There is yet another exciting year ahead that’s packed with news for people working in the field of software development. There is no other industry brimming with so much innovation and opportunity, even when the rest is fighting the trend!

Instant Developer users will also find 2016 to be a year packed with nice surprises, which I want to share with you today by presenting the roadmap and release dates.

I’m doing this through the blog rather than by publishing on the website because for us, these aren’t decisions that should be taken without asking your opinion. It’s Instant Developer users who decide on its roadmap, and that’s why we’re starting the conversation here.

As we announced in May 2015 at the presentation event, 2016 will bring the Cloud and Foundation editions closer. So:

  • Instant Developer Cloud will acquire more templates, examples, and rapid application development features.
  • Instant Developer Foundation will have to learn to generate responsive applications based on Bootstrap templates, as many of you have requested.

But let’s take a closer look at the details on releases and dates:

31 March 2016: The Cloud editions will emerge from the preliminary version. Foundation will be updated based on input from the support department to make it increasingly reliable and precise.

30 June 2016: First version of the Bootstrap generator for Foundation. The Cloud editions will be gaining templates, examples, and tutorials.

31 October 2016: Instant Developer Cloud becomes RAD: it will be possible to automatically generate application views and part of their operating logic, deriving them directly from the database or class schemas, as occurs currently in Foundation, but while maintaining the flexibility that characterizes the Cloud editions.
The Bootstrap module for Foundation will be completed, and both will be kept up-to-date with the latest versions of the mobile operating systems and browsers (which is no small feat, thanks especially to Apple).

I hope these announcements make you happy, and perhaps open up new possibilities. In any case, please let me know what you think below in the comments.

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We’re firing the blog back up again for 2016 with an important service notice about the Instant Developer Cloud editions.

With today’s update, the name of the Form object is changing to View.

This is due to the fact that the word View more correctly represents the concept of a set of visual elements that may appear in the browser or in the device compared to Form, which is a bit old style and over time has taken on a different connotation.

It might seem like a dangerous change, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. In fact as you know, we’re not fans of breaking changes, and we implemented this in the simplest and most painless way possible.

After today’s update, all you need to do is:

  1. Update the coreLibraries component in your projects.
  2. From now on, use the word View in place of Form.

As always, if you have any trouble, you know how to find me.
All the best for 2016!

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There aren’t that many software projects that can be developed by just one person, and that’s why development tools usually include versioning and teamwork management systems. So I’m pleased to announce that beginning today, the teamworking system in Instant Developer Cloud is complete, and everyone can use it.

Differently from the Foundation version, the Instant Developer Cloud teamworking system is based on the Git model, because this makes collaboration possible among teams that aren’t connected to each other, as happens in open source projects, for example. If you don’t already know how it works, the Atlassian website offers an explanation of the basic concepts.

Since Instant Developer Cloud is a cloud IDE, using Teamwork is even easier: simply fork a project to begin working as a team. Then, when your contribution is ready, the commit and pull request creation operations will make it available to the master project. Finally, all contributions are merged using the special merge commands on the master project and fetch commands on the sub-projects, and this is the stage when any conflicts can be managed.

Powerful difference monitoring and change history check tools are available throughout all working phases, so you can be confident that the contributions you are about to integrate are the right ones. Finally, multilevel branch management makes it possible to manage multiple project versions simultaneously.

Teamwork is fully integrated with the IDE, and in fact you need only go to the dashboard to find all the commands you need. If you have a personal workspace, you can work in teams on public projects; private projects will require a corporate development server.

With the new Teamwork from Instant Developer Cloud, working together is possible, and what’s more, it’s fun! And since I’m always trying to make it better, I’m looking forward to all of your feedback about it.

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People who develop applications for a living know that writing code is easy. The hard part is making it work. That’s why you need a good debugger, a tool that will allow you to observe the behavior of the application and figure out why it isn’t working the way it should.

And that’s why Instant Developer Cloud has had an integrated debugger since its earliest versions, to check both cloud and offline applications, even when they’re in the hands of end-users.

Nevertheless, feedback from our beta testers has shown that the tool for analyzing debug data wasn’t convenient to use. In these situations the temptation is to make the fewest changes possible, maybe by writing a manual to explain how the tool works.

But since a good debugger makes the difference, we decided to start over, working from how our beta testers were using it rather than how we had imagined it ourselves.

So what did we change? First of all, we made the information more accessible, separating the list of events from the trace analysis, adding a console to display the most helpful information in real time, and moving the settings to a separate screen.

Then, since many JavaScript programmers are used to using console.log for collecting information, we made it so that each console.log written in the code arrives directly to the debugger, even in the case of complex objects.

Finally, we redesigned the user interface of the debugger so it would be more natural and more pleasant to use.

Why am I telling you this story? Because we’ve found that what really makes the difference is the feedback from our beta testers, and you have to have the courage to take it seriously, even if that means scrapping a part of your software and starting from scratch.

So now we look forward to your feedback on the new debugger!

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Animating apps in the cloud

02.12.2015

Today an app programmer’s job is growing more and more complicated. Apps definitely need to be responsive, and they have to be usable interchangeably in a browser as well as the various smartphones and tablets, online or offline, both Apple and Android. But even that isn’t enough to create a state-of-the-art app. Because beyond being [...]

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We can learn from Facebook

26.11.2015

I know a lot of people who would read the statement in the title and say, “Oh come on, Facebook is just a huge waste of time,” and I can’t deny that from a certain point of view they’re right. More than once I’ve found myself scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, using my [...]

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Tips & Tricks: optimizing blob synchronization

19.11.2015

I’m reviving the Tips & Tricks feature after a relatively long pause, and to do so I decided to take on a subject in which many people have expressed interest: optimizing blob synchronization. As you know, the Instant Developer synchronization framework is based on transporting data using XML strings: both the individual changes of differential [...]

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It’s Foundation time

16.11.2015

This month has been brimming with updates, even if the lion’s share were about the Cloud editions. But those who have been with us for a while know that the beginning of November is time for the newest yearly version of Foundation, and we didn’t want to disappoint. If you remember the roadmap we sketched [...]

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Cloud Editions: November 10th updates

10.11.2015

As I promised two weeks ago, here I am again to tell you about updates to Instant Developer Cloud Editions. This week we have some particularly interesting news, especially from the standpoint of the collaboration between users and using the IDE. The top new items are: remote collaboration through the IDE directly from the browser: [...]

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An afternoon in Florence

03.11.2015

About ten days ago, Maurizio Cherubini, CTO of Albalog, invited me to attend an event he had organized in their beautiful new offices in Florence. The occasion was a presentation of their ExtraERP project to a group of his friends, all software house managers or IT managers for large companies, and at the same time [...]

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