Friday, December 2, 2016

Writing Beacon Apps with Magic xpa

Beacon apps may be created for any number of reasons: streamlining access to physical devices and records; tracking things; tracking people; routing and navigation; and improved interaction with the Internet of Things (IoT). When creating mobile beacon apps with Magic xpa, the Magic developer can bring a number of benefits to an organization.

Beacons Make It Easier and More Secure to Access Things

Most of us are familiar with the manner in which Bluetooth technology can be leveraged to let you unlock your car without a key. Likewise, beacons can streamline access to everything from physical spaces to electronic records. A mobile app using beacons could eliminate extras like key cards and make proprietary systems and fobs unnecessary, saving the company and its employees time and money. Many of these business processes, are ideally suited to mobile apps running on Magic xpa. The mobile RIA interface in Magic xpa is more easily extensible across multiple devices meaning you only have to develop once for support of many different physical devices, operating systems and screen sizes.

Beacons Make It Easier to Keep Track of Things

Where’s my stuff? is a common question in business. What if you always knew where every piece of equipment was located without annoying codes to determine inventory? Beacons can be used to track valuable property for improved asset management. Magic mobile apps can be updated by the use of beacon technology and servers can also track locations of mobile app users based on beacon proximity. Mobile apps can also be used to locate, check-out and check-in assets. With Magic xpa’s automated database discovery, building tracking apps using beacons is greatly simplified.

In fact, with beacons, employees will spend less time tracking down the stuff they need to do their jobs. Location tracking apps are convenient for things like computers, but life-saving in places like hospitals where assets can not only be located but controlled remotely. It also enables companies to learn how assets are being used in order to plan more effectively, optimizing equipment purchasing, rental, utilization and attrition. Because Magic xpa can read in those pre-existing tables, building the app is fairly straightforward.

Beacons Make It Easier to Keep Track of People

Beacon apps can interact with customers and employees based on proximity to beacons. These beacons may also be mobile. For example, wheelchairs in an airport can be equipped with beacons. A mobile app can track not only where they are but also where the skycaps are. Based on where the skycaps and wheelchairs travel during the day, usage costs can be allocated to various airlines based on their actual use of pooled assets and people. Similarly, beacons enable employees to be aware of each other’s location. In a fire or disaster situation at a chemical factory, knowing which employees are near which beacon can literally become a matter of life and death. Of course, these would not be the first Magic xpa mobile apps that deal with location. Boston Medical Center uses Magic mobile apps all across its diverse campus comprised of dozens of buildings.

Beacons Make It Easier to Navigate

Navigation within a confined building environment such as an airport, library or hospital can be tricky. Wifi and cell dead zones run throughout. Bluetooth beacons can aid navigation in these tight spots. In-mall package delivery. Let’s say you’ve ordered a pair of glasses at your local Lens Crafters type store. Rather than wait for your glasses, you’d prefer to continue shopping in the mall. A valet app could be created that is able to send the valet right to your beacon location and deliver your new pair of glasses while you shop and without your having to return to the store. The app can then capture your signature as proof-of-delivery and store that information in the server for access in enterprise applications and databases.

Beacons Make it Easier to Control Your Environment

Beacons can help businesses become more efficient and secure, protecting and enabling employees, customers and assets without an army of manual resources. Beacons can help reduce heating and lighting usage when no one is present, place equipment in low power modes when mobile app users are not near the beacon, trigger online meeting programs when the key executive enters a meeting room, and activate and focus surveillance cameras when certain movements occur.


So How Do You Build Beacon Apps with Magic xpa? Magic xpi Integration Platform for JD Edwards and Magic xpa Application Platform offer mobile app development and integration capabilities needed for building and integrating beacon apps. While few companies have experience with beacon app integration using Magic xpa, all of the technical components are in place and it is basically just a matter of finding the business vision and use case that exploits these powerful capabilities. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Magic xpa Runtime Form Designer


 You may enjoy this video on the use of the Magic xpi Runtime Form Designer. It describes the use of the Runtime Form Designer in Magic xpa. With the Runtime Form Designer you can now make changes to the form during Runtime mode. The Runtime Form Designer provides the following functionality:
  • Move controls on the screen by dragging and dropping and by using the keyboard. You can even move controls from one tab to another.
  • Resize the controls.
  • Hide (and restore) controls.
  • Change some of the controls’ properties, such as Color and Font. The changes can be saved per each user or in a central location.


The following elements are provided to the Developer in order to develop for the Runtime Form Designer programatically:

  • Open Form Designer event – Opens the Runtime Form Designer. This event has an optional parameter, Admin mode, to define whether the end user can delete controls or see hidden controls.
  • Controls Persistency Path environment setting – This setting governs the location of the files generated by the Runtime Form Designer.
  • ControlsPersistencyClear function – Clears the persistency of the controls.



Click here to see the video: Magic xpa Personalized Screens for Your Users.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

10 Reasons to Deploy Your Existing Applications as Rich Internet Applications with Magic xpa


10 Reasons to Deploy Your Existing Applications as Rich Internet Applications with Magic xpa

                                  Rich Internet Applications Extend Your Reach


With Magic xpa, Rich Internet Applications extend the reach of your business applications to locations anywhere on the Internet. Satellite offices, home offices, and your traveling workforce can simply connect to the Internet and access their applications.

