Today we are proud to announce our Blaise 5.0.3 release which includes the long-awaited first version of Manipula, server-side events, shortcuts, printing, monitoring, and a few smaller additions. In addition to these new features, we have worked on performance enhancements and have solved many issues that were reported by our users.
A first version of Manipula is available. It does not have the full functionality of the Blaise 4 version yet. In summary, this first version can handle input files and output files, using basic constructs and functions. Important features that have not been implemented include update files, alien procedures, user-defined functions, linking of files and accessing files through a search/read/get mechanism.
Blaise 5 services are now able to “fire events,” which means they can send out information about themselves to be used elsewhere. You can write your own program to subscribe to these events, which could be very useful for integrating Blaise with a case management system or performing other management tasks.
Blaise 5 now supports shortcuts. There are two types of shortcuts: keyboard shortcuts and gesture shortcuts (swiping). Shortcuts have to be defined on templates, typically on page-level templates like master pages. The keyboard shortcuts work on the Windows and Web platforms, but not on iOS and Android (the keyboards of those platforms don’t have CTRL, ALT or function keys, which are necessary for keyboard shortcuts). Gesture shortcuts work on all touch-enabled devices.
This feature allows you to generate a PDF document of a questionnaire. The functionality is intended for respondents, so they can print out a copy of the questionnaire for their own administration. The only place where you can use this functionality is in the data entry clients (Windows, Browser, iOS and Android). We have implemented this feature by adding a new action to the resource editor. This action has several parameters that influence the outcome of the print action (language, style, paper format, page range, etc). The action can be used in click events of a button, and/or a shortcut command like Alt-P.
The server manager has been extended with functionality that lets you see how many records there are in the database of a particular survey. This can give you an indication on the progress of your survey.
Furthermore, we have added an example to the installation that shows how to setup your own web-based monitoring system.