ISO Soft easySite.NET is…
Well… that was how I started my text to present you easySite!
But that just cannot be a way to present easySite to someone!
Because easySite is much ‘simpler’ than ‘powerful’!
Let us start by what easySite IS NOT…
After not being a coffee or answering machine (not even a home video)… easySite:
- IS NOT a replacement of your working environment;
- IS NOT a replacement of your everyday collaboration tools;
- IS NOT a replacement of your hardware or software configuration;
- IS NOT a replacement of your current knowledge or programming language;
It just integrates ‘seamlessly’ with all these items, and make them all more efficient than ever.
- You CAN just put your current knowledge, collaboration tools and data together and extend their efficiency the way you want.
- You CAN even, with a little more knowledge, use easySite to extend easySite!
With easySite you can, with very little technical knowledge, elaborate and manage a multi language Internet/Intranet dynamic, content oriented web site.
easySite is built on 3 foundation modules...
- The Editoral component : manage site's Articles and logical and physical architecture ;
- The Data Access component : manage data access elements (datasets / dataframes) ;
- The User Interface component : manage site's access scenarios using Menus ;
To view details, please select the related menu.
The editorial component of easySite can help you publish a dynamic structured web site:
- You can mimic the logical structure of your site by creating a set of virtual pages (for example: welcome page / company presentation page / help and support page…)
- You store all your articles (that can be automatically imported from MS Word) in the article stack;
- You can then publish any article in the desired virtual page;
easySite editorial component has numerous advantages:
- Using virtual pages, you don’t have to create or maintain any physical page;
- easySite allows you to create multiple language versions of your site using the same virtual pages (articles can be written in several languages);
- At any moment, you can, by one click, replace the currently published article by another one…
- The article stack holds all your articles before and after their publication, composing the library of your site’s knowledge base;
- easySite allows articles to be handled by an editorial team (several persons working from several locations) simply using Internet Explorer;
- Stable and homogenous graphical aspect of your pages are obtained by using a very few number of cascading style sheets (.css files) that you can modify to change the whole site’s aspect;
If we should use adjectives for easySite’s Data Access component, I would say: it is simple, powerful, clean and direct.
As for ‘What you can do with?
’: You can use this component to read, view and update virtually any database using a web browser;
Data handling lifecycle
Most of businesses (companies of any size) store information in databases and run one or more software programs that allow workers, customers and other public to access the data and do something with it (add / modify / delete items… buy… obtain information…)
- Installing hardware and opting for an operating system is a major strategic process that can heavily affect any business budget.
- Making a decision for the database system is also a major choice which any company may sustain only once each some years.
- Designing and implementing the required data storage architecture (databases) is also a major operation for a business of any size.
- Developing interface applications, or buying them on the software market is often a heavy but indispensable burden…
- Complementing the database system with ‘office’ style software tools (word processing, mail software…) is often necessary;
- Acquiring the necessary competences for running and maintaining the whole monster is even not possible for all businesses;
Once all this set of components is up and running, often: only then, users sit down to discover everyday how disparate the components are, and do what they can to agglomerate bits and pieces together for the business to continue running!
With the time running… technologies evolve (often in better directions)
Strangely, technologies evolution often breaks down the cement that once worked for sticking up two or more system components… leaving users (and/or maintenance teams) in the vacuum of searching again for new tricks.
One of the most interesting computer technologies around is ODBC… ‘Open Database Connectivity’
The main principle of ODBC is to allow anyone (any person, program or, probably, coffee machine!) to communicate with the data stored in some (any) database system regardless of the platform or other environment variants.
This allows you, for example, to be on a Windows machine working with data stored in a Unix system… and vice versa.
Databases store data in a ‘structured’ architecture (i.e. in a way that allows the user to search or have different views by querying related items of the stored data).
A point of interest here is the current effort made by many leading companies to allow ‘database access style’ to unstructured data documents (word processing, email messages…)
Ultimately, this allows us to handle a document paragraph, for example, as an integrant part of an accountancy entity stored in a database.
Different flavors of ODBC are available on nowadays systems.
easySite uses Microsoft OLE-DB to give you access to the wonders of any ODBC database.
The current version of easySite Engine uses MS SQL Server 2000 for storing its proper data.
Once you know where your database is and what OLE-DB driver you need, easySite allows you to access your database the way you want to build ‘template datasets
- If your data resides within easySite’s database:
- Use the wizard to create a template dataset based on an existing query
(not currently avaialble in demo version);
- If your data is stored in an external database:
- Just tell easySite about the ‘connection string’ you need to access your database;
- Give easySite the query instruction and the column names that will compose the output template dataset;
A template dataset can then be used to build multiple interface datasets
(a collection of the related template columns) for viewing and/or updating data:
- An Interface dataset is composed of one or more fields of its source template dataset;
- There different types of interface datasets according to the desired display output:
- List mode: display a set of records composed of the selected columns (fields)… used for viewing and selecting records;
- Record mode: display one record a time, composed of the selected fields… convenient for data input;
- Report mode: set of records grouped by the desired fields with aggregations (sum, average, count…)… used for statistics and data mining reports;
- In all display modes, you can define the appearance attributes for each field;
- In all display modes, you can setup automatic filters to display only the intended records.Automatic filters can also be set dynamically using session or application variables (we will have a look later on this site).
- You can also create ‘Filter sheets’ that allow the user to dynamically search or filter records according to desired values of one or more data columns;
- In Record display mode, you can setup validation rules (required, accepted values, default values…) for each desired field;
- You can manage access rights (authorizations) for each dataset… per user profile, per user group and/or per user;
- You can do all this, and more, WITHOUT BEING A DATABASE EXPERT!
Building dataframe forms
can display one or more Tabs, each of which can contain either:
- A collection of one or more interface datasets or reports;
- A collection of one or more articles;
- Or any other page of your choice (within or outside your site).
You can place your interface datasets on form tabs in a logically related manner.
- You can create a form having 3 tabs;
- The first tab containing the customer list dataset, followed by the customer record (so that the user can select the desired customer in the list to display and update his or her record);
- The second tab may display the list of invoices of the selected customer… followed by the invoice record…
- The third tab may contain an article of help text about using the form.
DataFrames have many advantages:
- First of all: they are virtual… there is no ‘file’ containing the form… they are classified and managed according to the logical scenario you decide for accessing the data;
- Grouping logically related datasets, can ease users access to stored data;
- Each form being a container of one or more datasets (representing together a stage of your data access scenario), it becomes easy to manage authorizations (data access rights) according to a logical approach.
- You can manage authorizations (access rights), for each form, by user profile, user groups and/or user;
The UI component
helps you build the logical scenario you intend for your site’s visitors:
- You create menu workspaces;
- Each workspace can contain several, per language, sets menu items grouped by category;
- When user clicks a menu item, he or she can be directed to:
- A virtual or physical page within your site;
- A page outside your site;
- A sub menu (workspace);
With this simple architecture, you can create and manage different multi language scenarios for exploring your Internet/Intranet web site.
You can even interconnect different web sites, managed by easySite, by redirecting users to the desired site’s menu workspace.
are the ‘cement’ of all what you prepared (articles / forms …)
When the user clicks a menu item… you give him or her access to a dataframe, an article or both…
That is it…
so simple… isn’t it!
You now know (nearly) all about easySite…