           Rich Internet Applications Can Go Mobile


In addition to being able to access applications from desktop and notebook computers, Magic xpa RIA applications can be deployed on Windows Mobile devices, which opens up your business applications to your mobile workforce and field workforce in even more exciting ways.

          Rich Internet Applications Are Rich, As In Interactive


With a whole host of highly-interactive user interface controls built-in to Magic xpa, your applications have the kind of responsive up-to-date look and feel that users expect and need. This enhances the user experience leading to greater employee, trading partner and customer satisfaction.

Rich Internet Applications Are Rich, As In Media Intensive

In addition to all of the native graphical file formats supported from within a Magic xpa "form" or "sub-form", the Magic xpa RIA client can see all types of media types within a so-called "browser-frame." It allows you to display the kinds of rich media (pictures, sound, animation, video, etc.) that you are used to seeing in a web-browser without the overhead and anarchy of the browser itself. Which reminds us…

               Rich Internet Applications Are Browser-Free


Web browsers impose all kinds of interaction uncertainties and security concerns. The advantage of Magic xpa’s approach to RIA is that is browser-free. You don't have to worry about other windows popping-up, the back button, or security violations due to the end-users manipulation of the security settings on the browser or their appetite for cookies, exposure to viruses, adware and other risks.

 Rich Internet Applications Don't Require Terminal Servers (such as Citrix)


Since Magic xpa extends your reach across the Internet, you won't need layers of expensive third-party technology just to let your users see your applications. That saves money, reduces architectural complexity and simplifies installation.

Rich Internet Applications Can Be Built With Magic xpa Unified Development Paradigm


Magic xpa’s unified development paradigm means you don't have to develop complicated architecture for rich client and server interaction, you don't have to use two different tools and programming languages – one for the client and for the server – because Magic xpa Studio environment allows you to develop in a unified fashion for both client and server with automated management of technical and communication layers. That means all of the session contexts and caching are automated according to your application design. It's Magic, after all.

Rich Internet Applications Built on Magic xpa Can Access Local Client Resources


With Magic xpa,the applications you create can access local resources such as XML, databases, email and local files. In the real world of business, not all vital information sits on the server at a centralized data center. Sometimes you need information from the users' machine or access to things as simple as local printers or other I/O devices.

Rich Internet Applications Based on Magic xpa Are SaaS and Cloud Ready


Some companies want to be able to deploy the software applications they create to multiple users on a Software-as-a-Service model. SaaS models flourish with browser-free RIA like Magic xpa because of the heightened security and really all of the reasons mentioned above.  It's great to know that you can deploy your RIA applications today knowing that you can take advantage of SaaS models in the future.


Rich Internet Applications Built In Magic xpa Are Magic!

Calling a business application framework "Magic" conjures up different images in different people's minds. In the best sense, those familiar with Magic Software know that it isn't about hocus-pocus or risky shortcuts, the long tradition of application deployment using Magic, eDeveloper and now Magic xpa is about scalability, reliability, transactional integrity and an innate developers' productivity that extends from our foundation as a rapid-application development environment. It isn't just about working with what you know, it's about knowing it will work. Magic Software Enterprises stands behind Magic xpa Rich Internet Client deployment mode with full support, professional services and a strong community of developers and customers ready to ensure your success. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

30 Years of Citizen Developers

More than three decades ago, the Rapid Application Development platform known as Magic burst upon the scene and became immediately popular as the PC revolution was in full force. Thousands of citizen developers known as “magicians” working on DOS machines created applications quickly and easily accessing ISAM databases and displaying results on green screen monitors. By the mid-1990s, Magic had gone cross-platform and enterprise and global. Its citizen developers had grown-up and were winning all the international development competitions. Suddenly, big businesses started using Magic too and the RAD tool phenomenon of the PC became a mainstay for creating serious business applications that served millions of users and handled billions of dollars in transactions on enterprise servers.

Magic extended its citizen developer approach to application integration as well. Starting in 2003, business analysts could now use “Magic” to connect third-party applications behind the scenes. This RAD approach to application integration began saving companies millions of dollars as they streamlined business processes, unified information and reduced processing errors without hiring a team of point-to-point integration programmers to make it happen.

It is with more than a little amusement then that the Magic community observes the introduction of new “low code” platforms and "click not code" solutions designed to solve a problem that has been largely solved for decades by what has always been known as a “no code” platform. Gartner has invented a new term, “citizen developer” to describe app developers who are basically users that create apps using enterprise approved app platforms.

For enterprise IT departments considering introduction of low code platforms, a good hard look at a no code platform might provide some reassurance in the form of a proven alternative. The Magic xpa Application Platform and the Magic xpi Integration Platform of today are marvels in terms of their ability to simplify the complexity of underlying environments. Using no code visual interfaces and table driven app creation techniques, a citizen developer can make software and integrate software thanks to several common virtues:

Metadata Driven Development. Why write code to manipulate data when you can instead implement visual business logic directly that creates metadata instructions that can be run as an application? It’s called Magic for a reason: because something special happens behind the curtain; you never see the hard work. You just ask for what you want: “Abracadabra.”

