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Mike’s top picks from EDUC 2014

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Mike has recently returned from the European DataFlex Users’ Conference (EDUC) 2014 in Bruges, Belgium which in his opinion was the best EDUC to date. Year on year these events get better, but the quality of the presentations and the subjects covered were, according to Mike, inspiring and prompted thought about how things are done at the moment and how they could be done in the future.

EDUC 2014 will be a hard act to follow. Mike couldn’t stress strongly enough how good all the presentations were, so it does seem unfair to highlight only a few here. However, there were some ideas and points that particularly caught Mike’s attention, and it’s those that we’ve listed here.

Pre-configured DataFlex Cloud servers

Chip Casanave, CEO/President of Data Access Worldwide, focused on Data Access’ intention to provide (soon!) pre-configured DataFlex Cloud servers and how Data Access are responding to the latest changes in technology.

Amazon’s EC2 will be the basis of these and a wide range of offerings will be available, including not only DataFlex WebApp Servers, but also Windows servers (which could then be accessed by users using Remote Desktop). Options will include the provision of DataFlex Report Writer, Connectivity Kits and Dynamic AI. All options will be available either as pure “pay-as-you-go” or using “reserved instances” (which work out significantly cheaper, but require a commitment to a fixed time period). No up front costs whatsoever – just simple monthly billing.

Chip also announced that the next Data Access Synergy conference will be in Seattle, Washington State, March 25th-27th 2015.

DDOs, Constraints and Filters

John Tuohy, CTO of Data Access Worldwide, explained how SQL Filters (a technique for doing very fast data filtering on SQL-based servers) will now be local to data dictionaries rather than global (or in reality as well as global), which in the past had required tricky management. Eddy Kleinjan elaborated on this, discussing new properties psSQLFilter and pbApplyGlobalSQLFilter (which will override the old DF_FILE_SQL_FILTER database API attribute), as well as highlighting the OnAttachProcess WebApp event as a good place to implement such things, allowing for the implementation of multi-tenancy within a single database.

Tablets Powered by DataFlex

Harm Wibier delivered an excellent presentation on using “Responsive Layout” in web applications, allowing them to adjust their design based on screen size, so presenting suitable interfaces for desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones within a single application. The new properties pbHtml5NativeOnMobile and pbHtml5NumberOnMobile in DataFlex 18.0 will help facilitate this.

Tightly integrate DataFlex reports

Klaus Berthelsen, Technical Director of Front-IT, shared his extensive knowledge of DRW (DataFlex Report Writer) to deliver an excellent presentation of integrating DRW reports into DataFlex programs.

You can control essentially every aspect of a report from within your DataFlex code, using such mechanisms as SetFilters and SetSortOrder. Klaus also demonstrated the use of stub functions within DRW which can then be augmented by sending the Visual Basic-like code to them from DataFlex via the SetFunction mechanism. In addition there was the ability to use the DataFlex program itself as a runtime data source (RDS) within DRW reports.

Web Application styling

Roel Fermont, Graphic Designer at Data Access, delivered an eye-opening presentation on how to use CSS styling tools and tricks in ways that considerably changed the way Mike looks at CSS.

For Mike, this was the highlight of the conference, a true master class, demonstrating new ideas and techniques for developers to take Web Applications to the next level.

Want to know more?

If you would like to know more about any of the EDUC 2014 presentations, please email us at info@unicorninterglobal.com or phone 0118 988 8709.

When’s the next EDUC?

The next EDUC will be hosted by Denmark’s Front-IT in Helsinki, Finland in June 2016.