New, mobile, and handy
Hey out there! My name is Dmitry Purtov and I’m testing the mobile version of Prognoz Platform 8. Wanna talk about its capabilities?
Fine dress helps to impress
The first thing you see when looking at any app is surely the design. Since the launch of operating system iOS 8, the less-is-more design aesthetic prevails, especially when you compare it to what we had in iOS 7. To comply with the new operating system, we’ve redesigned our mobile client for Prognoz Platform 8. No gradients and 3D bitmap buttons anymore—only blue and white, and that’s it! Notably, due to strict observation of the guidelines, the mobile client looks smart not only in any iOS version starting from the sixth one, but on any iPad as well: iPad 2, Retina, Air, and Mini.
However, the layout changed is not the only thing in terms of design. We’ve mastered the quality of the Object Navigator, Connection Window, and Report Settings. Nesting has been reduced (just remember how many times you had to click to get anywhere interesting from the main page—that was the level of nesting). Now it’s much easier to find appropriate settings—and no wandering along all these endless pop-up windows.
The new Object Navigator has no Favorites section anymore, as it was not in demand earlier. Favorites have been replaced by Local Copies that save external reports (more about that later) or just copies of the reports according to user preferences.
We’ve drawn other icons for the buttons and have slightly changed the gesture touch control. There is now no special button to update the list of reports on the server. Instead, we’ve added a swipe down gesture that is familiar to all users of mobile mail. You still can delete a report by swiping it aside; however, you can swipe only to the left, while it was possible to swipe the object both to the left and to the right in Prognoz Platform 7.
We’ve completely redesigned our connection window. Connection settings now occupy the full screen. Moreover, we`ve changed the mechanism of adding addresses: Automatically updated history is now a thing of the past. Today, you can add server addresses manually at any moment of time, and you don’t have to connect to the added server.
Speedy yet secure
Safety nowadays is of great importance, even decisive sometimes. Prognoz Platform 8 provides a complete set of features to work with confidential information:
- HTTPS supported
- Login and password for authentication
- Domain authentication supported
- Permission settings
- Ability to disable verification of credentials and permissions on the server side
Those who tried Prognoz Platform 7 might remember that, once access permissions were changed, users had to republish the whole content of the mobile application only to apply new permissions in their mobile client. If there were large data sources and two hundred reports—you were looking at a headache that lasted for hours. There were cases when the publication was started in the evening and finished in the morning. Luckily, with Prognoz Platform 8, all these inconveniences disappear: Access permissions come directly from the base. So you have to republish only if you want to change the content of the container.
Worth mentioning is the fact that the mechanism for handling access permissions has undergone significant changes, thus improving the speed by an order of magnitude: It used to take us several minutes to deal with a certain list of reports; today we need just a few seconds for the same list.
The app not only handles that list of reports faster, but it works much faster in general, which is especially noticeable on large data sources with an extensive selection. A new selection algorithm consumes less memory and enables you to display data faster. Depending on the source and selection, the use of memory has dropped down by 12–95% as compared with Prognoz Platform 7; and the time to configure a dataset and display a report has reduced by 20–70%.
So, the mobile client of Prognoz Platform 8 is now better protected, works noticeably faster than the previous versions, and makes users—and us—happy!
New format for export
Before Prognoz Platform 8, you had only one way to see a report generated on the desktop or in the Web client on your iPad: the publication of a mobile app container. The new version provides one more option that you might like.
Starting from version 8.0, the option list of report export on the desktop and in the Web client will have one more item: Export to PPMOBILE. You can export any report to our PPMOBILE format, send it to your or partner’s device, and open it there, thus avoiding the hassle of servers and containers. When you open the report for the first time, it goes to Local Copies, where it is available anytime and anywhere, even offline.
Such an approach helps solve another frequent problem. When you use your mobile device, very often you need to show the introduced changes to another person. No problem if that person is beside you. But what will you do if your partner is in another building, city, or country? In the mobile client, you can email a full report: You may add changes, send the report to any device running the Prognoz Platform 8 mobile client, and open the report with the same look and settings that you had when you sent it.
Pick the way that works for you:
- If you need to provide several users with access to a large number of reports, it is reasonable to make a publication via container.
- If you need to deliver a specific report to a particular person, simply export to PPMOBILE.
Fast and easy. It’s nice to have a choice.
New Dashboard Designer
We have special pride for the new capabilities of our dashboards. The mobile client has more enhanced features now. And there are less constraints related to the content and structure of dashboards. We’ve added support to:
- Visualizer layout
- Visualizer headers with all settings
- Dynamic positioning and placement (yep, the grid is not required anymore)
- And many other yummy features!
I`ll just give you some screen shots to show the difference. Below is a dashboard in the desktop client:
And this is the same dashboard in the mobile client of Prognoz Platform 8:
Ain’t it pretty? So, your iPad will show almost the same picture as your desktop computer does, and you won’t wrack your brains to get around bothersome constraints related to layout, placement, and settings.
Last, but not least
Previously standing alone, the mobile client now quickly integrates with the desktop and Web client, thus increasing speed and ease of use, and expanding functionality. And taking into account the recent trends of using portable devices, this is an unquestionable benefit from top to bottom for Prognoz Platform 8.
This blog post is an English translation of an original text authored by Dmitry Purtov.