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Native Online and Native Offline Apps

The new product release 8.5.12.0 is coming out early next week. See the video tutorials that explain the development process at https://youtube.com/codeontime.

The release introduces new Touch UI 2017 and provides the foundation for the future Native Online/Offline Apps. The foundation is provided by the following features:
- CORs
- Identity Manager (http://codeontime.com/blog/2017/01/id...)
- - Batch Import API used in Import From File


Native Online Apps
===============

The next release 8.5.13.0 is expected to go out in March of 2017. This release will introduce generation of native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows 10.

Here is how you will build a native app with the release 8.5.13.0:

1) Create an application with SPA page model for a "real" database engine such SQL Server, Oracle, MySql, etc.

2) Indicate platforms required for native deployment. This will enable CORs support in the app.

3) Publish an app.

4) App generator will make special versions of all pages in "Native" deployment folders. All scripts and CSS stylesheets will be copied there as well. Native platform code will be also created.

5) Deploy the server code of the app to the web server.

6) Deploy the native code to the app stores.

7) Install the app and run it on native device.The native code will create a native WebView instance and load local instances of the pages, JavaScript, and CSS. Pages will make remote requests to the server side components. User login and session state is managed through the feature called Identity Manager described at http://codeontime.com/blog/2017/01/id....

Native Offline Apps
===============

Release 8.5.14.0 is expected to be ready in May of 2017.

The new "Offline" property will be available for application pages.

The data controllers will be generated in ".json" format instead of ".xml". We also need that for both new CoT v.9 and Cloud On Time. The new format of controllers is used by built-in Project Designer.

If at least one page is marked as "Offline", then the following will happen when a native app is running:

1) Native application will download controllers and data in JSON format from the server.

2) Only offline pages will be visible/selectable in navigation system of the app if there is no connection.

3) Any requests for offline data will be executed by the local JavaScript library. Data updates will be executed against the offline copy of the data. The log of requests to update data will be maintained and persisted. There is no need for additional software such as SQLite. We are providing a JavaScript equivalent of the server-side code that will use JSON data controllers on the client to work with data.

4) "Cloud" icon will be displayed on the application toolbar. There will be several states for the icon:

- Offline
- Online + No Local Data Changes
- Online + Local Changes Require Sync



5) If the app is "online" then "Cloud" button will be in "Online+" state. If the button is pushed then the following will happen:

- The log of updates will be send to the server via the Batch Import API introduced in 8.5.12.0 if data synchronization is required.

- Conflict errors will be reconciled by the user when needed

- Fresh copies of controllers and data in JSON format will be retrieved from the server replacing the previous offline data set.

Transactional Data Input
====================
Native Online and Web apps will benefit from this new "offline" capability as well. Starting with the release 8.5.14.0 forms will work in "offline" mode. It will be possible to enter child records when a new record is created. The data will be posted to the server only when the master record is posted. This capability will be available in all product editions.
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