Friday, November 25, 2016

What’s Planned for Joget Workflow v6?



the upcoming Joget Workflow v6 will have a dual pronged focus: User Experience (UX), and App Maintainability and Performance. Following the previous article which offered a sneak peek at what to expect, here’s a more detailed look at what’s to come.

User Experience

Enhanced App User Experience for Desktop and Mobile


Say goodbye to uninspired user interfaces expected in business apps, as v6 will provide a Universal Userview Theme that embraces Google’s Material design philosophy. Responsive to fit desktop and mobile devices, the theme allows for simpler and more flexible configuration, while still allowing fine-tuning via custom CSS or JavaScript.   

Customizable App Center with Joget Marketplace Integration


The App Center, the default landing page providing access to apps and seamless integration with the Joget Marketplace, is now a customizable app! Adapt the App Center to specific needs, or even replace it entirely if required.  

Dashboard Capabilities


One of the frequently requested features, a Dashboard Userview element now provides the capability for multiple elements to be presented in dashboard format for better information visibility.

Calendar View



The Calendar Userview element displays events in a familiar monthly, weekly or daily calendar view.

Unobtrusive Admin and Design Interface


The focus is on the apps, so the administration and app design interface is designed to be discreet and to stay out of the way. A floating design button toggles to show the Admin Bar and Front-End Edit Mode to show elements directly within the app.  

Design Apps Anytime, Anywhere with Support for Touch Devices


Touch devices are now supported! App designers can now use tablets or touch screen PCs to design all the processes, forms, lists and userviews. Dragging, dropping and configuring elements using your fingers or a stylus makes building and maintaining apps more accessible anytime, anywhere.

App Maintainability and Performance

Improved App Maintainability with Advanced Tools


The major challenge in app development is not building it the first time, but rather maintaining and evolving it over time. A big focus in v6 is improving app maintainability hence the new Advanced Tools which will make it easier to manage dependencies, while adding support for automatic merging of concurrent changes. For improved accountability, all changes to an app are now captured in the system audit trail as well.

Enhanced Configuration Options for Codeless Apps


The Joget Workflow platform allows for almost limitless extensibility via plugins and custom coding. However, the requirement for coding makes it less accessible to non-coders. In v6, there are now additional configuration options in various elements to allow for simple configuration instead. For example, retrieving data from multiple forms can be accomplished using simple form selections, instead of using custom SQL JOIN queries.

Improved Performance with Userview Caching


Caching is now available for all userview pages. Requiring just a couple of settings, any userview menu and page can be easily cached to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce server-side processing. When used appropriately, caching can greatly improve the performance and scalability of apps.

Database Connection Monitoring and Leak Detection



A new feature incorporated into the Performance Analyzer now provides monitoring of database connections at runtime. When logged in as an administrator, the Performance Analyzer displays the number of active and idle platform datasource connections at the top left corner of the app userview.

There is also database connection leak detection, which works for both BeanShell scripts and custom plugin code. When a possible leak is detected, a warning will be captured in the logs to allow administrators to identify the page causing the problem.

Additional Plugins Out of the Box for Greater Flexibility

v6 includes additional useful developer and integration plugins to cater for more complex app requirements.
  • More JDBC and BeanShell plugins are now available out of the box to allow for custom SQL and BeanShell code in forms and lists.
  • The Permission Userview Menu element allows userview permissions to be configured in the front-end app.
  • There is also a new Sync LDAP Directory Manager that allows LDAP and Active Directory information to be synchronized with the local user directory.

Latest Upgrades Under The Hood



Joget is built on Java using the proven and popular enterprise libraries Spring Framework and Hibernate ORM and in v6 they will be upgraded to new stable releases (Spring 4.3 and Hibernate 4.3) to take advantage of all the performance, stability and security improvements available.

Resources

While v6 is in the works, check out the current stable v5 release through the following resources:


NOTE: The features in v6 are subject to change prior to release.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Future of App Development: Touch to Build?

The Present



How does software get built today? The image of software engineers hunkering down over their computers is a familiar sight and is representative of how things work today. Building software and apps is the domain of experienced computer programmers and coders, of which there is a real shortage. This global phenomenon (check out a finding from the European Commission, for example) is not new, and will only get worse.

The Future


Now, imagine a future where non-coders are able to build and maintain apps. It may sound far-fetched and impractical now, but this is where we believe the world is heading. With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, IT literacy and competency are rapidly increasing all over the world. With the emergence and growth of low-code platforms, and the feedback from the Joget Workflow community, the trends point towards a future where more and more people are becoming creators, not just consumers of software.

