Many people who use mv.NET on a daily basis still haven’t used some of the more sophisticated features. mv.NET is not just a communications tool, not simply a commercial equivalent to UO.NET or QMClient. It’s a rich development platform that is in a constant state of evolution. v4.2 takes the product one step further on its journey. This blog summarizes recent enhancements and invites interested developers to a webinar on Thursday September 9th. RSVP required!
mv.NET is fine software produced by BlueFinity International, the best upline business partner that we currently have. I am proud to associate my company with this product, and as a developer I enjoy working with it on a daily basis.
Many people compare mv.NET to products like UO.NET, U2.NET, IBM.NET, QMClient, the D3 Class Library, JRCS, and other DBMS-specific tools. In short, mv.NET is a super-set of all of these, even using some of those tools simply as a lower-tier vehicle to support more complex functionality. In addition to basic mvAccount, mvFile, and mvItem functionality, mv.NET includes full integration with Visual Studio for editing of BASIC code and dict/data maintenance, session management to maximize the efficiency of DBMS licenses, and a library that implements ADO.NET for DataSet, DataTable, and SQL CRUD (Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete) operations. While some support for these features is included in some products, this combination of features in single development platform is unique in our industry.
You’re probably already familiar with all of that, and that’s why many of you have purchased this software (or considered it). But many of you who use mv.NET on a daily basis have not yet made use of many of the features which really make this product stand out from alternatives. So I’d like to introduce you to just two specific features below. If you already have a license for mv.NET, you are entitled to use these features. There is nothing else to buy or install beyond the latest release. For Nebula R&D clients, I want to ensure that you are aware of what you’re getting for your maintenance fees, but I also want you to be aware that there is a bigger picture associated with mv.NET. It’s not just a communications tool. It’s a package that’s evolving into something much greater, and I believe you’ll start to see this below.
Solution Objects – Code Generation of Business Classes
In version 4.x a new major feature was added, Solution Objects, which allows developers to generate strongly-typed libraries of code to operate against a Pick/MV application, much the same as NHibernate, CSLA, .NetTiers, and other mainstream products in this category of ORM (Object Relational Mapping). This feature, again unique in our industry, brings the .NET developer even closer to the “brass ring” of MV front-end development, whether for GUI, Web Services, or other interfaces.
If you’re familiar with creating your own business classes and collections, so that you can expose “business objects” and not raw interfaces to your database, then you’ve been manually writing code that mv.NET now generates. Honestly, there will still be a need for many custom business classes. Personally I use a combination of custom classes and collections with mv.NET generated classes. But since Solution Objects was introduced I have been able to replace and augment my own custom application-specific code with over half a million lines of generated code for a single application. This is code that is required to support an existing complex MV application, and I’m very glad that I don’t need to write or maintain all of this manually.
Support for Silverlight
With v4.2, BlueFinity has introduced another major feature, again completely free for those of you who maintain a support agreement. This release now includes deep support for the Silverlight browser add-in, which makes possible an even greater experience for RIA (Rich Internet Application) users over traditional HTML web pages. The definition and benefits of Silverlight are covered in blogs (including this one), magazines, books, vidios, and professional conferences everywhere. The merits and relative tradeoffs of plugins versus plain HTML are discussed at-length everywhere. The important point for our purposes here is that mv.NET now includes even tighter integration with Visual Studio 2010 for the creation of Silverlight interfaces, to give MV developers the tools they need to support their technical choices.
Prior to this release we could still create a Silverlight front-end with the VS designer and link to all of our mv.NET DBMS-related code on the back-end. Now, while we can still do that, mv.NET adds a visual designer, as well as adding code into both the client and the “code-behind” to support back-end operations.
The choice to use Solution Objects or Silverlight is of course your own. The tools are in your toolkit if you wish to use them. Details for these enhancements are available in product documentation, webinars, the mv.NET public forum, and from Nebula R&D Support, to help you make your choices. Overall it’s important for you to know that this product is evolving beyond the individual features into something much greater. You may not want all of the included features today, but you have them as your challenges evolve for later. This is part of the reason why I continue to support this software and BlueFinity, and why we encourage our clients to keep up with the latest releases. If you’re already a Nebula R&D client, I invite you to stay with us on the journey.
Free Webinar: Intro to mv.NET 4.2 & Silverlight Development
Thursday, September 9th 11:30am-12:30pm EDT (New York)
Thursday, September 9th 10am-11am BST (London)
BlueFinity has extended an open invitation to all newcomers to attend a webinar hosted by BlueFinity and lead developer David Cooper. This webinar will take attendees through the steps required to present and maintain MultiValue data from within a browser-based Silverlight application. The use of mv.NET’s Solution Objects will be demonstrated along with the specialized Silverlight components that BlueFinity have created in order to provide developers with a rapid application development framework.
Note that this is not a tutorial on mv.NET or Silverlight, or an introduction to the fundamentals of .NET or these platforms. This is intended to show developers how to use mv.NET specifically with Silverlight.
If you have questions about the software, or you’d like a demonstration or installed trial, please contact Nebula R&D and ask how this fine software can best be used in your own development.