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Important Announcement - XMod Pro

Announcing XMod Pro!

By: Kelly Ford On: 05/14/2009

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I am happy to announce (a little pre-maturely) "XMod Pro". We have re-written XMod, from the ground-up to accommodate the needs of web designers, developers, and other power users and professionals. Even though XMod Pro is completely new under-the-hood, XMod users will feel comfortable because we've maintained similar syntax and the "feel" of XMod.


I have to admit, the last several months, as I've seen the components of XMod Pro come together and have witnessed the power and flexibility of the program, it's the first time in a long time that I've enjoyed coding. I don't want to hype it too much, but XMod Pro is a lot more than just a new version of XMod.


Some of What's New

  • Use Your Own Data: The first thing you'll notice is XMod Pro enables you to add, edit, delete, and view records - from your own data tables. Other modules do this, of course, but XMod Pro gives you the ability to format your forms and displays with your own HTML, CSS, Javascript, and more. You are not constrained to a grid or some pre-defined format for your output and, most importantly, you don't have to learn some complicated script or new programming language. As with XMod, XMod Pro exposes its power through easy to understand and easy-to-use HTML-like tags. How do you use your own data? Simply type in a SQL command or stored procedure.
  • Multiple Views, One Module Instance: Although most people have been clamoring for the changes in the datasource, I'm most excited about this feature. Most modules, XMod included, limit you to one view of data at a time, per module instance. With XMod, for instance, you can view a list of records, then click a button to see a detail view of a single record. But it's either-or, not both. XMod Pro breaks new ground here. Now you can have a list of headlines on the left. When the user clicks a button, the full article is displayed on the right and a list of related articles is displayed below that -- all in the same module instance! 

    With XMod Pro, you can define multiple templates - each with their own data source - for your module instance. Plus, they can interact. Clicking a link in one template can cause one or more other templates to reload with any parameters you want to send.

    This is a truly remarkable feature which expands the power and flexibility of XMod Pro ten-fold.
  • New Display Engine: Not only do you get the multi-view capabilities, but you also get a more performant display engine. Plus, components like the pager and the search/sort panel are templatable. You can define their layout and style to a much greater degree than with XMod.
  • New Forms Engine: To enable the hookup of your forms to the database, we had to rethink the forms engine. As a result we completely re-wrote it. It's still defined like XMod, but under the hood things are completely new. We've now changed the syntax to be more explicit. For instance, we've tossed the "select" and "select1" tags in favor of "listbox", "dropdownlist", "radiobuttonlist", etc.  The "input" tag has been replaced with "textbox", "password", etc.  Plus, you can now define separate forms to use for adding a record versus editing a record. This new engine should also remove the need to wrap "literal" tags around Javascript and other non-XML code.
  • Simplified Interface: We talked to a number of power XMod users and determined that they never really used the WYSIWYG editor or FormBuilder in XMod. They preferred to create and edit their forms and templates with the Plain Text editor. We listened. XMod Pro's editors are plain-text editors but we've added a little something to make your life easier. XMod Pro comes with online help. Select the tag or topic you are interested in and a page filled with the tag's syntax, usage notes, and examples pops up - within your browser. No more having to keep the help file open while working.

These are just some of the changes to expect in XMod Pro. More will be coming down the line.