At Joget, our vision is a business world where apps can be built and managed anytime, anywhere. But just as how smartphones revolutionized photography for the average person as opposed to professional photographers, software development professionals will still play a big role at a deeper level. However, the time is ripe for everyone to be able to create software when required. Imagine someone walking around with an iPad to build apps anytime, anywhere. Dragging some elements here, dropping some stuff there, everyone is empowered to create.


Well, “touch to build” is arriving in the upcoming Joget Workflow v6. Watch this space for updates!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Sneak Peek at What’s Coming in Joget Workflow v6

As an open source platform to easily build enterprise web apps for cloud and mobile, Joget Workflow has managed to build up a pretty large community of more than 1,600 installations and 9,100 community members to date. With a number of glowing customer testimonials and positive reviews on Capterra and GetApp.com, the platform is growing each day towards making app development simpler and more accessible.

The current v5 release provides a combination of nice new features, stability and security. However, there are a couple of focus areas for the next major release. Based on all the great feedback we have gotten from our community, and aligning with our vision for the future of app development, there will be a dual pronged focus in Joget Workflow v6: User Experience (UX), and App Maintainability and Performance.

User Experience and Mobility


User Experience (UX) and mobility are the Achilles' heel for enterprise apps. As consumer apps and sites redefine UX, enterprise software are often clunky in comparison. A key focus of v6 is to have Joget Workflow apps present a great user experience, learning from lessons in the consumer app world. Incorporating elements from Google’s Material design, mobile device responsiveness, and even touch support for designing apps (imagine using an iPad to build and maintain apps!), building beautiful and user friendly apps will be easier than ever.

App Maintainability and Performance


The major challenge in app development is not building it the first time, but rather maintaining and evolving it over time. A big focus in v6 is improving app maintainability, with additional tools to manage dependencies and to automatically merge concurrent team changes. Performance is also another key focus area. We plan to have tools to help app designers optimize their apps more easily through easy-to-use caching, and to prevent common app performance bottlenecks such as detection of database connection leaks.


The v6 roadmap has yet to be finalized, but there has been good progress and there should be a series of future articles to describe all the great stuff we have in store. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The 3 Key Principles of the Joget Workflow Platform

As we passed the 150,000 download milestone for the open source Community Edition earlier this year along with the release of Joget Workflow v5, we reflect upon the vision for the product as we work towards developing the next major release.

As an application development platform, the main value proposition can be summarized into 3 key principles: Simplicity, Flexibility and Openness.

Simplicity

Photo by Gisela Giardino / CC BY

Unlike many competing app development platforms, Joget Workflow empowers non-coders. Just a web browser is required to build and maintain apps anytime, anywhere. The web accessibility, visual approach and focus on simplicity reduces the time it typically takes to build apps from months to weeks or days. Or even just minutes for working prototypes.

There’s also the Joget Marketplace, where you can download ready-made apps and plugins. Just as how the Apple App Store and Google Play Store revolutionized smartphones by allowing apps to extend the functionality of a phone, the Joget Marketplace is a place to extend the capability of the Joget Workflow platform.

Flexibility

Rapid Application Development (RAD) products are typically focused on UI or database centric use cases, while Business Process Management (BPM) products are typically restricted to process centric scenarios.

Joget Workflow combines the best of both worlds to support full fledged end-to-end applications for cloud and mobile. Forms, lists, UI, workflow processes, user security, integration APIs. All the core features are provided out of the box.

However, it is very important to recognize that there is absolutely no way for any solution to cater to every requirement out there. That is why the platform is designed with a dynamic plugin architecture and APIs that allow developers to extend the platform as and when required.

Openness


We believe openness is a very important trait for software.

The core platform is open source, with associated benefits in cost, freedom, security and accountability. The platform can be deployed in various ways, whether on-premise, in the public or private cloud. It also runs on a multitude of operating systems, databases and application servers so it fits in with your infrastructure e.g. Windows, Linux, Oracle DB, Microsoft SQL Server, SAP HANA, MySQL, IBM Websphere, Oracle Weblogic, Red Hat JBoss, Apache Tomcat, etc.

There are also several editions of the platform to cater to different features and affordability needs, whether for Fortune 500 enterprises, government agencies, mid-market companies, departments, or small businesses.

What’s Coming in Joget Workflow v6

For the upcoming Joget Workflow v6, these 3 principles will still hold sway. In addition, based on the great community feedback in alignment with our product vision, there will be a dual pronged focus: User Experience (UX), and App Maintainability and Performance. More details will be coming soon!