CNX Announces General Release of Valence 5
When working with dates on IBM i you will often need to deal with null date values of 0001-01-01. Depending on the display format you’ve chosen, in a Valence UI designed with Ext JS a null date field will be rendered like this: When the user clicks on the date selector trigger here, a calendar pops up based on the year and month specified in the field.
The VVOUT spreadsheet procedures were enhanced in Valence 4.2 to support the generation of Excel spreadsheets in .xlsx format. You can see a practical example of these procedures in action by clicking on the download button on any of the entities in the Portal Admin app (the corresponding backend RPG code is located in various VVADM*** source members). The procedure for applying styling to cells in these .xlsx-based spreadsheets is a bit different from the old .xls formatting used in prior versions of Valence.
You already know that installing Valence on IBM i and using it internally within your corporate network is fast and easy. Your company’s employees should also be able to access your Valence instances through a standard VPN connection when they are located outside of your company’s physical network. But what about when you need to provide secure access to Valence apps to the outside world directly through the Internet?
Normally the paths associated with Valence apps are hard-coded to specific values that never change. The users clicks on the app and the Valence Portal directs them to a specific IFS path or web page. But what if you had a special use case where you wanted to alter the IFS path or URL based on who is logged in, or depending on which environment they're using? This can be done using a special exit program technique that will dynamically alter the path of an app upon being launched from the Valence Portal.
REST-based web service, with the other end being the "consumer" of said service. Consider this scenario: You want to give a VIP customer the ability to have their system automatically contact your system to obtain real-time shipment status updates for specific orders being fulfilled by your company. And as luck would have it, you've already done the legwork to creat an order inquiry Valence app on your system, complete with an RPG program that provides the necessary data for these shipments in JSON format.
CNX Support. The new features included with Valence 4.2 are summarized in last month's Cat-out-of-the-Bag post, with one significant addition: The mobile version of Nitro iAdmin is now included with the Valence Framework. This handy mobile app makes it possible to perform common IBM i administrative tasks while you're on-the-go with your SmartPhone.
As you create and deploy more Valence apps within your organization, logging in to the Valence Portal becomes more of a daily routine for your IBM i users. In such cases, setting up a global auto-start tab (as done in Portal Admin > Settings > Session Options > Application to autostart) can be a handy way to convey daily news, bulletins and announcements to the office staff. This tip shows how to make that launched tab "stick" so that it's always open. You could also apply this concept to any other apps that are launched in the Valence Portal.
How time flies! We're well into September now, which means we're just over a month away from the next major release of Valence, version 4.2. While there are a number of goodies being incorporated into this newest release, the biggest items for Valence 4.2 are:
- PHP support
- JSON-based web service functionality
- A new solution for running 5250 programs in the Valence Portal
Here's a quick breakdown of the details behind these features...
GDANSK, POLAND. CNX announced at the COMMON Europe Congress today the general availability of a Polish language version of the Valence Portal for IBM i. Released as an update to Valence Framework 4.1, the addition of Polish brings the total number of spoken languages available in the Valence Portal to nine, including English. The other included languages are German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Russian and Japanese.
As you roll out more and more Valence apps to your IBM i users, it's only a matter of time before you receive a call from someone claiming a program didn't respond with the expected data, or took too long to respond. Or perhaps it didn't respond at all!
Ever wished you could save and test your front-end development work locally, on your own PC or laptop, then push it to your IBM i only when it's ready for user testing or production? Turns out this is indeed something you can do! Using this process, the changes you make during development are completely local to your PC, thereby not affecting any deployed Valence app in the interim.
The 2015 SenchaCon conference took place last week in Silicon Valley, with a host of exciting announcements about what's in the pipeline for web and mobile app development. As assessed by the CNX staff in attendance, here are the top five most interesting tid-bits for the Valence community to come out of the show:
Old UI habits die hard! You may have developed some of the most beautifully functional and user-friendly Valence apps for your company, but the green screen legacy can still be hard to overcome. So long as your company's operations require at least some 5250 programs to be used -- as is typical for IBM i sites that have been around for a while -- then persuading users to flip from Client Access over to their web browser to do, say, a quick inventory or order look-up in Valence may pose a challenge.
As your repository of Valence apps grows, you may soon find occasion where you'd like to “spawn” one app from another in the Valence Portal. For example, you may have a simple inventory lookup app that you could launch whenever someone clicks on a line on a customer order, passing in the corresponding product number so the user doesn’t have to re-enter it manually. That same inventory lookup app could also be launched when clicking on an item in, say, a purchase order app. And so on. This kind of functionality inter-app functionality can serve as a great convenience your users.