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Your IBM i HTTP Server powered by Apache is a powerful web-serving system akin to a bank staffed with multiple fast-working tellers. The AJAX requests coming in from your front-end apps are like customers entering the bank to perform transactions. Each "customer" queues up in an orderly line on a first-in/first-out basis, and is serviced by the next available "teller" as soon as they're finished dealing with the prior customer.
Just about every business has a situation where users need to perform a single process against multiple items in one pass. For example, you might have a list of open invoices that you'd like to flag as ready for payment, or a group of inventory items that you would like to transfer out of a special holding area. Rather than making your users do individual transactions for each invoice that needs to be paid, or each product that needs to be moved, you could significantly speed up the operation by providing your users a list of selectable records and an action button.
Wrapping up 2017 with a simple but powerful tip for Nitro Query grid apps... Very often lists of business data include columns that can be classified as boolean, with text representing values of yes/no, true/false, 1/0, etc. When you're creating a Nitro Query grid app that includes such columns, you can make "truthy" values stand out much more clearly by replacing the column text with a visual checkmark.
Whether you're a seasoned SQL pro or just learning the ropes of SQL syntax on IBM i, the SQL parser built into Nitro Query App Builder is an invaluable tool you can leverage to quickly generate a web-based report for your users, or even a file maintenance application containing multiple joined files. SQL-based data sources were introduced in Valence 5.1 back in May 2017, and the feature was formally removed from Beta status this month.
The tried and true IBM i Query Utility (as accessed via STRQRY or WRKQRY) is mainstay in many IBM i shops. But it goes without saying that the user interface associated with the configuration and the output of an IBM i Query leaves a bit to be desired. This is particularly true when users must navigate through the query's definition to change selection or sort criteria.
As we prepare for next month's release of Valence 5.1, we thought it'd be both interesting and useful to summarize some of the blog post contents in a single, categorized list. From customizing the look and feel of the Valence Portal to tips on back-end and front-end development, there's likely to be at least one or two blog posts to pique your interest. Without further ado, here's a categorized breakdown of the more useful blog posts from the past few years:
Sometimes the best way to get a business point across to someone, or get them to look at something at all, is to make it insanely easy for them to get where they need to go with a single click. The Valence 5 portal makes it possible to do this with just about any app or Nitro Query you've got set up. Simply construct a special URL and email it!
CNX Announces General Release of Valence 5
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.
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.
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.
Features native portal app for iOS devices and updated user interface components CHICAGO, IL. CNX announced today the general availability of version 4.1 of the Valence Framework for IBM i. Valence 4.1 introduces new options for developing and running IBM i applications on iOS devices (iPad/iPhone), as well as support for a new set of front-end components for regular desktop apps. Back-end support for IBM i OS 7.2 is also included with this release.
Imagine this scenario: You've developed and deployed a beautiful Valence-based customer order entry app to replace your company's former green screen program. Your customer service users can now easily launch the app to initiate new orders, quickly fill out the mandatory header fields and enter item details for the order. All is well! But then one day, while in the middle of entering an exceptionally large order, one of your users gets distracted and inadvertently closes the order entry app before hitting Save. Poof! All their data entry work is gone and they have to start over.