Converting to WEB

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Converting to WEB

Postby Stewart Allen » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:17 pm

Hi All

I have a DataEase 6.52 application that is basically a FAQ and interactive 'forum' for users of other apps.

Due to an expanding user base i am considering converting this to a WEB app and I want to use this opportunity to start using Ffenics.
1. Is a move from DE 6.52 to Ffenics 1.24/1.25 relatively painless?
i.e. The migration tool notes say: "DataEase version 6 and 7 applications should migrate with little difficulty, subject to removing some features that are not supported by Ffenics. "
In a nutshell ... what is not supported
2. How does the licensing/ costing work for WebElements - i.e. if this app is published on a public web server is there limitations on the number of user logins?
3. Are there any known issues with Ffenics if the data is in MySQL/Oracle/MS SQL server?
4. If the app includes extensive use of DE OML, will this still work in WebElements?
5. Do Ffenics Aspects, Reports, Procedures completely convert to WeBElements - i.e. buttons, menus, colours, mouse actions etc ?
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Re: Converting to WEB

Postby Pete Tabord » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:31 pm

Too many things to reply to in one go!

Some of your questions kind of make assumptions that will get you off on the wrong foot.

While WebElements can convert a whole Ff Windows application for the Web, that probably would only make sense if a) the app was very simple or b) you designed the app for that purpose from the outset.

Normally, it is used for adding a Web interface to a Ff Windows application. It does this by non-destructively transforming Ffenics documents into ASP version of themselves.

It deliberately does not include any down loadable applets for security reasons, and it doesn't attempt to turn your Web browser into Windows. Therefore OCL, which is intended for customizing user interaction via the Windows API, is not supported. This actually is not a bad thing, because a web browser is essentially a reversion to the old teletype paradigm of user interaction - something is painted on the screen, the user edits it, and submits their changes. This is quite different to the way we interact with a Windows document, where every key stroke is processed by the application in real time. This means in practice that although a simple Ff application could just be put up on the Web 'as is' it's typically going to be better to create a new sub-application for the Web users.

The great advantage of WebElements is that you can design your interactive Web documents using the normal Ff document editing tools instead of Web design tools. Normally for a complex app that requires both a Windows and a Web interface you create a set of Aspects specifically for the Web users, built over the same forms that the Windows users see, and generate the web versions by using the Transformer part of WebElements. The Hub part of WebElements will manage the data retrieval, validation, processing and updates interactively as the ASP pages are generated or submitted at runtime. It also does all the connection management and database level security required.

Internet security is provided in the normal way by the Web server, and additionally Ff 1.5's PRISM has internal security against viruses or other malware that try to infiltrate into the data in the application.

WebElements is limited to a maximum of ca. 100 simultaneous users per hub - this is a practical limit of Windows rather than any limit of the Web Elements technology, but it is important to remember that sessions are only active when the user is actually doing something - unlike the Windows interface you don't actually 'log on' for the whole time you are in the app. It would be theoretically possible to have multiple WebElements hubs pointing to the same database, but I don't think anyone's actually needed to do that yet.
Peter J. Tabord
Head of Development
Database Software Ltd.
ptabord@ffenics.com
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