As we finish 2018 it seems a good time to look back at changes to the PhixFlow platform over the last two years. All the teams at PhixFlow Ltd have been busy working with customers around the world who are using PhixFlow:
- to tackle problems with uncontrolled Shadow IT
- to manage their data, which can reside in multiple silos
- to simplify and automate complex data processes.
This article will focus on the great work of our Development Team. The team has maintained a rapid pace of development in response to customer requests for new features, achieving three major releases per year. Between major releases there are usually several minor releases to keep customers up-to-date with the latest fixes, enhancements and security updates.
With this pace of development, it is no surprise that we have transformed PhixFlow over the last two years. In 2017 we released the major versions 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4. These releases included big changes to the underlying architecture of PhixFlow. The new architecture enabled a complete revision to the PhixFlow interface, creating a more intuitive environment for modelling data and building applications on top of that data.
In particular, we added more features to the application GUI element - Forms. Having Forms that display data to application users, so they can select or update records, is an important part of data management and replacing Shadow IT processes. To make Form design easier, you can now select predefined actions for GUI Buttons, such as insert, and update. You can also add context parameters to Buttons, by simply dragging them onto the Button.
In 2018 we worked on adding features and improving usability of all areas of PhixFlow. However, in response to user requests, there was more emphasis on features for building applications.
With version 7.5, it became easy to rearrange Forms or Dashboards, by simply dragging-and-dropping components between areas of the layout, and even into the repository browser. Some actions can process high volumes of data (into the billions of data points), so there are now options to let you cache data to improve performance. We also introduced Card views so that you can display just a single data record to the end user.
Version 7.6 came with Templates, for easier out-of-the-box application design. We also introduced enhanced formatting for Cards, including appearance changes depending on state. For example, a Card can change colour when a record is selected or has been edited.
As more companies turn to PhixFlow to automate their data processes, there are higher numbers of users interacting on a daily basis with PhixFlow applications. For this reason, version 7.7, released in September 2018, provided finer-grained user access controls. You can now configure user group privileges down to specific data columns (stream attributes). If you have multiple projects with different access requirements, you can now set up administrators for specific user groups, rather than having one administrator for all groups.
As 2018 comes to an end, everyone is focused on putting the final touches to version 7.8.0, which will be released in January. Look out for the release announcement!