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Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

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  • Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

    Greetings Beta Users!

    Alpha is super busy putting together training videos to help you learn how to use the new Tablet Optimized Form Capabilities! We will be providing videos covering the new tablet tools:
    • FormViews
    • Editors and Editor Sets
    • ViewBoxes
    • Ink Controls


    In addition to these basic videos, Alpha would like to reach out to our Beta users for video suggestions. If you have specific customizations you want to build or there are tools that you feel need more documentation, let us know. We'd love to hear your ideas for what kind of videos you'd like to see.

    If you're not familiar with the Sample Application yet, check out this video:

    Tablet Sample Application Overview presented by Alpha Software CTO Dan Bricklin

    http://www.alphasoftware.com/video-library/?v=4896

    You can learn more about the Tablet Beta and download the sample application at http://www.alphasoftware.com/tablet/

    Post your video suggestions in this thread. We look forward to hearing from you!
    Last edited by Sarah Mitchell; 08-06-2015, 05:56 PM. Reason: Adding additional information about videos being created
    Sarah Mitchell
    Documentation | Alpha Software Corporation
    Get in the know! Join us for our Weekly Webinars: TransForm Tuesday and Wednesday's Alpha Anywhere Demo and Q&A
    Connect with us: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | YouTube

  • #2
    Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

    I'm interested in the capabilities of the tablet app, especially after watching the video with the inspection portion. First a little background.

    My client does equipment inspections, ( about 5000 so far ) and we have a list of about 2000 questions that we can ask with about 14,000 possible answers. Each inspection uses between 200 and 400 of those questions and we build the question list by selecting groups of questions from the master list in advance, but we can also add questions during the inspection based on what we find.

    The point is, we don't know in advance all the questions we are going to ask, so each question is a separate record in the results table. Questions are, of course, different types. We use
    write_in_text = free form text answer
    write_in_value = Write in a number and select the units
    write_in_count = Write in only a number, no units
    lookup_text = Select one option from a list of text values
    lookup_size = Select from a list of size codes like drill gauge or wire gauge
    lookup_count = Select from a list of numbers
    lookup_value = Select from a list of numbers with units
    multiple_lookup = Select several items from a list
    logical = yes, no, unknown
    date = a full date with day month year
    phone = enter a phone number
    calculated = value will be calculated from other values

    Each of those types requires presentation of a different set of fields to fill in, or different types of lists. We handle that in our grids by making all of the different types available in every question and then using show hide, based on the type, to present the right configuration for the question.

    Does the tablet app have that kind of capability? The video showed different types of editors for each question, so I'm very curious about how the questions and the data are structured.

    Obviously, this structure is just what is needed for medical apps also, so I think it is a common need.
    Pat Bremkamp
    MindKicks Consulting

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

      We're a little unclear about the installation of the tablet optimized forms beta package, given the four download links provided, since there are no clear instructions about which files to install under which circumstances.

      We have:

      a5v12_full_patch.exe, 179,785 KB, which seems to be an oxymoron; it's either full, or it's patched, or is it a full version that has the patch applied? Or is it a patch that should be applied to the full version?

      a5v12_full_DL.exe, 224,268 KB, is the largest file containing, I assume, the full version of the Alpha Anywhere development software which may, or may not contain the features necessary to enable the Tablet Optimized forms as-is, but requires the patch above, or perhaps not; I can't tell without version information...

      a5v12_appserver.exe, 197,908 KB, seems straightforward enough, so I am assuming I install this on the test server, and then apply the following?

      a5v12_appserver_patch.exe, 140,492 KB, I assume should be applied to the appserver above?

      As much as I relish the idea of installing software on my development systems without understanding the consequences of misapplying update patches, I find it to be more efficient to approach software installation with enough information to avoid mystery errors and the like.

      While I'm fairly certain it's as simple as installing the "full" and "DL" versions, and then running the "patch" versions to bring them up to date, being "certain" yet uninformed has cost me days of troubleshooting in the past.

      Thanks everyone!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

        I installed just the development version a5v12_full_DL.exe into a different install folder to the current release version.
        I think a5v12_full_patch.exe will only work if you have previously installed a5v12_full_DL.exe into the same folder as some dlls etc are not included.

        This is a note from from the A5 page PatchDownload.ASP
        Alpha Anywhere Full Install
        Note: Typically, if you have already done a full install, you can just install an Update. You do NOT need to download the Full Install. The Updates are quicker to download and install than a Full Install.
        Last edited by mumfie; 08-05-2015, 12:34 PM.
        https://appsbydesign.co.uk/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

          +mumfie - Thanks very kindly!

          So, if I have this straight;

          * The a5v12_full_DL.exe is the full, latest build of the beta, and does not require the patch...

          * The a5v12_full_patch.exe could be used to add the Tablet Optimized Forms features to an installation of Alpha Anywhere that lacks them, including fully licensed ones...

