Don Bakke

OpenInsight 10 Alpha – The New IDE

OI 10 Logo Transparent2

If the title of this article seems familiar, it’s probably because we posted one with a nearly identical title last year. In that article we were able to discuss and show the new IDE via several screen shots. We don’t want to repeat the same information that was covered in that article as the improvements and benefits of the new IDE have not changed. The purpose of this article will be to expand on what has already been reported and update you on some of the further developments in the IDE. However, if you have not read our earlier article, then please take a moment to click on the link, review, and then come back for our follow-up below.

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OpenInsight 10 Alpha – The Conversion Process

OI 10 Logo Transparent2

If “when will OpenInsight 10 be ready?” is the most common question we get asked, then “what will be different in OpenInsight 10?” (or some variation) definitely comes in second. To help our curious readers, we will once again attempt to answer this question by exploring OpenInsight 10 from a practical, or “need to know”, perspective. One rather important detail worth sharing up front is that all attendees of this year’s Revelation Software User’s Conference received a flash drive containing an alpha version of OpenInsight 10. This allows us to share information based on the presentations and hands-on experience with this very early release of the product. One last item before I move on: please do not ask for a copy of OpenInsight 10! This copy is meant only for conference attendees. (Editor’s Note: As noted in the comments, shortly after this article went to press Revelation Software made OpenInsight 10 Alpha available to all WORKS subscribers.)

We thought our first article in this series should focus upon what every OpenInsight developer will need to experience in order to test their applications in OpenInsight 10: the conversion process. Note, this is a conversion process, not an upgrade process. OpenInsight developers are quite used to running upgrades (after backing up of course!) in situ, i.e., against the current OpenInsight application. OpenInsight 10, on the other hand, will need to be installed into an empty folder. From here the conversion tools will be launched. This is very analogous to the ARev32 conversion process – including the way reports are generated that inform the developer what was completed and what items need further attention.

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RevCon 2016 and OpenInsight 10

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When, When, When??? Those where some of the final words Mike Ruane had posted in his wrap-up slide for the 2016 Revelation Software User’s conference, which just ended early this afternoon. Clearly he understood that the foremost question on attendees’ minds before the conference (and much more by the end of the conference) was, “When will OpenInsight 10 be ready?” Before sharing Mike’s answer, I would like to refer back to the first article of my 2015 conference summaries, which was published slightly more than one year ago. In that article I wrote the following comments:

From day one of the conference people wanted to know when OpenInsight 10 will be released…My personal opinion is that we will see the beta available near the end of September 2015, if not later…Regardless of how well Revelation Software succeeds in their current timeline, it is very safe to assume that OpenInsight 10.0 (that is, Ten-Dot-Oh), will not be around until early Q2 2016. If you are the cautious type who is x.0 averse, then you will need to plan even longer.

So, how is OpenInsight 10 progressing? A proper answer to that question is a bit complex, and deserves to be handled through multiple articles that cover various aspects of the conference and the OpenInsight 10 product. Therefore, we intend to do just that.

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RESTing before RevCon 2016

RevCon2016

With the Orlando Revelation User’s Conference coming up in just over four weeks from now, we continue to be quite busy getting ready for this major event. So, despite what this article title might seem to suggest, we are doing everything but taking it easy and relaxing. In point of fact, in addition to finishing up our travel plans, we are putting together our presentation for the conference. This is entitled: OpenInsight as a REST API Engine, What You Should Know.

For those who have not received or read through the conference brochure (a PDF copy can be downloaded from this link), here is the description of our presentation topic:

Virtually everyone who develops web applications has heard of REST APIs. Common questions you might ask are: Is REST just another buzzword? Should I care? How can this benefit my application or company? The short answers to these questions are: No; Yes; and, Come to this presentation and find out how REST can benefit you. In addition to explaining REST in easy to understand terms, we’ll provide a survey of the REST concept and compare it to competing strategies, explaining why REST is important and why virtually every major tech company on the internet supports REST APIs. Then we’ll provide you with the basic steps you’ll need to create your own REST API engine using OpenInsight. This presentation is a must for serious app developers who want to leverage their OpenInsight skill set with web and mobile toolkits.

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Banded Report Writer Revealed – RTI_BRW_GenerateReport

Our next installment in the Banded Report Writer Revealed series explores the second of the two primary stored procedures that provide command line interaction with this rich reporting tool. Whereas the RTI_BRWSupport function provides multiple services, the RTI_BRW_GenerateReport function only has one purpose: to generate BRW reports. Thus, RTI_BRW_GenerateReport works with the Banded Report Writer in much the same way that Run_Report works with the Report Builder. Like the RTI_BRWSupport function, RTI_BRW_GenerateReport is documented in the more recent BRW Reference Guides (see pages 82ff.), but we’ll see that there is still more to discover than what has been put in the official documentation.

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Picking the Correct XMLHTTP Object

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Many OpenInsight applications integrate HTTP calls to extend its capabilities and embrace the power of web services. Whether using the Google Map API to get geolocation information or the UPS APIs to track shipments, applications are doing far more than they ever could before. We were recently approached by ChargeItPro, a leader in payment processing, to help them out. ChargeItPro was going to retire an older web API and replace it one with based on a RESTful architecture. Since ChargeItPro has a number of customers using OpenInsight, they maintain BASIC+ stored procedures and provide them to developers who want to integrate their services. We were asked to convert the logic to work with their new API. This seemed like a fun project, especially since much of the work we are now doing is heavily centered on REST APIs and web services.

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SRP Resource Sites – Right Tool for the Right Job

SRP has long advocated a philosophy of “right tool for the right job” when building software applications. It was the driving force that moved us to develop our very first ActiveX control for OpenInsight. Continuing along this path has resulted in the development of several useful controls and utilities. This effort has allowed us to produce some fantastic software applications for our clients – using the very best that OpenInsight has to offer while integrating technology that goes beyond OpenInsight’s boundaries. Therefore, it was only natural that we should follow this same philosophy when it comes to our own online resources.

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