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Automatic Version Numbering on Publish

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  • Automatic Version Numbering on Publish

    When I'm using my application I would like to have a way to know the date is was published as well as the build/revision number. Is there a way that this information is accessible?

    I'm working on a team and I want to know when Dev/Test/Production versions of the application were last published and what version they are. When I am reporting or closing issues in our bug tracker (currently experimenting with Pivotal Tracker) I want to be sure I'm working with the right version. This is especially relevant when reviewing a supposedly "fixed" bug is still not fixed.

    Ideally, I'd like to have a field on the Publish menu in Alpha so I could specify a version number, like <Major #>.<Minor #>.<Build#>. Example v12.04.4642. It would be nice if the build number was auto-generated. Then I'd like this build number and the publish date to append to a .dbf, or .txt file in every published folder. Then the application could query that file and display the information on a page. When errors are logged we could include this in the log. If we had a button for users to submit feedback, it could include that information in the email.

    I'm thinking that my needs aren't that unique and some of you have developed a process to track this. This is an open ended question and I'm looking for feedback.

    Ben

  • #2
    Re: Automatic Version Numbering on Publish

    Originally posted by Ben S. View Post
    When I'm using my application I would like to have a way to know the date is was published as well as the build/revision number. Is there a way that this information is accessible?

    I'm working on a team and I want to know when Dev/Test/Production versions of the application were last published and what version they are. When I am reporting or closing issues in our bug tracker (currently experimenting with Pivotal Tracker) I want to be sure I'm working with the right version. This is especially relevant when reviewing a supposedly "fixed" bug is still not fixed.

    Ideally, I'd like to have a field on the Publish menu in Alpha so I could specify a version number, like <Major #>.<Minor #>.<Build#>. Example v12.04.4642. It would be nice if the build number was auto-generated. Then I'd like this build number and the publish date to append to a .dbf, or .txt file in every published folder. Then the application could query that file and display the information on a page. When errors are logged we could include this in the log. If we had a button for users to submit feedback, it could include that information in the email.

    I'm thinking that my needs aren't that unique and some of you have developed a process to track this. This is an open ended question and I'm looking for feedback.

    Ben

    Contact Selwyn Rabins at Alphasoftware.com

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    • #3
      Re: Automatic Version Numbering on Publish

      Use Version() -function with B flag: Version("B") and create in developer your own script to add txt file where ever your want.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Automatic Version Numbering on Publish

        Thanks for the response kkfin. I should clarify that I'm not looking for the Alpha Anywhere version number, but a version number of my application. The compiler Selwyn is using to make alpha5.exe has a feature to increment and track a build number. I'd like a similar feature in AA so I can track the build numbers of the applications I'm developing. I should have used a different example in my first post, like v1.0.0001.

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        • #5
          Re: Automatic Version Numbering on Publish

          For one client I have to keep track of 3 build numbers. One for develop, one for our test copy and one for our production system. Whenever you publish there are certain files Alpha always updates. You could use a 3rd party tool like watchdirectory to watch for that updated file and then run a script 2 increment your build number. But I do my build numbers manually.
          Steve Wood
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          • #6
            Re: Automatic Version Numbering on Publish

            Hi Ben,

            How goes it? I think you could create a template project that you could use which would have a preset structure and component for tracking version info (table, ux, the works). This could easily be updated when you update any component by simply running the component using the development server. If the component isn't run on a local pc it wouldn't need to update the records. You would have to create javascript to determine what environment it's being run in (probably need some type of http response and check ip - you may want to search for that and see what methods are available). I think there are a variety of ways this could be done without changing anything about Alpha itself.

            However, I think in the end the best way to handle version numbers is manually (ilke Steve said). You could create a field in each module which has a default value. You could then create a script which reads that value and stores it in a variable. The variable is checked whenever the component is run and can be used however you want. You can manually modify the default value at design time. You could also use the sync log table concept and add a field in there which stores that value. That way every transaction you do will track back to the version of the app.

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            • #7
              Re: Automatic Version Numbering on Publish

              I wanted to post an update to explain how I'm showing the application publish date to the user. This is a neat feature that is easy enough for a newbie to add. It doesn't help with my build number question but it's enough of a help for me to know when a test site was last published.

              There is a file named a5_application.a5i that is updated every time you publish a web application. You can grab the file date to know when the site was published. I got this tip from Dion McCormick.

              You can grab the file modified date with this Xbasic command:
              Code:
              FILE.update_time("a5_application.a5i")
              At first I had trouble trying to convert that result into a user would understand, but then I decided if it is slightly cryptic it doesn't draw the too much attention to itself. I added a Static Text field to my UX and placed it in the bottom right corner of my main form and colored it light grey. The Static Text property for this field is:

              HTML Code:
              Publish Date: <%a5 ? left(CTIME(FILE.update_time("a5_application.a5i")),12) %>
              I later got a tip from Sarah Mitchell on how to use the Time function so I placed this code in the Bubble Help property of the Static Text control:

              HTML Code:
              <%a5 ? time("d-Mon-yyyy h:0m:0s AM",FILE.update_time("a5_application.a5i")) %>
              The results look like this:
              2018-01-18_23-13-40.png

              When I realized I had the hang of it, I added a double-click event to the Static Text control so it would show an advanced message box with the dates of each component like in the image below.

              2018-01-18_23-17-46.png


              I did run into one snag. If the main form was being opened in Live Preview or Working Preview, some of the component files in my list were not yet published. Because the FILE.update_time function is being run when the page is processed on the server, the entire page would fail to open. My solution was to check to see if the file exists before trying to grab the update_time. This code works fine in an html page but for some reason does not work in the UX. I see a cryptic error message like "Error in line:332 Expected value". If you can explain why I'd love to hear it.

              HTML Code:
              	<tr>
              		<td>UX_Login.a5wcmp</td>
              		<td align="center"><%a5 
              			IF (FILE.exists("UX_Login.a5wcmp")=.T.) then
              				? time("d-Mon-yyyy 0h:0m",FILE.update_time("UX_Login.a5wcmp"))
              			ELSE
              				? "not available"
              			END IF
              		%></td>
              	</tr>
              If I was more familiar with Xbasic, I'd build a function that would search the folder for all *.a5wcmp files and it would build the table for me instead of manually hard-coding each file name. If you are ambitious please share what you can come up with!

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