          The remaining confusion is that Alpha sent us four "Feature Keys." Naturally, we would install the beta in a different folder from our licensed installation, but sooner of later we should clarify the installation procedures, particularly since Alpha Anywhere is tailored to be used by beginners who may not be familiar with the specific steps. Or me, for that matter.

          Are the four feature keys to be applied individually to each file from the beta download section, or are they all required in a single installation leveraging Tablet Optimized Forms (two of them for Alpha Development, and two for Alpha Server)?

          Clarification from Alpha would be invaluable since we are somewhat reluctant to just launch software and "see what happens."

          If I'm guessing correctly (and guessing ALWAYS makes me nervous), once the Tablet Optimized Forms add-in is out of beta, a user would install a basic version of Alpha Anywhere and license it the usual way, and then apply the patch to add and enable TOF features?

          Upon running Alpha Anywhere, or upon attempting to access TOF features once it has launched, the program would prompt the user for the TOF feature key which then enables the additional functions?

          Of course, once the TOF features are finalized, Alpha Software will probably streamline the installation procedure.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

            AFAIK
            Originally posted by mbunds View Post
            * The a5v12_full_DL.exe is the full, latest build of the beta, and does not require the patch...
            Correct

            Originally posted by mbunds View Post
            * The a5v12_full_patch.exe could be used to add the Tablet Optimized Forms features to an installation of Alpha Anywhere that lacks them, including fully licensed ones...
            The patch is used to update an existing beta installation. Not sure it will work with non beta version


            Originally posted by mbunds View Post

            Are the four feature keys to be applied individually to each file from the beta download section, or are they all required in a single installation leveraging Tablet Optimized Forms (two of them for Alpha Development, and two for Alpha Server)?
            The feature keys enable the tablet feature. You need to run a5 IDE select the \Tools dropdown menu, feature Packs and install all 4 keys via the Add New Feature button
            https://appsbydesign.co.uk/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

              Thanks again, that clears things up a bit! I have the IDE installed, now on to the tutorials!

              You've been a great help!

              We're testing on Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 models. Once development is far enough along, we'll root these and lock-down the OS (KitKat 4.4) to run the Alpha Software exclusively, leveraging PhoneGAP to ease update deployment.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

                Originally posted by mbunds View Post
                We're a little unclear about the installation of the tablet optimized forms beta package, given the four download links provided, since there are no clear instructions about which files to install under which circumstances.

                We have:

                a5v12_full_patch.exe, 179,785 KB, which seems to be an oxymoron; it's either full, or it's patched, or is it a full version that has the patch applied? Or is it a patch that should be applied to the full version?

                a5v12_full_DL.exe, 224,268 KB, is the largest file containing, I assume, the full version of the Alpha Anywhere development software which may, or may not contain the features necessary to enable the Tablet Optimized forms as-is, but requires the patch above, or perhaps not; I can't tell without version information...

                a5v12_appserver.exe, 197,908 KB, seems straightforward enough, so I am assuming I install this on the test server, and then apply the following?

                a5v12_appserver_patch.exe, 140,492 KB, I assume should be applied to the appserver above?

                As much as I relish the idea of installing software on my development systems without understanding the consequences of misapplying update patches, I find it to be more efficient to approach software installation with enough information to avoid mystery errors and the like.

                While I'm fairly certain it's as simple as installing the "full" and "DL" versions, and then running the "patch" versions to bring them up to date, being "certain" yet uninformed has cost me days of troubleshooting in the past.

                Thanks everyone!
                Thank you for pointing this out. I will see what we can do about updating the Installation Instructions.
                Sarah Mitchell
                Documentation | Alpha Software Corporation
                Get in the know! Join us for our Weekly Webinars: TransForm Tuesday and Wednesday's Alpha Anywhere Demo and Q&A
                Connect with us: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | YouTube

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

                  Thank you!

                  The installation guide for enabling the features is quite clear and comprehensible, but I just didn't read that far until after I installed the pre-release.

                  User mumfie gave us a great head-start!

                  We are digging in now, and will be examining the possibilities of the new features at great length.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

                    Originally posted by mumfie View Post
                    The feature keys enable the tablet feature. You need to run a5 IDE select the \Tools dropdown menu, feature Packs and install all 4 keys via the Add New Feature button
                    I found the feature key installation guide after I followed your instructions and got everything installed successfully; I should have read further down.

                    Thanks again!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

                      Originally posted by Pat Bremkamp View Post
                      I'm interested in the capabilities of the tablet app, especially after watching the video with the inspection portion. First a little background.

                      My client does equipment inspections, ( about 5000 so far ) and we have a list of about 2000 questions that we can ask with about 14,000 possible answers. Each inspection uses between 200 and 400 of those questions and we build the question list by selecting groups of questions from the master list in advance, but we can also add questions during the inspection based on what we find.

