In keeping with our tradition, at the beginning of every year we want to let you know the path Instant Developer is pursuing for the year, and once again there’s a lot to tell.

Let’s start with news on the way. There are two releases on the calendar: version 16.0 is slated for the first half of April, and 16.5 is coming in late September, just in time to include support for the new version of iOS.

Version 16.0 will contain two important new features:

  1. A focus on the Bootstrap framework introduced last November: we’ll include requests from the community and we’ll make the system even more stable.
  2. A runtime customization framework for mobile applications that will allow you to change their overall behavior, even device by device. This way, you’ll be able to create entire verticalizations without viewing or editing the original code.

We’ll also be implementing a lot of other improvements, including those we’ve received the most requests for in recent months, and all the fixes reported to our support system.

In conjunction with the release of version 16.0, we’ll be bringing online a new community support and management procedure in response to your requests over the last year. I can’t say too much right now, but we want to achieve the following goals:

  1. Accelerated scheduling of support services.
  2. Structured organization for providing patches.
  3. New system for discussing and selecting improvement suggestions from the community.

Finally, a quick look at version 16.5, which, in addition to including support for new web and mobile operating systems in 2017, will also have an important new feature: a new rendering system for the mobile app user interface that will allow for a user experience that truly resembles the native experience.

I hope that the Instant Developer Foundation roadmap for 2017 meets your expectations, and as always I’m curious to know what you think of it.

{ 0 comments }

Cloud is one of the most mainstream words in recent years. And there are good reasons for that: cloud infrastructure opens the door to a string of opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be available for most projects. If I compare my current disaster recovery system with what I had a few years ago, even though it consistently saved us in situations both big and small, it’s still clear that I’m able to achieve far more with less.

But some conditions also force a decision to do everything in house and to have your own applications on your own independently-managed server.

At first glance it might seem like Instant Developer Cloud, which is completely web-based from the IDE to the application in production, would prevent you from using your own server. But that’s not the case.

In fact today, I present to you Self-Managed mode: the offer from Instant Developer Cloud that allows you to use your own production server, whether it be Windows or Linux.

To use Self-Managed mode, you need to:

  1. visit the inde-self public repository page on gitHub
  2. download the package and follow the installation instructions
  3. open the Console, go to your project page, and open the Installations section
  4. click on +Install
  5. select Server as the target and click Next
  6. enter a name for the Build
  7. activate the flag that allows you to compile the Build without installing it and click Compile

The list of Builds for your application will appear and you can use the Download link to download the source code.

At this point you’ll need to unzip the content of the Build (which in this case is a .tar.gz compressed file) in the appDirectory/apps folder, and then you’ll need to set the config.json configuration file. You’ll find all the instructions on how to do so in the selfmanaged.md file in the repository.

Instant Developer Cloud’s offer does not entail costs for using the public IDE servers, nor are there costs for downloading Builds of public projects. For private projects there is a fee of €9.90 for each day of work performed, paid when you download.

I’ll wrap up by reminding you that the support department is available to help you configure your Self-Managed server. Methods for accessing our support service are still the same as for Instant Developer Foundation.

Enjoy! :)

{ 0 comments }

In my recent posts I announced the Final release of Instant Developer, the Automatic test system, the arrival of the Launchers, and the introduction of the Analytics system. The first Cloud edition release cycle is now complete, and nearly all the most important functionalities are available and ready for use in developing your new customer-facing apps.

On January 24, I published the 17-001 release, available for all your private servers and already installed on all the public servers. With this release we have introduced truly interesting functionalities, some of which were previewed in the example projects, which I’d like to summarize here on the blog:

  • We’ve introduced support for Bootstrap
    To give you and idea of how to use it, I want to remind you that the source project for MeetYou is available in the console examples.
  • We have implemented Grouped Datamaps
    How intuitive can a grouped display of data be for the user? Now you can achieve it thanks to the grouping functionality integrated into the framework. If you’d like to get an idea of how it can be applied, check out the MeetYou example and visit the Agenda section. You’ll see what I mean immediately.
  • TeamWorks has been improved with the addition of new commands, supporting push/pull/fetch, even between branches other than the master. A more GitHub sort of management, to give you an idea.
  • TeamWorks has also been provided with an improved conflicts management screen that’s more flexible and intuitive.

In addition to these innovations we’ve also made many improvements in the performance of the code editor, the intellisense algorithm, data synchronization, and the platform.

From now on, as for the Foundation edition, we’ll keep you up to date on the releases and functionalities that you can look forward to in future editions of Instant Developer Cloud.