Reusability and the Right Degree of Granularity. Call them objects, components, models, templates, subroutines or services, software that can called and reused by other software is virtuous by reason of its efficiency. Magic’s platforms provide deliver reusability as a core characteristic of their internal architectures and design studio experiences. Apps and integration flows are easily built by leveraging granular objects, components, models and so on. The beauty of the platform is that the granularity of the objects is not so fine as to require constant assembly or so course as to be constrained in their flexibility. With just the right sized building blocks, you can create anything without the effort of coding from scratch.

Event-Driven Architecture. A revolution has occurred in the IT world from an old batch-oriented approach to processing to new event-driven architectures with real-time or near real-time asynchronous processing and simultaneous support for long running processes. In a service-oriented world, the Magic platforms deliver responsive, event-driven environments that allow business applications to respond immediately to requests and changes.

In-Memory Computing. Both Magic xpa and Magic xpi leverage in memory computing techniques through the use of an In-Memory Data Grid. Leveraging virtual spaces of shared memory and processing an active-active clustering occurs whereby performance and operational integrity are fully optimized. Parallelism and redundancy results in elastic scalability and high availability.


These metadata-driven, reusable, event-driven, in-memory application and integration platforms are producing mission critical apps and supporting business critical integration processes. A virtuous platform in the hands of citizen developers can be a beautiful thing. With more than 30 years of expanding use, constant improvement and real-world bullet-proofing, Magic now provides the most advanced application and integration platforms for citizen developers. Why low code when you can no code?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Citizen Developers and the Runtime Form Designer in Magic xpa 3.1

One of my favorite new features in Magic xpa Application Platform 3.1 is that you can now make changes to the form during Runtime mode. In the past, forms were designed by developers and determined the screens seen by the end user. This is still true, but a developer interested in democratizing their application can enable the runtime form designer so that users have control in a way that makes them a kind of "citizen developer". It requires no special effort in Magic xpa by the developer because the runtime form designer features are built into the platform. Magic xpa deployment allows the user to get a highly personalized screen that uses their personal forms rather than the generic ones identified by the users. 


The Runtime Form Designer provides the citizen developer with the following end user runtime functionality:
End users gain the ability to move controls on the screen by dragging and dropping them or by using the
keyboard. You can even move controls from one tab to another.
The end user can even resize, hide (and restore) controls as well as change some of the controls’ properties, such as Color and Font. The changes can be saved for each individual user or in a central location so that they can be accessed by other similar users.

In order to create the Runtime Form Designer that the developer still had some overall control but didn't have to get bogged down in programming for the forms in runtime mode, the number of new functions in Magic xpa are kept to a minimum. Basically the developer has to make four decisions. Do I want to enable the Runtime Form Designer? Do I want users to be able to hide, unhide and delete controls? Do I want users to be able to share form designs and if so where? And how do I want to enable the user to clear the persistency of the controls?

To deal with these decisions, the Magic xpa application developer now has access to the following three new elements that are provided to use the Runtime Form Designer:

  • The OpenFormDesigner event in Magic xpa opens the Runtime Form Designer. This event has an optional parameter, Admin mode, to define whether the end user can delete controls or see hidden controls.
  • The ControlsPersistencyPath environment setting – This setting governs the location of the files generated by the Runtime Form Designer.
  • ControlsPersistencyClear function – Clears the persistency of the controls.
Click here to download the Magic xpa APplication Platform 3.1 Single User Edition

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Magic Blog: Vote for Magic in the 2016 DeveloperWeek Awards!

The Magic Blog: Vote for Magic in the 2016 DeveloperWeek Awards!: DeveloperWeek  - the largest DevTech event series in San Francisco - is running its annual crowd-sourced awards program to identify the best developer tools.



Your votes will help to grow the Magic community and support the tools you know and love. Thanks for taking a moment to make our Magic community stronger!



Friday, December 11, 2015

Elements of An SLA Agreement

Charting a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) is an important part of establishing quality standards for use of Information Technology in business processes. Realistically, the IT department set standards to acquire or provide basic services at or above the levels defined in the SLA. You need to gauge the importance of the business process and its components to your customers and users. With this understanding you need to make certain that services are maintained at or above the expected level, not simply by setting expectations but by taking measures to ensure delivery.

Things can go wrong. That means that in order to meet or exceed the expectations in your SLA, your going to need error recovery and alternate business processes established for exceptions management. Don't simply copy the service delivery procedures of another IT department, design the service delivery processes to match your resources and requirements. Make certain there is an even-handed way to handle incoming service tickets, projects and problems in a way that applies priority and urgency appropriately.

To make an SLA work effectively, make sure there is a system of rewards in place for good service as well as incentives for technical and non-technical parties to work together. Utilize multi-channel communications and preferred methods for communicating service issues. Solve problems digitally and automatically whenever possible. Use your information technology staff as service ombudsman to make certain that issues that arise  receive the proper attention and in a timely manner. Make certain they have whatever they need in order to support delivery on your SLAs.