Tuesday, 19 February 2019 12:43

Spotlight Series: Advanced Customisation Toolkit

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Within EFACS E/8, there is the Advanced Customisation Toolkit. This module allows users to customise the functionality of the standard EFACS software to meet a user’s specific requirements. The technology behind this functionality ensures that future upgrades are not compromised by too much customisation.

The Customisation Toolkit within EFACS E/8 allows users to apply their own business rules and controls to the standard EFACS software functionalities.

Customisations exist on an additional layer which extends the core functionalities of EFACS without the need to alter the standard software. A customisation can range from the introduction of simple validation on fields to new panels and scrolling data sets for data entry and display. Customisations are built upon the standard EFACS framework, providing customised functionality which behaves seamlessly with the standard functionalities.

 

An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) called ADAPT is provided, which is instantly accessible from all applications to simplify and manage the customisation process. The ADAPT program includes commonly expected features such as:

  • Code templates
  • Code auto completion and validation
  • Documentation describing available methods
  • Interactive Context Explorer, which displays the available objects and their methods

Trigger points are provided for intercepting key actions in order to execute customisations. These include the creation of screen elements, before and after user interactions such as pressing a button and on the execution of queries amongst many others. Segments of customisation code can be developed within the IDE and then mapped to trigger points. The ADAPT Customisation IDE also provides a live identification feature to ensure the correct areas of the application are being customised, by highlighting them.

 

An Application Explorer is also provided to allow a graphical drill down approach, allowing the user to navigate a tree of application areas to find specific elements for customisation. A similar approach is used for the Entity Explorer which can be used to find a link to a piece of data within a particular database model using the linked Entity Model.

 

Entity Query Language (EQL) is used to query the Entity Model, much like using SQL to query the Database Model. An EQL Analyser screen allows the development and testing of any EQL written to be used in customisations.

Customisations can also be versioned for logging historical changes or for reverting to previous versions when required.

 

Custom Columns

The EFACS E/8 customisation toolset provides the ability to extend any table to add any number of columns for storing additional information. These columns are known as Custom Columns and can be managed from within the software without the need to make any manual database changes.

Custom Columns reside in a sister table which exists for every standard database table and are only retrieved on demand. This allows the system to maintain its level of performance and responsiveness even when there are many extra columns of data.

 

These additional columns can then easily be incorporated into existing screens and grids where necessary, rather than needing to launch or display a separate one. For example, a user could add numerous additional fields on the standard part screen. The custom fields look and behave like any other standard field within the software. Adding an extra date field for example will inherently provide a date picker whilst a numeric field will inherently prevent the user from entering text.

 

When creating a Custom Column, the user is provided with several options which allows the user to configure the column to their specific requirements, this may include; combo drop downs, validation, length, type of data to be held, whether the field allows multiple lines of text. The field can be set to remember its contents between other screens that also utilise this particular Custom Column.

Custom Columns can be incorporated into ADAPT to provide further extensibility to EFACS applications and can also be used to trigger Workflows and Business Process Automation (BPA) Models.

 

To read more about the functionalities available within EFACS, check out our other Spotlight Series blogs

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