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Autumn Seminar 2009


Held at the Robinson Centre in Wyboston, where EDUC 2004 took place, and supported by Data Access Europe, the audience was treated to an intensive series of presentations with a largely “Web Development” theme.

Bernard Hill, Asckey’s Commercial Director, set the scene with a “Back to the Future” observation that we seem to have come full circle; from centralised UNIX, DEC, CDOS and Turbodos “servers” through distributed “fat client” networked PCs and now back to a centralised model, but one that is potentially on a much wider, even global, basis than could have been be realised back in the 1980s. If nothing else we now have the bandwidth to support such global ambitions.

Eddy Kleinjan (Data Access Europe’s Technical Director) gave a very informative presentation combining practical tips on Web Application Development/Software as a Service, and how you might go about getting a presence in the world of  "Cloud Computing".  Later, Eddy presented an update on the VDF AJAX Framework, an impressive and extremely beneficial method for creating interactive web applications such as you will not yet see in any great numbers as yet. We in the VDF community can be ahead of the curve here!

Sandwiched between these presentations, Vincent Oorsprong, who runs Training and the Help Desk at DAE, ran through the features of HelpDesk Express, built with the VDF AJAX Framework.With properly organised software support an increasing requirement for serious application development, HelpDesk Express may well be on your shopping list next year.

Martin Pincott (Technical Director, Asckey Data Services) then highlighted some of the newer features that have been built into the Visual DataFlex development studio.

After lunch, presentations on Dynamic AI, the soon to be released Data Access Visual Report Writer, and the new VPE library for Visual DataFlex  showed how much choice we have now in choosing reporting methods for specific needs. From completely open end user reporting with Dynamic AI, to "programmer only" pixel perfect reporting, we have a very comprehensive reporting tool set available.

John Tuohy, Data Access Worldwide’s "VDF Architect" rounded off an information packed day with a live webinar covering current and future VDF development.  

With all these "new directions", what do our developers think? We have had two comments that are significant

AJAX
From Ian Smith, one of our VDF SIG Codejock package contributors

It was a very good – this is Ajax version 2 and this is all you need to do to start using it. As someone who does not need Ajax / Web at the moment it did exactly what I wanted which was to bring me up to speed with the current changes.

The seminar did not really need any understanding of WebApp. If you want to extend the Ajax framework you will need some JS / DOM training. If you just want to make good use of the framework as supplied then a course that focuses on the VDF Ajax library and Web Business Objects would be good.

We hope to be doing just that in the New Year! 

Dynamic AI and VDF WebApp Server
From Dave McKane, Datos

I have to say both Colin and I were very impressed with what we learnt last week and have now began to move towards implementation of both Dynamic AI and WebApp into our application. 

During the next three months we will be converting the ledgers from our character mode software (COMiT) into our windows package, Season and we will be converting from DataFlex into Microsoft SQL before the end of December..
 
We will be developing our ledgers and incorporating Dynamic AI into the package at the same time, our logic is to develop the ledgers with a file structure that will allow us to easily use Dynamic AI, that means we have an opportunity to get things right at the beginning.
 
We plan to launch the ledgers and Dynamic AI at the same time to our customer base etc - this is the final push in an almost 3 year development program..
 
It was fortuitous that you had your seminar at this time.  We also plan to write a Sales Rep CRM module using VDF WebApp in the new year.  We already have a solution for this written with  Momote (an interface for PDAs), but there is much more opportunity for a package on the Web and again using Dynamic AI and Ajax.

SaaS - Software as a Service

Eddy Kleinjan from Data Access Europe set the large scale scene with a wide ranging review of how software applications are increasingly being deployed over the Internet. Review Eddy’s very understandable presentation here, which goes into...

Cloud Computing

How to gain a presence in the "Cloud" This is covered in more depth in Eddy Kleinjan’s presentation here. (Page 11 onwards) Obviously, put up your own 24*7 server or use an established specialist (like Asckey Data Services!) to provide...

A Web Application - HelpDesk Express

Vincent Oorsprong (Data Access Europe) presented Helpdesk Express, an excellent and highly usable example of an interactive web application created with the AJAX techniques. A "real" Web Application, Help Desk Express incorporates Data Access’s...

The AJAX VDF Library

Eddy Kleinjan continued the Wep Applications theme with a look at the current and up-coming releases of the VDF AJAX Libray. Eddy’s presentation is here, and goes into some technical details. For even more detail, look at the presentation used...

VDF 15 Studio - what you might not have discovered!

Martin Pincott (Asckey Data Services Ltd) presented a run through of the elements of the Studio, and of VDF 15.0 development that have particularly caught his attention. Look through the PPT here. As well as presenting a round up of the V15 added...

Dynamic AI

Reporting Many developers have expressed a wish to not be tie to just one solution for reporting. We now have three solutions for reporting other than Crystal reports - Dynamic AI, Visual Report Writer, and VPE Dynamic AI See also Eddy Kleinjan’s...

Visual Report Writer

Covered in our last seminar, VRW continues to evolve towards its first release, expected in Jan/Feb 2010. While more features have been added, including sub reports, the goal for this first release remains that of an adequate and robust basic report...

Virtual Print Engine - VPE

Vincent Oorsprong presented a short session on the new VDF library for VPE, the "Virtual Print Engine" that a number of VDF developers have been using for some time. Working with Data Access in Holland, Peter van Mil has created a Visual DataFlex VPE...

VDF Roadmap

John Tuohy, Data Access Worldwide’s "VDF Architect" wound up the seminar with a live webinar from the west coast of the USA.  As always with John, this was a privileged insight into both some aspects of the current features in...

Ajax and Dynamic AI training

Two training sessions on the second day were both well supported, and appeared to achieve their objective in giving people ideas for the future AJAX From Ian Smith, one of our VDF SIG Codejock package contributors. This was a very good -...