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Progress Update on Elevate Web Builder 2.07
Posted by Tim Young on Mon, Nov 27 2017

I just wanted to take some time to update everyone on the (now) very-late 2.07 update to Elevate Web Builder and solicit some comments on potential areas of improvement in the IDE. I also figured that I would do this in a proper blog post, primarily because I don't blog enough about what's going on here at Elevate Software and this is an effort to change that. Smile

To recap, Elevate Web Builder 2.07 will be quite a big update for a minor release. In fact, it's essentialy a major release crammed into a minor release. The list of improvements include:
  • The IDE has been given a facelift and looks quite a bit different in several ways. Part of this is due to the need of starting the process of making the IDE high-DPI aware, and the other part is the need to improve the look and feel of the IDE, especially in terms of negative space and ease-of-use. The new IDE tries very hard to make sure that what one needs is only a single click or keystroke away, whether it be recent projects or saving debug messages to a text file.

  • The web server has also been given a facelift, in addition to several other major improvements listed below. There isn't a user interface for the web server anymore, and instead all administration is performed through the IDE or via a web interface. You can still run the web server as an interactive console process for development purposes, but it is primarily designed now to run exclusively as a service without a user interface.

  • The web server now includes built-in SSL support. The first platform supported will be Windows, of course, so I have implemented the SSL support using the Windows crypto API. This will make things easier to deal with in terms of Windows security updates and improvements, and allow administrators to control how the web server works in terms of which crypto cipher suites are used, as well as which base versions of SSL/TLS are used. And all of this can occur without the developer needing to configure anything in the web server itself, making deployments much easier. Other future platform targets will use the OpenSSL libraries.

  • The web server now includes built-in GZip support. This will greatly improve the Elevate Web Builder client application loading performance over slow connections (mobile), especially when updates to the client applications are deployed.

  • The web server now includes support for loading and executing server-side applications that use the Elevate Web Builder runtime. The runtime is an interpreted Object Pascal execution environment that has been present in the IDE since Elevate Web Builder 2.00, but has only been used for design-time execution of code. It has been updated to include functionality for working with web server requests, files, HTML, and more. What this means is that 2.07 will allow you to create and deploy server-side applications in much the same way that you do now for client applications that run in a browser.

  • The IDE now includes support for creating server-side applications that use the Elevate Web Builder runtime available in the web server. The server-side applications are monolitic and self-contained, so there are no dependency issues. The server-side applications are also compressed, and can be encrypted in order to keep the code secure.
At this point, I'm hoping that we can get a public beta out before Christmas. However, in the meantime, I need some input from everyone on any minor changes that they want to see in the IDE that aren't there currently. What I mean by "minor" are features that are useful for productivity or usability and are mostly cosmetic. Features like code completion or other related code editor features rely on incremental compilation improvements to the Elevate Web Builder compiler, and will be coming next in the compilation improvements to the Elevate Web Builder compiler. So, those types of features are not what I'm looking for. For example, a component navigator was added to the IDE for 2.07 that allows you to see the designer components in a treeview on the left. The component palette was also changed so that it shows the name of the component in addition to the component icon. Things along those lines are what I'm looking for, especially if it deals with improving the productivity or usability of the IDE.

Thanks very much for your feedback.

Tags: Elevate Web Builder, 2.07 Progress Update, Server-Side ApplicationsPermanent Link 37 Comments