MechWorks Web Client's Blog

Development info and ideas

Filtering by many projects extended and simplified

In the released version it is possible to filter by max 300 projects. Now 300 is not a small number to apply a filter, but if you have thousands of projects in a single tree, it becomes difficult and long to restrict your filter by only a few branches. Add to this the fact that each time that you select a project a textual preview of the project is requested to the server and what you get is a serious usability problem.

In the beta published today there are a few changes that simplify filtering by a large number of projects:

  1. Automatic textual preview of project is disabled in the Projects Tree. You can still view the record from the context menu. This allows you to click and select/deselect projects quickly
  2. You can specify the option to check automatically the children (down to the n-th level) when you check a parent. This feels more natural: if you check a project you probably want to display also the documents in the sub-projects. If this is not the case you can quickly deselect the sub-projects that should be excluded.
    To enable this option add the following line to the file in DBWorks\WebViewerOptions.txt:
    select_subprojects_automatically
  3. The limit of 300 projects has been removed and made parametric.
    To enable this option and specify that you want to show a warning for 1000 projects  add the following line to the file in DBWorks\WebViewerOptions.txt:
    max_projects_filter 1000

Note that if a user applies a filter by a higher number of projects he can still apply the filter but he is warned that filtering by a large number of projects  can generate complex queries that require longer to execute and overload SQL Server. We suggest that you perform a few tests and configure the parameter so that the users are warned only when/if SQL Server slows down under the strain.
The value you should indicate depends a lot on the Server hosting the SQL Server database, especially the RAM available.
As a rule of thumb 1000 projects can be handled correctly, but it’s a trade off between usability (number of clicks) and performance. In these cases nothing can replace good old empirical tests.

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Filed under: Beta, feature, Performance, Usability

Beta download

download page

Download page

The beta has been made available for download so that the features added since the release can be tested.

Mind that updating the server will require updating also the client in order to work as expected, so beta testers should test server and client in a distinct environment.

Filed under: Beta

Support for multiple alternative documents

Web Client supports in the beta multiple alternative documents and enlists automatically the documents created automatically on check in and release.

Filed under: feature

Web Client has been released

On Friday 15th Web Client has been released!

We await your feedabck.

Filed under: Release

The release has been postponed to October 15

Web Client R11 is to be released with the new SP of DBWorks and since the release of the SP has been postponed, the official release of Web Client R11 has been postponed too.
In the meanwhile the new version is available for download from http://www.mechworks.com/webclient/Web_Client/Downloads.html.

Filed under: Release

Simplified Demo Login

For those of you who want to give web Client a try without installing it on your web server, we provide Demo Web Servers available on the internet.

To login select the second tab in the login dialog and select a user belonging to one of the available servers:

From this tab you can login directly with one click

and for each server you can get a quick info bubble on version and features enabled

Move the mouse over the server to display an info bubble

Filed under: Demo, feature

Service Pack including new Web Client planned for release on October 8

The next SP is due out on October 8 and will include the new version of Web Client. Web Client is available for beta testing until that date. If you want to test the new version, feel free to contact me by e-mail at giorgio@mechworks.com .

Filed under: Release

McAfee antivirus is not an issue

The previous version of Web Client had compatibility issues with McAfee Antivirus: the antivirus would block the COM Plus components on the server because of a false positive for a buffer overflow threat. The new version, which runs on .NET framework 3.0 is now compatible with McAfee.

Filed under: Issues, Requirements

‘Used by’, ‘Composed of’ update each other

In the current beta the panels ‘Used by’ and ‘Composed of’ update each other, so if you select an item in either view (on the right side), the other displays the parents or children of the selected document. This feature is similar to the DBWorks behavior and can be used to browse hierarchically the database.

Filed under: feature

R11 to be released with next SP

Screenshot of the app

Web Client R11 is being released. The new version introduces important changes:

  • what used to be an ActiveX running inside Internet Explorer is now an application to be installed on the clients
  • the application is compatible with Windows 7 x86 and x64
  • the server side components are compatible with Windows 2003 Server and Windows 2008 Server, both x86 and x64
  • the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine is not needed anymore neither on the Client nor on the Server
  • .NET Framework 3.0 is required both on the Client and on the Server

We are aware of the fact that the ActiveX felt easier to install but our choice was driven by the following factors:

  1. When Web Client was written years ago the share of Internet Explorer among web browser was around 90%, now it is well under 50% and we received requests to run inside 3 more browser, which we could not fulfill in a matter of months
  2. Microsoft adopted a different policy with .NET indicating clearly that the previous policies that allowed full control to ActiveX controls running inside a web page are not to be used in .NET components running inside web pages. Maintaining the same policy on local resources we would have to partially violate the general guidelines.

We do not exclude that in the future we will allow for a client to run inside a browser based on Silverlight, but restrictions may apply and in any case administrative privileges will be required to install the client, as the web app will need to have full access to local resources.

Filed under: Release, Requirements