What was I saying at the beginning? Nearly all the most important functionalities are available? Well, yes, we still need to answer the question, “how can I install a cloud application on the production server I already have?”, but I’ll tell you about that next time.

Stay tuned :)

P.S.
I want to remind everyone who wants to try out the Cloud edition that the support department is always here, if you need to evaluate creating an application, get some guidance on how the framework functions, or even report behaviors that need to be analyzed.

{ 0 comments }

Since the Bootstrap theme was released, many of the questions I’ve received were about managing details in the panels, and in particular how to design the fields within the IDE to achieve a final layout that looks as much as possible like what you want.

There have also been some very interesting threads in the forum, including one in particular that led to a call with Pro Gamma staff on January 18th. In this call, one of the most interesting aspects addressed was the algorithm that Instant Developer uses to divide the fields on screen in the twelve Bootstrap columns. Following that call, we decided to write this post to explain to everyone the dividing rules the IDE uses and how to make the most of them.

If you haven’t had a chance to work with this rendering framework yet, you need to know that the objects displayed to the user are arranged in a 12-column grid. Each field can occupy a single cell, or it can expand horizontally to occupy the cells next to it. The height of the row is dictated by the height of its content. But how does Instant Developer divide the rows and columns?

Let’s look at it together, starting with a simple layout:

First, the framework divides the form into horizontal bands, making sure that no field ever straddles two rows. Each of these is then divided into vertical bands using the same criteria. The procedure continues recursively for each cell obtained in this fashion, subdividing them further into rows and columns until there is a cell for every field.

The layout above is the simplest one possible; the final result is represented by a horizontal band for every field, each with a vertical band 12 columns wide, like this:

Naturally, forms will almost always be more complex, but the logic of the algorithm is the same. Let’s take the following layout for example:

In this case, the first horizontal band, shown in the image, is divided vertically in two: on the right the Photo field and all the other fields on the left. The procedure continues, dividing the left area into four horizontal bands. The first three of these are divided vertically in two, while the third doesn’t need to be divided given that it only contains one field.

But how wide are the fields? How can we control their size at design time?

The minimum width of a vertical band is always 1/12 of the panel width. This is because Bootstrap manages twelve columns. Each vertical band occupies from one to twelve columns proportionate to the design time layout.

When working with Bootstrap, it’s important to be able to decide how many columns each vertical band occupies. The last step that needs to be clarified is how to achieve this control using the Instant Developer IDE. In order to answer the question How many columns will my field occupy?, all you need to know is how wide a column is (as we’ve said, 1/12 of the form).

Look at the table below. Simply set the form to one of the widths specified in the first column to find out how wide a field needs to be depending on the number of columns it needs to occupy.

{ 0 comments }

Control your apps with Analytics

26.01.2017

With Instant Developer Cloud, you can manage the creation of an app from start to finish, work in teams, publish it on the production server in the cloud, and as described in my recent post announcing the Launchers, you can also publish the app directly to the stores. All still from your browser. But this [...]

Read the full article →

Business applications with Cloud? Now you can

19.01.2017

Those of you who’ve tried the two editions of Instant Developer know that Foundation is best suited for business type applications, while Cloud delivers the most for customer-facing apps, in which the user experience takes top priority. Today I’d like to introduce a shift of perspective in this regard, because sometimes business applications require the [...]

Read the full article →

Ladies and Gentlemen: Launchers

13.01.2017

I want to start this year off big, by announcing a feature that I’m incredibly proud of. In the post on November 15 about the Instant Developer Cloud automated testing system, I promised you that we’d be releasing interesting new features. Today I’m keeping my word. I am proud to present Launchers: the simple way [...]

Read the full article →

Best Holiday Wishes

23.12.2016

I’d like to take this opportunity the week before Christmas to send you all best wishes for a happy holiday season and a magnificent 2017 from me and all my colleagues here at Pro Gamma. 2016 has been an intense year for us, and maybe a bit different than usual: beyond our commitment to moving [...]

Read the full article →

How to make app mockups

24.11.2016

In recent articles about app design, we’ve seen how to write the preliminary documents: the User Profiles, User Stories and Business Model. With this material we’re ready to start working on the mockup, which will allow us to assess and test the actual look of the app. Given that the mockup is a preliminary design [...]

Read the full article →

Automated tests for Instant Developer Cloud Final

17.11.2016

It is with enormous pleasure and something of a thrill that I’m writing this post today to make a very important announcement: on November 15, 2016, Instant Developer Cloud concluded the preliminary phase and the first final version has been released. Simply register on the console to be able to develop your app directly from [...]

Read the full article →