Sunday, November 4, 2007

New JHeadstart features

Last week a new jheadstart release was launched with a lot of new features like out of the box home & login page (jaas or custom login) , dynamic menus, language support and flex fields.

In this blog I'll give some samples of dynamic menu and flex field.

The first new feature I will explain is dynamic menu. In earlier releases of jheadstart you had to make you own global button region if you had more then one jheadstart application definitions . In this release you can check the flex menu option in the application definition file and JHeadstart generates a new menu admin application definition and also some tables ddl.

The next step is that JHeadstart makes a entry in the jheadstart menu tables for each menu and submenu.

Let's generate the new menu admin application definition and run the application.
You can see on the home page there is een selection with the available menus, you can select the menu application. If you don't like the menu selection and want to have menu buttons then you change the menuGlobal.vm template.Here you change the properties of existing menu or create a new menu ( with your own look and feel) with submenus of different application definitions and you can even put in an iframe as submenu.
I see a nice opportunity if we combines this option with virtual private database (VPD) so we can give our departments of every user his own personel menu which he can change of put in his own webpages.

The second new feature is flex items. With this feature the administrator can add fields in existing pages and configure the default values and validation of this flex field. The values of this field is stored in the jheadstart tabels and linked to the primary key of the jsf page
This can be handy if you need a field in a page and you don't want to change the datamodel or you don't want to wait when development makes it.

First you have to check allow use of flex regions in the application definition. Then you have to add a flexregion to every group where you want flex items. Then generate the application definition file.Let's change the page the department page by clicking on customize mode. It only works on a form page. We now can see a define flex region link just click on it.

Now you can define all kind of properties of the flex item and of course the default and validation values.

We can conclude that jheadstart is now a total solution for generating applications.

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