Surround Technologies is pleased to introduce the general availability of Version 7.2 of its Accelerator software development platform with new features that expand the global outreach of software created using Accelerator. Building upon its foundation as a premier productivity solution for the development and use of desktop, browser, and mobile applications with Windows, Windows Azure, IBM i, and IBM System z – Version 7.2 introduces many improvements to Software generation, the native Windows and responsive Web application frameworks, and the Accelerator Website Content Management System (WCMS).
The software generation wizard enhancements in version 7.2 were targeted at simplifying the generation process while also adding intelligence to significantly reduce post-generation development effort. The generation process was streamlined by moving more advanced optional features to secondary options as well as adding greater database feature support including the ability to easily generate software for recursive unary table relationships (where a table is related to itself).
The continuous evolution of Accelerator’s Open Generation Technology provides increased ability to add intelligence to the software generation process based on your database and software standards and structures. This means you can optimize your software generation to do more so you can do less.
This latest release also boasts a restructuring of the generated projects, providing improved application performance along with significant reduction in build times, load times, application start times, and upgrade time. It also has a side effect of simplifying ongoing development and maintenance. Win-win. Both the previous and new structures are supported in generation. Existing customers can choose to continue with the previous style or switch to the new.
Responsive Web Framework Improvements
Accelerator provides frameworks for creating applications to support various business needs, such as desktop-style line-of-business enterprise applications (added in Version 7.0), portals, commerce sites, and even simple marketing sites. Version 7.2 adds self-help and self-administration functionality to these frameworks including account registration, credential recovery (forgotten user ID and forgotten password), and account settings for maintenance and user options. These are provided with standard generation and require little-to-no coding to implement with your state-of-the-art web application.
Improved and Expanded Multilingual Support
Accelerator 7.2 incorporates full support for multiple languages and cultures when developing with our responsive, desktop-style web application frameworks. This version pulls in and aligns the same level of support already available in our native Windows application frameworks.
English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese language libraries are provided and additional languages will be added as needed. Accelerator Tools are available to create the necessary language libraries for your own applications. With a multi-lingual, responsive web front-end, neither device nor language will ever be a barrier to opening up new opportunities, territories, and markets for your software.
To see it in action, Surround implemented the multilingual support into all their Accelerator-generated application demonstrations.
Accelerator Website Content Management System (WCMS)
Accelerator Website CMS has seen a strong adoption rate amongst Accelerator customers. This is generating great feedback and a respective rapid advancement in capabilities. The biggest focus for this release has been leveraging greater reuse of content, moving greater content control from the developer to the website administrators and content providers and further supporting Social Media needs.
Accelerator 7.2 provides greater ability to centralize and reuse functionality, such as call-to-action banners, specially formatted video and other media, site-wide variables, and other content that may needed in multiple place of the website. This enables website administrators and content providers to reduce duplication of content, maintain consistency across content usage, reduce duplicate maintenance efforts, etc. It basically carries these software development best practices over to that of website content.
In addition, the ability to put Razor views into the WCMS so that it can be updated and maintained by content providers and website administrators who are inclined to do so. This also provides the ability to code C# directly into WCMS content without having to redeploy. This allows the more technically savvy that have an understanding of basic Razor and C# coding to do more advanced functionality without needing a developer.
The Accelerator 7.2 release also added Forte support to its growing list of credit card processing and electronic check pay options. Others already supported include Stripe and Shift4.
Social Media Optimization (SMO)
SEO take note, there’s a new kid in town. Social Media Optimization, or SMO, is becoming more and more relevant and important. With Social Media, people will share your site for you. The problem has been the varying presentations that would be displayed on the different platforms, making it hard to predict or control how your page appears there. But, hidden meta information on the page allows you to control the message you want shared. Accelerator version 7.2 brings both SEO and SMO to the forefront of page development. The Accelerator WCMS provides tools and settings to define and view the message you want presented when someone searches for or shares your page. We’ve used our SEO/SMO Site Viewer tool to optimize our own Surround Site and created a publicly available SEO/SMO tool for people to see what a page on their site looks like to Search Engines and Social Media.
In work related to the new SMO functionality, Surround has also reimagined the sitemap page. The sitemap page was a mainstay in years back, but it has all but been forgotten these days. Sitemaps, traditionally, only provided a web page name though and were geared more towards finding pages through site hierarchy versus browsing content. Modern sites though do not have a real defined hierarchy. Often a relatively unused plain page that is hard to keep up-to-date, it has largely been replaced by searching capabilities. However, sometimes it can be useful to browse through a site’s content in much the way you may browse social media. So, Surround reimagined the sitemap for that very purpose. Providing the user to the ability to view a site’s pages as cards or as a hierarchical tree and pulling in the page image, title, description, and more if need be. It also provides the ability to easily share the page to your social media site of choice.
In Accelerator version 7.2, this is all dynamically provided for you through the Accelerator WCMS. You can see an example of it in action with the Surround Technologies Sitemap. Sitemap.xml, the search engine targeted kin to the sitemap, is still used by search engines and important to a website’s success in being fully indexed by the search site. In Accelerator Version 7.2, the WCMS dynamically creates this so you never have to worry about it.
Support for Visual Studio 2017 and SQL Server 2016
Accelerator 7.2 provides added support for the newly released Visual Studio 2017 and SQL Server 2016. Developers using the latest in Microsoft development tools can now take full advantage of the tools and features available to them. For developers with multiple versions of Visual Studio installed, a new generation configuration is provided to allow the developer to select which version to use for build and compilation.
Along with the Accelerator improvements, Surround also generated and published a new demonstration system utilizing the new Microsoft Wide World Importers sample database for SQL Server 2016. The WWI demonstration applications were created in less than 15 minutes, demonstrating the raw development power of Accelerator.
Support for Newlook 10.4
Accelerator version 7.2 has been fully tested and certified to support version 10.4 of Fresche Legacy’s Newlook for IBM i and IBM System z. The combined improvements of Accelerator and Newlook significantly reduces the time and cost to modernizing legacy systems by allowing developers to leverage and repurpose legacy programs and screens into Accelerators state-of-the-art UI.
Accelerator Software Content Management System (SCMS)
Improvements to Accelerator Software CMS include additional control during planned maintenance outages provides restrictive administrative access to the system during the outage as well as other logging and controls.
Improvements have also been made to the Import/Export Data Transfer Tool to support new Accelerator features when moving System Definitions (meta-data) to different environments such as the promotion of functionality from development to quality assurance to production.
As always, Accelerator releases continuously receive minor enhancements to all aspects of the solution; user experience, architecture, development tools and process, security, software management and operation, cross-application functionality, and legacy integration.
More Info and Free Trial
More information on Accelerator is available at the Surround Technologies’ Accelerator Product Page. and the latest version of Accelerator is always available to try for free to see what we mean by developing smarter and creating software users will love. Release notes and upgrade support can be found by visiting the Surround Technologies Support Portal.