The first prototype of what would later become Instant Developer Foundation was created in 1999, and we've kept working ever since to continuously update our development platform. The goal is still the same as it was 21 years ago, when we were inspired to develop it: the desire to offer people in the world of software programming a tool for keeping in step with digital innovation, paired with maximum efficiency in production.

So again this year as always, we're happy to be here for our regular rendezvous: version 20.5 of Instant Developer Foundation is here, following close behind the one for Instant Developer Cloud (which we talked about here). Here's what you'll find in the new release.

The big updates in Instant Developer Foundation 20.5

Let's jump right in with the top new items, which will let customers use new components and new library functions. Instant Developer users ask for them often, and they open new pathways and possibilities for development:

  • Fluid lists
    It's now possible to enable the "fluid" display of panel lists if they use the SEATTLE or ZEN themes. These themes adhered to the "pixel precision" philosophy of design, but because of this they also suffered from "rigidity" at run-time. For example, if the text in the fields was longer than what was anticipated at design-time, the cell did not adapt automatically as instead happens in tools like Excel. Even adaptation in the width of cells was not fluid as the browser dimensions changed. Activating the new drawing algorithm for panel grids delivers a number of advantages: the browser calculates the height of each row automatically depending on the text contained in the cells; the browser also adapts the widths of the cells depending on its own width, as the user changes the browser dimensions. And that's not all. Thanks to the new algorithm, the programmer can decide to "split" the grid row, sending the fields after the interruption "to a new line". This allows programmers to display complex grids in a more compact form, splitting an individual row of fields onto multiple rows (a functionality in great demand among our customers).
  • iOS 14 and Android 11
    Mobile applications produced with Instant Developer 20.5 support iOS 14 and Android 11, the new versions of the Apple and Google operating systems: as always, keeping up with the evolution in technologies is a breeze for users of Instant Developer.
  • Messages among components
    It's now possible to send messages between application and components. The need to communicate between application and components has always been significant for our programmers, who have often adopted "tricks" to send messages to the application or its components. Thanks to the new functionality, programmers can send any message to the entire hierarchy of components, with considerable savings in terms of programming time and a huge step forward in terms of simplification. One top issue was a desire to centralize the application LOG in the application's main section. In previous versions of Instant Developer Foundation that wasn't possible. In the new version it's much simpler: when you need to send a message, use the new SendAppMessage method, which sends the message to all components, and implement the OnAppMessage event in the application and in the components.
  • Header for detail and list fields
    It's now possible to specify at design-time whether a field has different headers in detail layout and list layout. This was requested quite frequently by programmers, because often there are a lot of fields in the grid in list layout, and the headers had to be compressed to avoid generating overly long lists. To achieve this behavior, programmers had to implement events and write various lines of code. What's more, if the RTC module was activated, the problem became even more complex. In the new version of Instant Developer Foundation it's all much simpler; there are two properties for each field: detail header and list header. If the programmer only specifies one, it is set for both layouts. This way, it's not necessary to write specific lines of code or worry about the RTC module.
  • More secure web-services
    The security of applications developed with Instant Developer products has always been a top priority for us. Now, even web services produced with Instant Developer Foundation are more secure "by design". In previous versions, the framework provided two functions that allowed programmers to send and/or receive files. If the functionality was not needed, the programmer needed to disable it by customizing the template files. In applications where this documented procedure was not followed, web services were able to provide the files on the server to anyone, without any control. In version 20.5, a special event has been added, through which the programmer can decide whether or not to authorize the operation on the file. If the event is not implemented, the operation is rejected automatically. This way, it's no longer possible to run operations on files unless the programmer has expressly implemented the functionality.

So many improvements for a more fluid and satisfying development experience!

In this release of Instant Developer Foundation, in addition to the most significant innovations I've just described, we've also worked on more than 50 improvements to existing functionalities and have made more than 70 fixes. 

It's all described in detail in the complete list of functionalities in Instant Developer Foundation 20.5

The improvements address every module of Instant Developer Foundation: from the IDE to the Document Orientation framework, and from books to panels to the JavaScript framework used by web applications. New data types have been supported on MySQL, and also, new compiling parameters have been added that allow users to activate new functionalities in new applications only, or also in existing applications, but only if they want to. Most of the improvements were suggested by you users through the forum, through CRM, and sometimes even during support sessions on using Instant Developer correctly. 

As always, your feedback is crucial for us in steering our work on upcoming releases: keep it coming! In fact, let us know right now in the comments what you think of Instant Developer Foundation 20.5!