Flexible App UI Design with Multi-level Style Sheets

Using a cross-platform mobile development framework like MobileTogether is a great choice for building native apps, because the design environment takes care of rendering the app UI properly using the native look and feel of each operating system. You just have to build one design.

This gives app developers the ability to build sophisticated, data-centric apps for all users very quickly. To help this work, MobileTogether employs an RMAD approach along with flexible options for designing a beautiful UX. To help specifically with this last point are multi-level style sheets that let you customize and apply styles – either statically or dynamically – at various levels of the app UI design with just a few clicks.

Viewing a mobile app

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Database Features Across the Altova Product Line

We have written previously about database features like SQL Merge for data integration, and summarized database features in the latest release. But if you’ve only used one or two Altova products, you may not be aware of the powerful support for working with relational databases is provided throughout Altova’s tightly-integrated tools.

Database features across the Altova product line

The Altova MissionKit and MobileTogether products include SQL database features with rich functionality for database-related tasks, supporting all major relational databases in their native interface languages.

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Learn About Inline XBRL and XBRL Taxonomy Packages

As adoption of the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) for financial reporting increases worldwide, new standards are emerging to meet the needs of filing companies and developers alike. Altova’s line of XBRL-enabled products supports a wide-range of XBRL standards and is updated frequently as new specifications emerge.

Let’s take a closer look at two of the newer XBRL standards – Inline XBRL and XBRL Taxonomy Packages – and explore how they work.

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Automated Testing for Mobile App Development

Robust and repeatable testing improves any software development project. If you’re creating a mobile app, testing is especially critical given the unpredictable range of end user devices and location variables. Altova MobileTogether includes sophisticated Automated Testing features that let developers:

  • Record a series of user actions as a test case
  • Replay the test case in the MobileTogether Designer Simulator environment
  • Deploy test cases to the MobileTogether Server for replay on a variety of client devices
  • Retrieve Test Run results from the server and compare differences

Automated Testing for Mobile Apps

You can even modify the app to fix a bug and run the test case again to validate the results of changes, which makes this an indispensable QA tool for your mobile app development process.

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Scan Now: Barcodes in Mobile Apps

Barcodes are used in various industries to provide an optical, machine readable representation of data, usually related to an object they are placed on, such as a book, retail product, shipping package, or even the wrist of a patient in a hospital.

Recent developments in barcode technology include 2D codes that use shapes beyond the original bars (think of those QR codes you see on everything from magazine ads to cereal boxes). More significant, though, is the ability of smartphones and other mobile devices to scan barcodes using their built-in camera. Where in the past a specialized barcode scanner was required to read the coded information, now anyone can scan a code, greatly expanding the usefulness of barcodes for communicating data that can then be used a variety of ways.

Apps that can process barcode information are useful in a number of industries, and they can be used in apps that target workers as well as consumers. Let’s take a look at how easy it is to build an app that scans and processes barcodes in MobileTogether.

Barcodes in mobile apps

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EDI Data Mapping with MapForce

Any computer industry standard that promotes reliability and clear communication between independent enterprises will have a long life. EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) originated in the 1960s to enable automated transactions between corporate computer systems. EDI remains in widespread use today and continues to evolve to meet modern requirements, under the administration of the UN/EDIFACT and ANSI standards bodies.

Altova MapForce supports EDI data mapping between EDI messages and XML, JSON, relational databases, flat files, Excel, or other data formats to bridge between commonly used information interchange and in-house technologies.

MapForce includes support for the latest EDIFACT versions 2015B and 2016A including the new VERMAS message. Mapping and translating EDIFACT messages to other usable data types for transfer, storage, and management is a common business requirement solved by MapForce.

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MobileTogether Adds Barcodes, Automated Testing, and More

It’s time for the latest release of MobileTogether, Altova’s cross-platform framework for building native, data-centric apps.

Coming a short five months after MobileTogether 2.2, version 3.0 ships with an impressive array of new functionality, from developer-requested features such as barcode scanning and automated testing support, to flexibility improvements in the form of multi-level stylesheets and print-to-file functionality, all of which are sure to set your apps apart from the crowd.

Let’s take a look at the new features in detail.

 MobileTogether 3.0

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MapForce Supports SQL Merge When It’s the Right Tool for the Job

Large database tables can easily contain a million, even hundreds of millions of rows of data. Database administrators and others charged with maintaining such large datasets are always concerned about execution time for ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) operations, updates, and other SQL queries. To make these operations more efficient, some — but not all — database vendors implemented a SQL merge statement to insert or update rows of an existing table as a single bulk-insert statement rather than requiring individual statements for each row.

Altova MapForce automatically supports SQL merge when it is available for the target database. Let’s look at an example.

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Simplifying License Management

We’ve been offering a centralized license server to all customers of our Altova server software products for quite some time. Now, starting with LicenseServer v2.0 (released in September 2016), you can also manage all Altova desktop software licenses with the same license server. This support covers all MissionKit products, such as XMLSpy, MapForce, StyleVision, etc., whether they’re licensed separately or as part of a MissionKit product bundle.

Doing so greatly simplifies license management for the IT administrator in your organization and allows you to maximize your usage of the investment you’ve made in Altova software products. License Server v2.0 can now handle the management of installed-user, concurrent-user, and named-user licenses for all desktop developer tools and allows you to centralize license management either on a per-department level or for an entire organization.

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How to Create Fillable PDF Forms

Compared to traditional paper forms, fillable PDF forms offer numerous benefits – aside from saving trees – including removing issues with legibility, allowing data validation, reducing re-keying errors, and streamlining information storage and re-use.

I, for one, really wish my kids’ school would switch to PDF forms for the myriad back-to-school information pages that we fill out in triplicate every fall. Perhaps I can give the administrators a demo of StyleVision, which just added support for PDF form creation.

Unlike other PDF form design tools, however, StyleVision also provides form workflow functionality via integration with StyleVision Server for extracting and processing the data that end users enter. Let’s take a look at how it works.

PDF Forms

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