                      The point is, we don't know in advance all the questions we are going to ask, so each question is a separate record in the results table. Questions are, of course, different types. We use
                      write_in_text = free form text answer
                      write_in_value = Write in a number and select the units
                      write_in_count = Write in only a number, no units
                      lookup_text = Select one option from a list of text values
                      lookup_size = Select from a list of size codes like drill gauge or wire gauge
                      lookup_count = Select from a list of numbers
                      lookup_value = Select from a list of numbers with units
                      multiple_lookup = Select several items from a list
                      logical = yes, no, unknown
                      date = a full date with day month year
                      phone = enter a phone number
                      calculated = value will be calculated from other values

                      Each of those types requires presentation of a different set of fields to fill in, or different types of lists. We handle that in our grids by making all of the different types available in every question and then using show hide, based on the type, to present the right configuration for the question.

                      Does the tablet app have that kind of capability? The video showed different types of editors for each question, so I'm very curious about how the questions and the data are structured.

                      Obviously, this structure is just what is needed for medical apps also, so I think it is a common need.
                      This is an excellent question! I will look into how you would do this and send a note along to our video team as well. The new tablet tools are meant to be bound to a data source. Whether you would do this as a list + editor combo or a dynamic editor, however, is a question I need to answer for you.

                      Thank you, Pat!
                      Sarah Mitchell
                      Documentation | Alpha Software Corporation
                      Get in the know! Join us for our Weekly Webinars: TransForm Tuesday and Wednesday's Alpha Anywhere Demo and Q&A
                      Connect with us: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | YouTube

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

                        Originally posted by Pat Bremkamp View Post
                        Does the tablet app have that kind of capability? The video showed different types of editors for each question, so I'm very curious about how the questions and the data are structured.

                        Obviously, this structure is just what is needed for medical apps also, so I think it is a common need.
                        Hello Pat!

                        The new tablet form tools do have this capability and this is one of the use cases we had in mind. Since the questions live in a database, you can pull them into a list control, javascript, or JSON object. The FormView (see an introduction to the FormView here) works from these data sources. Creating editors for the questions only requires creating an Editor for each type of editing you need - a considerably smaller payload when compared to a grid since you only need one HTML element for editing instead of one for every row of data! You would need to write some javascript and xbasic to accomplish what you want to do, but all of this is completely doable.

                        We'll put together an example that demonstrates this for you. I'll post back when that's available.

                        Thanks again!
                        Sarah Mitchell
                        Documentation | Alpha Software Corporation
                        Get in the know! Join us for our Weekly Webinars: TransForm Tuesday and Wednesday's Alpha Anywhere Demo and Q&A
                        Connect with us: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | YouTube

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

                          I am watching the videos and I am so excited about how all of this will dramatically improve the user experience. What I would be interested in is an example of an absolute layout for an editor set, perhaps a really groovy background (maybe even an animated gif?)
                          Also would it be possible to provide a separate forum/thread to share some of our editor sets, not unlike the code archive?
                          NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

                            It would be beneficial to have a resource that specifies the extra functionality that Tablet Optimized Forms brings (or will bring) in comparison to the basic Alpha Anywhere package.

                            So far, I see nothing that could not be replicated using basic Alpha Anywhere, albeit attaining some advanced functions would require "tweaking" of the code-behind, the integration of externally developed scripts, or both.

                            Being a .WPF developer, I am used to creating data views and dynamic, data-driven animations either from scratch, or by leveraging ready-made control templates like those offered by Telerik, Dundas, and others.

                            We purchased Alpha Anywhere shortly before the concept of "Tablet Optimized Forms" was introduced, and only after careful examination of the basic package revealed to us that it was more than suitable for creating "clipboard replacement" applications, which is what we wanted to develop all along.

                            The videos providing the overviews are excellent, but the value added to the basic package seems somewhat nebulous to me since I can't really tell if the TOF add-ons are going to be a collection of prefabricated controls which allow a developer to "drag, drop, and modify" by adjusting parameters, a collection of prefabricated forms, or a set of utilities exposing different API features.

                            Of course, being that Alpha's "Tablet Optimized Forms" features and functions are still under development, I realize that much of the functionality will crystallize as the Alpha team works through the functionality requested by its customers.
                            Last edited by mbunds; 08-07-2015, 06:06 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tablet Training Videos: What do YOU need

                              For my data source I am using a List on a UX, but instead of sample data I am getting my data from my database (MySQL) on the remote server. Using the older method with a detail view, I have been able to SYNC my edits back to the server just fine. I would like an example of how to SYNC data back to the server after using the new Form View. The editing and saving is straightforward, but the synchronization has not been covered yet, right? In the sample App it is not applicable since it is not using SQL as the data source, but static data.

                              (I would like to make a simple edit, saving to the List Control, which I can do now, but then see that change sync up with the MySQL database (I named my table "practice", having made a copy of a table I have been using all year for home inspections).

                              Comment

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