverlight and WPF. This allows you to use the identical XAML markup between both platforms, which greatly minimizes the learning curves. Learn more about the fundamental of ClientUI navigation framework here.

You might be wondering what it means with unified API in my previous statement. The easiest way to understand it is to take a piece of Silverlight’s XAML code and paste it to the WPF. In this case, try to copy the Silverlight’s built-in Frame element and use it in WPF, then see if you can run the project without errors. Clearly, the compiler will stop you as soon as you pressed F5.

The biggest challenges we faced in the WPF counterpart of ClientUI’s navigation framework is to come up with features to match the Silverlight’s counterpart, such as the URI mapping and mapped navigation source mechanism. URI mapping is a very nice feature that allows you to navigate to a content via a short and friendly address, instead of a lengthy one, for instance, navigating to a customers page can be done with a /Customers identifier instead of /Views/Customers.xaml.

The UXFrame element, which is the core of ClentUI’s navigation building block, supports URI mapping, thus enabling you to define the XAML such as the following.

<Intersoft:UXFrame Name="ContentFrame">
       <Intersoft:UXFrame.UriMapper>
             <Intersoft:UriMapper>
                  <Intersoft:UriMapping Uri="" 
                             MappedUri="/Views/Home.xaml"/>

                  <Intersoft:UriMapping Uri="/{page}"
                             MappedUri="/Views/{page}.xaml"/>
              </Intersoft:UriMapper>
       </Intersoft:UXFrame.UriMapper>
</Intersoft:UXFrame>

But, the URI mapping support doesn’t happen overnight. The main process of the mapping itself needs to be enhanced at the core framework level, because the navigation can be initiated through hyperlinks, buttons, toolbar buttons, or programmatically through APIs. For a quick illustration, the navigation framework should understand the mapped navigation request from a hyperlink such as shown below.

<Intersoft:UXHyperlinkButton NavigateUri="/Customers" />

In summary, the ClientUI navigation framework for WPF does not only include an enhanced navigation Frame, but a whole new navigation framework that spans from the core architecture to navigation sources and other advanced navigation features.

To help you quickly getting started with ClientUI navigation framework, I have created a simple WPF navigation application that you can use as a template. See the following illustration.

ClientUI navigation application for WPF

As seen in the above illustration, ClientUI navigation framework provides all the tools you need to create rich navigation user interface, including the journal button, navigation button, direct content access through hyperlink and other navigation sources, and more.

The navigation application sample above also demonstrates a number of unique features, such as page transition and automatic navigation direction. You will notice that new navigation would apply a fading transition effect, navigating backward would apply a fly-in effect, while navigating forward would apply a fly-out effect.

The navigation sample project consisted of the start up page, and three pages that represent the content for Home, Settings and About. The ViewModels classes are also included for your convenience.

ClientUI navigation project

Download the sample project here, feel free to play around and enhance it, and use it to start your next WPF navigation application. Note that you will need the latest ClientUI build (4.0.5000.3), more about the hotfix in the later section below.

Silverlight Out-of-Browser, Well Supported

One of the area in Silverlight that cross the desktop boundary is its out-of-browser application support. Along with the coverage for navigation in WPF desktop application, I’m pleased to share that the ClientUI navigation framework also supports Silverlight’s out-of-browser in all its glory – the URI mapping, visual transitions, automatic navigation detection, role-based security, and more. Here’s a snapshot of the OOB support.

image

Best of all, download the Silverlight OOB project sample here. Have fun with it!

Get the Free Update

In case you haven’t aware, we recently posted the January ‘11 hotfix for ClientUI, which includes significant enhancements to WPF navigation and other stability fixes.

image

To see the complete list, please head to Intersoft Support Center – Version History.

The hotfix is free for existing customers, which can be easily downloaded and installed via Intersoft Update Manager. If you haven’t used Update Manager before, make sure you check out this article.

In the next post, I will detail more about “nested navigation” and “global navigation state” in desktop applications, which explains the design decisions why URI mapping has to existed in the first place. For now, enjoy the latest hotfix, download the project samples and happy navigating!

All the best,

Jimmy Petrus

Chief Software Architect

WebAqua.NET 2.0 for Silverlight 2.0 RTW is here.

Microsoft has finally released Silverlight 2.0 earlier this week. That means it’s busy time for RIA, component and platform vendors to update their applications to run on Silverlight 2.0 RTW.

Our special thanks goes to Scott Guthrie and Silverlight Development team, who have incredibly resolved dozens of bugs that we submitted during Beta 2 phase. One of the most significant fixes is related to performance which is causing CPU usage to 80% – 99%. It’s a pleasure for us to work directly with Silverlight development team!

WebAqua 2.0 is ready for Silverlight 2.0 RTW.

Although our development team managed to upgrade the codes to support Silverlight 2.0 RTW in only several days, it doesn’t mean painless. In fact, there are a lot of breaking changes — from syntaxical errors to storyboard behaviors. Not to mention the API changes from beta 2 to RTW. I’ll post more about the upgrade tips later.

By the way, we have updated Sirius 2 showcase to run on Silverlight 2.0 RTW. Check it out here. Our Developer Network has also been updated so that you can use the docking navigation in Silverlight 2.0 RTW environment.

For existing customers, login to Developer Network to obtain WebAqua 2.0 update, or use Update Manager to download and install the update automatically. For prospects, please send your email to sales@intersoftpt.com to obtain the lightweight Silverlight installer.

Breaking Changes

WebFishEye has no breaking changes. The application that you built using WebFishEye should work flawlessly as soon as you update to the latest version of WebAqua.

Similarly, WebCoverFlow has no breaking changes in general. However, if you’re customizing the ItemsReflection with LinearGradient brush, there is a minor breaking changes that introduced by Silverlight 2.0 RTW. You need to swap the StartPoint and EndPoint. See following example.

Beta 2 codes:

<ISNet_Silverlight_WebAqua:WebCoverFlow.ItemReflection>
      <LinearGradientBrush StartPoint="0.5,0.75" EndPoint="0.5,0.25">
            <GradientStop Offset="0.506"/>
            <GradientStop Color="#33000000" Offset="1"/>
      </LinearGradientBrush>
</ISNet_Silverlight_WebAqua:WebCoverFlow.ItemReflection>

Change it to (RTW codes):

<ISNet_Silverlight_WebAqua:WebCoverFlow.ItemReflection>
      <LinearGradientBrush StartPoint="0.5,0.25" EndPoint="0.5,0.75">
            <GradientStop Offset="0.506"/>
            <GradientStop Color="#33000000" Offset="1"/>
      </LinearGradientBrush>
</ISNet_Silverlight_WebAqua:WebCoverFlow.ItemReflection>

Enhancements 

The updated WebAqua 2.0 for Silverlight 2.0 RTW (Build 210) also includes several top enhancements requested by customers. They are:

  • Improved performance to flow logic and animation.
  • WebCoverFlow now supports item template while enabling VirtualFlow (Load-on-Demand) at the same time. With this feature, you can bind to a larger datasource (let’s say, a list of customers or products) and let WebCoverFlow manages the presentation in blazing-fast speed.

Applying the updates

  • Open your Silverlight 2.0 applications in either Expression Blend 2 or Visual Studio 2008 SP1.
  • Remove ISNet.Silverlight.dll and ISNet.Silverlight.WebAqua.dll from your project reference.
  • Add both new assemblies from the update package to your project reference.
  • Rebuild your project.

We will also release an update to ASP.NET product lines (2008 R2 Service Pack 1) by next week. The new WebAqua bits will also be included in the SP1 release. Stay tuned! 

All the best,
Jimmy.