The last VisionX release in December was massive; we delivered a bunch of heavily requested features, more than ever before. But we didn’t stop there. Now with v5.6, building and implementing great, high-quality business applications is easier than ever.
One of our most-requested features ever is now available. While VisionX has always supported implementation in cloud services such as Azure and Amazon Web Services, setting up and maintaining any software on such a platform is not really in reach of the average business user. Getting an instance set up properly in terms of performance, security, scalability, compliance and so on requires an IT specialist.
But the idea behind VisionX is to reduce the burden on IT staff, and to get productivity-enhancing applications into the hands of business users as quickly as possible. This is why we developed the VisionX Cloud. You don’t need to rely on your infrastructure team to get the apps you create into production. Just click a button, define a few settings and your app is up and running in the cloud. VisionX automatically configures everything according to your needs. We take care of all updates and maintenance, so you can focus on creating great apps.
Full chart & dashboard support
Humans are visual learners. Anytime you need to display data as part of a report or dashboard, clear and intuitive visualization is key to make sure people can quickly understand. Full chart support means you can easily make a wide variety of charts, graphs and KPI indicators – lines, bars, pies, donuts, gauges and more – and you can easily customize them for the look and feel you want.
VisionX now supports quick and easy dashboard building from these graphical elements. As GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons said, “Measure everything of significance. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.” So give your users a dashboard to monitor KPIs at a glance and watch your business improve.
Better REST support
You have many ways to bring data into VisionX, whether it’s in a database or available via REST API. But what if you want to combine data from multiple sources? Maybe you want to connect tables between two databases, two REST services or a database and a REST service. Improvements to our support of REST services makes this easier than ever. Data from multiple sources can easily be connected together to generate master/detail relationships or combo boxes.
Imagine you’re building a tool to manage resources. Data for new customer opportunities can be brought in from your CRM via REST service. In addition, for each opportunity you want to select the personnel who would be assigned. Personnel data can come via another REST API from your ERP system and linked to opportunities with a master/detail relationship.
Also, in addition to the typical CRUD operations, other actions can also be called via REST: for instance, creating monthly invoices in the ERP system. These REST actions can simply be selected in the VisionX Action Editor, where they can, for example, be triggered by a button click.
New audit log features
Audits are an unpleasant but necessary reality in many industries and for many types of data. But if you’ve kept your house in order, so to speak, an audit doesn’t need to be stressful. The basis of audit preparedness is a strong audit log, to track the who, what and when of all changes to all data.
Our new audit log features make this a piece of cake. Simply turn on audit logs and all data changes are logged. You can view them down to the row or column level: did a specific field or a specific record change? What changes did a certain person make in a certain timeframe? If necessary you can then instantly revert to the old version.
Most business processes are cyclical, recurring on a set schedule. Our scheduler now makes it possible for you to easily turn workflows into automated recurring tasks. For instance, generate monthly invoices, make monthly payments, or produce and email a weekly activity report.
User interface design is important! We now provide four styling templates that can be easily customized with about 50 CSS parameters, such as primary color, font, round vs. square buttons and much more. That way you can quickly build apps that are visually pleasing and that match your company’s corporate design.
Ever wanted to make a quick screen recording? We’ve now built video capture directly into VisionX. It makes it possible to record a video of the whole screen or just the application. It’s also possible to take a screenshot instead of a video.
The recorder is a small bar under VisionX, if enabled:
To enable this bar, press Shift + Alt (MacOS: Shift + Option). The videos are compressed with Techsmith Screen Capture Codec, so you’ll need to install this codec in your operating system to playback recorded videos. It’s also possible to use VLC as video player. On macOS the elmedia Player is a good option.
If you want a standard video format, it’s possible to automatic convert the videos. Simply download the Videoconverter archive and extract its content into the lib directory of your VisionX installation folder. If the converter is available, all recorded videos will be converted automatically into the converted folder of your recordings directory. The format is AVI with MPEG4 codec. This should playback well under most operating systems.
This makes it easy to communicate with support: include a video with your report or question and let us see what you see. You can also use this to create simple trainings and tutorials for your users.
Many new actions
VisionX comes with a library of well over 200 actions, such as sending emails or getting approvals, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Our users continue to ask for new ones, and this release again includes several new actions, for instance calling REST actions, more flexible e-mail actions, and navigation functions through data sources.
We also included a few new features that are geared towards Java developers.
The first feature makes it possible to include external application directories. Usually, you start creating a new application with VisionX. The location is <visionx_install_folder>/rad/apps/<appname>. This is not the best place if you have your own directory structure or if you want to use a VCS like git or subversion. In this case, no worries. Simply copy the application folder to the right place and drag the folder back into VisionX. An information message will be shown and everything is done. If you delete such “linked” application, only the link will be removed. This hidden feature replaces manual usage of apps.xml in your rad directory. This manual task is not necessary anymore.
The second hidden feature is in the main screen of VisionX. If you press Shift + Alt, two new icons will appear for every application:
A click on the first icon will open the application directory in system explorer and the second icon will import or open the application in a running Eclipse installation, if EPlug is installed.
Finally, with VisionX 5.6 it will be possible to open the design mode a little bit faster. Simply start an application, press Shift + Ctrl and click the element with left or right mouse. The left mouse key will start the design mode and automatically selects the element. The right mouse key will open the customizer as well. The quick design mode also shows the name of the element, if you need the information for css customization.
Last but not least, many bugs were fixed.
The download area already contains links to the latest version of VisionX.
Please report any problems as usual and have fun turning your vision into reality!