This last week I have had my head buried in a project to merge several databases into a few common ones. One of my clients is finding that a lot of smaller companies are combining their presence for various reasons and with it comes the need to merge what were previously very separate installations. Blah, blah, that is the boring stuff. What it means is that I have to do a bunch of things to make it work. These programs have a long history and as you can imagine with the “evolving” nature of vertical market software they also have a lot of baggage in their implementation. From what I have seen this is just a fact of life. It sure does make for some interesting jobs though!

If I get a chance I might try to blog about some of the other techniques I learnt while working on this project. Lots of SQL manipulations that are pretty cool, lots of mistakes and back tracks and lots of things I just wish there was a tool that could do the job for me. First though, this is something that I hacked together using powershell to rename a directory full of word documents that had a unique identifier embedded in the name.

The Situation

Two databases were being combined, Client records in database A would remain as they were. All Clients from Database B were copied into database A and received a newly generated SysID (Identity column) when they were inserted. The original SysID was stored in a column of the Clients table (ReferralSysID) for later reference. It could have been a temp table but this old ID was going to be needed for other things so it was decided to put it in the table itself.

This is something I have been wanting to work on for a long, long time. I think that I finally have all the technical aspect sorted that will allow me to make this happen. Now it is just a matter of time, money and effort… ahh, for more rainy days πŸ™‚

The “dashboard” is vaguely modelled on the VS2012 version with the Start and Recent items there to the left. I figure the “News Feeds” could be configurable and possibly for more than just RSS/Twitter type feeds but for now I think this is a good start.

Some of the ideas I have planned:

If you do any work with embedding the WebBrowser control in any programming language you might find this helpful. I am kind of surprised that I had not heard of this until now, I just assumed that the WebBrowser control would simply use the most recent version of IE available by default but it turns out this is not the case!

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee330730%28VS.85%29.aspx#browser_emulation

For IE 8 and later the default emulation mode is IE7 Standards mode!!

From what I have seen there are two different ways to make sure of which rendering mode is used by IE and depending on your situation one may be more suitable than the other.

Update 19th March 2013 – New screenshot from George

JP from DMC posted some screenshots to the newsgroup over the weekend showing off his latest UI enhancements using the ClarionMetroWizard classes. Nice work JP, looking great!

Look what Brahn’s help can do for our apps ….

wow!!!

Wizard form with next and previous buttons …..

MERCI Brahn – excellent work you did there

DMC Settings Used without tab/sheet on message windows. Revamped Capesoft SendTo!

George has also kindly shared his initial experiment (with more on the way!):

Looking good George!

It is exciting to see some discussion going on about UI. I wanted to join the party with some of my own examples πŸ™‚

My favourite skin/highlights combination. Getting a little creative now... Or just a wee bit funky :)

This is the "full" form connected to the wizard for comparison.

 

If you have anything to share let me know and I will update this post with more examples as they come in!

-brahn

This is something I have been working on gradually over the last few weeks. I just really want to show it off a bit and see what interest there might be. Hopefully even get some suggestions and ideas to make it even more awesome. This is the short version, I will do a bigger write up when it is closer to completion.

The new LogViewer addin from ClarionAddins uses the really cool SnakeTail – “Windows Tail Utility to Monitor Trace Log Files” project (check it out, a great utility on its own) to show a real time scrolling display of your Clarion (or anything really) database trace log right there in the IDE!

I am still working on getting all the parts working smoothly but its in use daily here and making my life easier already πŸ™‚

Hopefully a screenshot will explain more:

LogViewer in thge IDE!

-brahn