New Features

Question:
What are some of the new features of Power Objects Version 2?

Answer:
The major new features of Version 2.0 include:

    New platforms – OPO will continue to support both Intel and Macintoshplatforms. Support for additional Intel platforms will spread to Windows95and Windows NT, both native 32-bit versions. Version 2 will also include anative Power Macintosh version.

    In case you haven’t already heard, the OPO team has dropped development ofan OS/2 version.

    ODBC support – OPO V2 will be able to access many databases throughODBC. Oracle will use ODBC drivers from Intersolv, drivers that will beavailable on all OPO platforms. ODBC connectivity will support SQLServer,Access, Informix, Paradox, and dBase-type databases, as well as the use ofExcel spreadsheets or straight text files as data sources in your databasesessions. Since you will be able to define these data sources as sessions,you will be able to use the standard drag-and-drop method for migrating databetween these sources or the currently supported Oracle databases.

    In addition, Personal Oracle Lite, discussed briefly below, will supportODBC access. This essentially means you can access data from otherdatabases used by other development tools; likewise, your local and remotedatabases will be accessible from other development tools.

    Grid object – OPO Version 1 had the repeater object, but it wasn’t thesame as a grid object. For instance, the repeater object did not support ahorizontal scroll bar, so the repeater could not display more informationthan could be seen in the width of the repeater.

    The grid object will be a container that can be bound to a data source. Thegrid includes the ability to do horizontal scrolling. It’ll also featureadvanced display capabilities, such as automatic column headings andresizable columns at design and run time.

    OCX support – OPO V2 will include many different OCX controls, whichencapsulate functionality, much like the standard controls in the OPOdevelopment environment. The final release of Version 2 will containbetween 10 and 20 OCXs.

    They’ll include:

    • a calendar control
    • an animated push button control
    • a list box control
    • a communications control that will allow your OPO app to talk directlywith communications ports, common dialog and tab controls
    • multimedia controls, and
    • a text control

    The good news is that these controls can add a lot to the capabilities ofyour Power Objects applications. The bad news, depending on yourcross-platform needs, is that OCX objects are created according to Microsoftstandards, so they won’t work on the Macintosh.

    Crystal Reports – One of the weaker areas of OPO V1 was the reporting.It’s true that the report interface had some nice features, such as the sameinterface as the forms designer, but by and large the reporting capabilitieswere quite limited.

    The new OPO will include a version of Crystal Reports, the industry standardfor graphical report writers. You will be able to use Crystal Reports onall OPO platforms. Through the intervention of Oracle, Mac developers cannow get one of the leading report writers – but only with Power Objects.

    OLE server support – Version 2.0 will allow Power Objects to act asan OLE server. What this basically means is that other applications, suchas CASE tools, will be able to drive OPO and accomplish tasks such asautomatically creating OPO applications. Enterprising developers willprobably be able to take this functionality to create their own OPO codegenerators.

    Just like OCXs, the OLE server capabilities of OPO will only work on Intelplatforms.

    Internet support – Everyone wants to get involved with the Internet,and with V2 you can do it from your own OPO apps. You will be able to viewany Internet documents by using the Power Browser OCX, a browser that is apart of the Oracle Web system.

    Even more exciting, you will be able to call any of your OPO apps directlyfrom a variety of different browsers, since any compiled OPO app can be usedas a plug-in. Calling an OPO app from an HTML document in a browser can beaccomplished with a single line of code.

    You will be able to use OPO as a platform to develop client/serverapplications that can be spawned from the Internet. To top it all off,Crystal Reports supports the generation of reports as HTML documents, so youcould call your OPO application from a browser, do some interactiveclient/server processing and use Crystal Reports to create a new HTML formbased on the results of the interaction.

    Personal Oracle Lite – Finally, Blaze is going away, to be replacedby Personal Oracle Lite, which will have a small footprint, is promised tobe much faster than Blaze (I mean, uh, even faster than Blaze) andwill be accessible using ODBC drivers. Personal Oracle Lite is not includedin the first beta release, but the final product will include the newdatabase and a migration tool to convert your Blaze databases to PersonalOracle Lite.

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