Inmagic releases DB/TextWorks version 11

by Administrator Tuesday, April 01, 2008 9:52 AM
Email download notifications are now being sent out by Inmagic, Inc. for DB/TextWorks version 11 to all clients on the Inmagic maintenance program.

DB/TextWorks version 11 features include:
  • Microsoft Vista compatibility
  • Limited Undo in the Form Designer
  • File Checker to verify that files referenced on the local directory or network still exist.
  • Ability to select form for Edit Secondary Record window
  • HTML report preview
  • Dead URL Link Checker enhanced to allow the contents of the status field to be replaced or appended.
Compatibility: Version 11 can be used with WebPublisher PRO version 10. DB/TextWorks version 11 may be compatible with earlier versions of WebPublisher PRO but these have not been tested and are not supported.

Version 11 of WebPublisher PRO is due out in the next few months. No date has yet been announced for CS/TextWorks or CS/WebPublisher PRO version 11. For more information please see the Inmagic website.

If you have a current subscription but have not received a notification email in the next week or so, please email advantage@inmagic.com with your serial number and email address so it can be resent.

Please contact us if you would like assistance implementing these new features or want to renew an expired maintenance subscription.

How to install Inmagic DB/Textworks on Vista

by Peter Tyrrell Friday, June 15, 2007 5:05 PM

Right-click on the db/textworks installer. Choose "run as administrator". You may be prompted to proceed and/or enter administrative credentials, depending on your Vista setup. The installer will start installing and should work fine.

If you do not run as administrator, you will get an error like this:

Error 1925. You do not have sufficient privileges to complete this installation for all users of the machine. Log on as administrator & retry installation.

You may be confused by this message if you are logged in as an administrator. Welcome to Vista's User Account Control (UAC).

With UAC, you may have logged in as an admin, but you are not running as one. Instead you are prompted to elevate your permissions whenever you attempt an administrator-level operation. It so happens that Inmagic has not updated db/textworks to handle this scenario and give you fair warning. The error message it gives upon failure is at least completely accurate in its diagnosis, but leaves it up to you to manually elevate your permissions.

Here are some other Inmagic-on-Vista related posts on the Andornot Developer Blog:

No time for Textworks date fields

by Peter Tyrrell Friday, June 01, 2007 12:33 PM

Ha ha! That was a pun, that was. "No time for Textworks date fields." Phew... that is the kind of half-inflated rubber-mattress-smelling type of humour I am capable of, here on this highly informative forum.

So I discovered the other day, quite by accident, that Inmagic textbase Date fields are exactly that and no more. By which I mean: Date fields are not DateTime fields.

Perhaps on the surface this seems a trivial distinction. Let me assure you, my dear confidant, it is not.

You can enter time information in a non-strict Date field, or one that has trailing text enabled, but the time you enter is just a string. It is not understood as a chronological statement. You might as well type "blah blah blah" instead of "09:00:00 AM" for all the good it does you, because you can't search for, or sort by, time. You and I know that 1:00:00 PM comes after 12:00:00 PM, but Inmagic doesn't.

Here's an example where I told the report to sort by a date field. Note that it is NOT sorting chronologically, but rather, numerically.

CropperCapture[4]

I'm so surprised that there is no way to handle chronological data. In the languages, programming environments, and database systems I work with, it's just assumed that Date fields, classes, and variables are date-plus-time: DateTime objects. The assumption is such that you can call a DateTime object a Date, in fact, and everyone already knows you really mean DateTime but aren't pretentious enough to have to say it. (The javascript Date object is an example off the top of my head.)

A DateTime object can of course show a date without time, but that's just a matter of formatting. The information about time is still in there. And, even if you instantiate a DateTime object with a date string and don't include the time, the time defaults to 00:00:00.

Anyway, I'm not sure what to do about this.

Watch out for file encoding when importing into Inmagic Textworks

by Peter Tyrrell Thursday, May 31, 2007 2:21 PM

When importing a text file into a Textworks database, make sure it is ANSI/ASCII encoded, not UTF-8 or otherwise.

You can't tell just by looking at the text how the file has been encoded, but a good text editor will tell you, and allow you to save as another encoding format.

Note that Textworks is not going to warn you about encoding incompatibilities specifically. It's just going to drastically misinterpret characters. Lucky for me this happened before import got underway, as the misinterpretation involved a field name match.

As a nota bene, the above shows how misleading it is to refer to any delimited text file as an "ASCII delimited file," as I've heard them referred to before. Unless of course you happen to mean literally ASCII-encoded as opposed to UTF.

How to serialize an object to Inmagic Textworks userStore with JSON

by Peter Tyrrell Thursday, May 17, 2007 11:28 PM

The Inmagic DB/Textworks and CS/Textworks script object model includes a Store object which you can use to store strings. It's a simple dictionary object of key/value pairs where the key is a unique identifier for the corresponding value. There are two versions of the Store object: userStore and sessionStore. The first persists key/value pairs to the local machine, while sessionStore only sticks around so long as Textworks is open.

It's a lot like writing cookies. If you need to keep some values around to reuse that would otherwise disappear when the form unloads, you need to use the Store object.

set:

var myString = "foo";

Application.userStore.value("keyName") = myString;

 

get:

var myString = "";

myString = Application.userStore.value("keyName");

Unfortunately it only stores a string, like a cookie. If you like to work with objects, it doesn't seem right to store individual object properties as separate key/value pairs. Especially if you decide to change the object profile down the road, because you will have to rewrite code. It would be great to simply store an object's state and pick it back up again whenever.

Serialize the object

Serialization is the act of saving an object into a binary or text format. Aha! Text format - that's a string. We can save our object to a string, and persist it to the Store object. Then later we can get that string and deserialize back into an object.

What's the best way to store the string so we can easily turn it back into an object? We could roll our own format, but it's best to stick with something already known and tested and out there. So let's use JSON. JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation and it's a text-based human-readable format for representing data structures, commonly for transmission over an HTTP connection. Basically it's AJAX without the X (Object Notation instead of XML).

JSON Example

In the following example, we define a Person object, instantiate it, set its properties, serialize it, store it, retrieve it, and deserialize back into an object.

function Person()

{

    this.Name;

    this.BirthDate;

}

 

// instantiate a Person

var person = new Person();

person.Name = "Joe Blow";

person.BirthDate = new Date("July 1, 1975 08:30:00");

 

// serialize the Person object

var strPerson = person.toJSONString();

/*

strPerson =

{"name":"Joe Blow","BirthDate":"1975-07-01T08:30:00"}

*/

 

// store the serialized Person

Application.userStore.value("mykey") = strPerson;

 

// retrieve the serialized Person

var s = Application.userStore.value("mykey");

 

// deserialize from string back into object

var o = s.parseJSON();

Pretty simple!

JSON Source Code

The prototype functions toJSONString() and parseJSON() are provided by an open source JSON parser and stringifier at http://www.json.org/json.js which can be compressed to less than 2000 characters and placed in the form script.

toJSONString() serializes strings, dates, arrays, booleans, numbers, nested versions of these... pretty much anything. parseJSON() is a more secure rewrite of javascript eval which limits itself to valid JSON notation only.

A Short Aside About Eval

If you're not already aware of how powerful eval is, consider that you can pass in a string and have it interpreted as code. You can say:

eval("var a = 1");

and thereafter have a variable, a, which equals 1. This is incredibly handy, but also a security concern, so you would never eval anything you didn't have complete trust in. You can directly eval a JSON string and magically get your object back, but parseJSON() is safer.

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