Photo by cmoewes
Many of my clients are asking for updated applications and modern features, that they have seen in some of my latest WinDev Applications. As I began making proposals for several of these conversion projects, I realized that I need a standard general comparison of some of the look and feel, and features that would be include in any application that I convert from Clarion to WinDev. The article that follows is the basis of that comparison.
The purpose of this document is to offer a brief overview of some of the key features that will be added to a Clarion application when it is converted to WinDev. These features will add a modern look and feel to your application versus the original application developed in Clarion, as well as add a number of features that either were not previously available or required the investment in third-party products to make possible. It is not an exhaustive list of the features of WinDev or even of the AAF features, or a Clarion versus Windev analysis, it is simple a review of some of the key features of WinDev that are either automatically added or easily added to an Application when converting it, that should be of interest to developers and users of Clarion Applications.
Note: The screen shots in this document come from the AAF document from PC-Soft Located at: http://www.pcsoft-windev-webdev.com/windev-user-documentation-for-aaf.pdf
WinDev Automatic Application Features (AAF)
Moving the application from Clarion into WinDev as the development environment will bring a more modern look and feel to the application and many built-in features that have previously not been possible. Many of these features are automatically included in all WinDev Applications and know as Automatic Application Features, some of those key features include:
Window resizing now works reliably and intelligently and windows can be resized automatically based on the users available resolution, so that more data can be displayed in a coherent fashion. The size and position of the window will be store for each user.
Automatically Completing Buttons
For warnings and other type of messages that don’t have to necessarily have end-user interaction, buttons can be made to auto complete after a time delay. This allows the end-user to override the action if needed, but the default action be taken if the user does not respond.
Enhanced Browse Features
There are a number of enhancements to browses, most of these are available via a pop-up menu when right clicking on the browse:
Selecting Columns to Display
The end-user can select which columns of data to display in the browse. So if change first name and zip code are not important to you, you can remove those columns.
Exporting Data into Word or Excel
The currently displayed data in the browse can be exported into Excel or Word, this takes any search or filter criteria into consideration.
Printing Data in the browse
Data currently displayed in the browse can be directly printed without a developer created report. As well as the creation of Custom reports via the Reports and Queries feature (see elsewhere)
Create a Chart based on a browse
A Chart can be automatically created based on the data currently displayed in a browse.
Displaying Totals and Averages on a browse
Numeric columns can automatically display Totals or Averages
Scrollbars with Accurate and Useful Feedback
The scrollbars of the browse show an accurate representation of the amount of data in the browse as well as the current position in the data, hovering over the scroll bar also pops up a tooltip, providing you with the exact position numbers of the currently displayed records and the total number of records in the browse.
Changing the order that columns are displayed
Along with choosing which columns are displayed the end-user can also adjust the order of those columns.
Sorting Columns of a browse
Most clarion programs do offer some form of this feature but I include it here for completeness sake.
Searches on Browse Columns
This is usually accomplished with a “Locator” field in clarion. With WinDev all the fields of the browse can be used for searching using the magnifier icon.
Filtering the content of a column
This is more powerful than searching, and allows you to only display records where the column matches a particular criteria.
Fixing a Column
Useful when you have more columns than can be displayed on the screen at one time. You can fix a column so that it always remains on the screen when the horizontal scrollbar is used to scroll to the right.
When charts are displayed in the application, the style and many other settings of the chart can be adjusted by the end-user.
There are a considerable number of features in the print preview window. Including the ability to Export to Word, Excel, HTML, PDF, XML, or send the report via Email. There are also annotation features included that allow you to Draw on the Report (Pen), place Arrows on the Report, Insert typed text or an image. Reports are also searchable.
Modern Look and Feel Enhancements
A splitter control allows a window to be divided in logical portions and allows it to be adjusted so that one half or the other shows more data. Very useful for Header and Detail browses on the same screen.
Visual Combo Boxes
A combo box selection no longer has to just contain text, it can contain graphics making the selection easier for the end users, depending on the situation.
User Macro Code (UMC)
Similar to Word, Excel and other applications, WinDev applications can support the ability for end users to write macros to be execute as they need. For instance to cause any row in a browse to display in Red when the Quantity on hand is less than 10. Instead of having the developer add this feature it can be added via a UMC. Note: This is an advanced feature that does require a working knowledge of Wlanguage.
Along with the print preview features already discuss the reports themselves have some power features. Clickable areas allow reports to have clickable areas that link to detail reports, edit forms, charts, etc. In the below example clicking on the caption opens the product form.
Reports and Queries
This functionality allows end users to create their own reports and queries as well as modify existing reports. Note: this is an advanced feature that should be considered carefully.