v36.1.0 – Flexible Views, Better Menus

September 20, 2018

Summary

The release of Qobrix v36.1.0 brings support for much more flexible views, improves menus, documentation, and integrations.

Overview

Flexible Views

In this release we have added support for much more flexible views.  Since the early days of Qobrix, most of the screens were using a two-column layout for the content.  This idea was borrowed from several other systems, such as SugarCRM and Request Tracker.  It helped a lot with the consistency of the user interface and made Qobrix a lot easier to learn, use, and understand.

However, with more and more features being added to the system, this approach became quite limiting in a variety of scenarios.  In the applications that use a lot of fields, or have many fields which are related to each other, having only two fields per row meant that a lot of screen space was not utilized, causing longer screens, and a lot of unnecessary scrolling.

Qobrix v36.1.0 extends and improves the support for flexible views.  It continues to use the Bootstrap grid layout under the hood, but now it allows up to 12 columns per row.  We also support variable number of columns between the rows, so one could have 12, the other 3, or 4 or 6, or any other number between 1 and 12.

So far, we have only added support for the new flexible layouts, but haven’t switched any screens to use this (hence no screenshots).  The new functionality is backward compatible, so all the old screens will still continue to work as before.  In the next few releases we will be taking advantage of this new feature and adjusting some of the out-of-the-box screens to be more condensed and efficient.  Qobrix application developers and system integrators can however utilize this functionality starting from now.

Improved Menus

This release does yet another iteration over the menus functionality.   One particular area where things got a lot better and much more consistent are the menu item icons.  While it is still possible to configure custom menu item icons, we have removed the duplicate configurations throughout the system, and now all menu item icons rely on the module icon configuration.  While not very noticeable, this change provides a lot more consistency throughout the application.  Module icons are now much less likely to differ between various locations in the application (menu items, related tabs, related fields, etc).

Integrations

Integrations are responsible for connecting Qobrix to third-party tools and services.  We have quite a few of those built-in already, but in the next few releases we will be adding a lot more, and expanding the functionality of the existing ones.  In order to do so, we need to do a couple of iterations on the internal functionality, to prepare the base for expansion and improvements.  Qobrix v36.1.0 is one of the several steps in that direction.  While there were a few changes to the code already, all things integrations related should still work exactly as before.

Documentation and testing

Qobrix is being used by more and more developers and system integrators for an increasing variety of solutions.  In order to help everyone involved and lighten the burden of support, trial-error, and frustration, we have done several improvements to the documentation and testing infrastructure in this release.  We have updated a number of included README manuals, update documentation in the code, improved the integrations with the CI/CD servers, and linked up to a few external tools to help us make the code easier to test, understand, and maintain.

Component Updates