Monday, July 7, 2008

Rolling out Tech Preview version of Cypal Lite

We are ready with the Tech Preview version of Cypal Lite. Although you can't do much with this version, this should give you a fair idea of what can be done and how the end product would look like. If you are interested in trying this out, send us a mail or leave a comment in this blog entry. For those who don't want to install Cypal Lite in their Weblogic domains, we have a small screencast also.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cypal Studio for GWT crosses 1,00,000 downloads !

The very first version of this product had nothing more than 2 wizards. It was called Googlipse and was hosted at Google Creator pages ! That version is still available and below are the screenshots of the wizards:

 
 

With that humble beginning, it has now grown into Cypal Studio for GWT. There were similar efforts to create an Eclipse plugin for GWT, but they never saw the light of the day. Since Cypal Studio is Apache Licenced, there were efforts forking this product, but I'm not sure how successful it was. People use Cypal Studio with commercial Eclipse offerings and even there is a nice tutorial on IBM Developerworks.

Today when I was adding all the download counts of Cypal Studio & Googlipse, it went well above the 1 Lakh downloads mark. In few weeks, I should be releasing 1.0 version and I'm also working with Google guys to add this tool to the Tools and Libraries page. Once both these happens, I'm sure that the download count will go up at a higher speed (currently its clocking at 250 downloads/day). Soon we will be touching the one millionth download :-)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Announcing Eclipse Utils, a new tool from Cypal

We are proud to annouce a new tool called Cypal Eclipse Utils. This will be a collection of utilties that will be helpful for an Eclipse Plug-in developer. This will be a free & open source tool (Apache Licensed). This is hosted at Google Project Hosting and click here for the home page. Right now we have released the initial version with just one tool - a PDE Extension Wizard that helps the default Common Navigator. We will be adding more utilities to this and make more releases. Stay tuned for further annoucements on this. [Update] This has been added to Eclipse code base itself. So you will be seeing this wizard in 3.5 M1 onwards in your Eclipse. However for people on 3.3/3.4, can use our plugin to get the same functionality

Wizard Framework in Cypal Lite

Wizards are not new in a web application. Even the old console that ships with the Weblogic server has a wizard framework. Check this screenshot:






But there are few issues with this, such as the placement of buttons or the irregular size of the wizard that keeps on changing with every page. And as with other pages, the wizard will fetch every page from the server, which means network delays and load on server. In middle of the wizard navigation, if you click any link outside the wizard by accident, all your changes are gone! Frustrating?



Welcome to the wizard framework in Cypal Lite. Once again, its carefully designed not to have any pitfalls as in the old console. A typical Wizard would look like:










The entire wizard will be in fixed size and navigation buttons will be in the same location - no matter which page of the wizard you are looking at. The page title and description would differ for each page and will hint you about what that page does.




The wizard would behave like a modal dialog. You can move it to any place in the window, but you can't click on anywhere outside it. Onlyway to dispose the dialog would be to either click Submit or Cancel.



To avoid round trips to the server, we have validations made in the browser itself:










As you see in the above image, the fields would have descriptions like "Enter JNDI name" and if there is an error, then its will be clearly indicated with different CSS style. The errors are "live errors" - meaning to say, the field value is validated as you type. A nice example of this would be:






If at least one of the fields in a page has error, the page is said to be incomplete. The Next button will not be enabled if the page is incomplete. And the wizard's Submit button will not be enabled if at

least one of the pages is incomplete:






To sum up, a wizard framework is nothing new, but we have taken a lot of care about the user experience in using this wizard. That has been done without hurting the performance. So that means the server would be contacted only if you press Submit and until then its free to do

other important tasks :-)



We have sorted out many issues and only a few issues needs to be nailed down. The Tech Preview should be available within 2 weeks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Revealing Cypal Lite screen shots ...

For those who are curious to know about Cypal Lite, the light weight Ajax console, here are some screen shots. When you login, this is the screen you would land at:



One of the emails we have got asked, "Ajax application? So what is the fanciest widget you used?" The answer, as you might have seen in the screen shot above, is none. Just because its an Ajax application, doesn't mean that we should be adding fancy widgets and exoctic animations. While its all possible, we selected the other route - a simple, neat and elegant UI. Simplicity is given atmost importance, so is usability. So the home page would contain the quick links, that you would be using frequently. You would see shortcut buttons placed at appropriate locations. The screen real estate is properly designed for maximum use, at the same time not cluttering the UI. For instance, the navigation bar is shown by default and the Activity log is hidden by default. If you require, you can always see/hide both. The below screen shots depict this.



BTW, if its not clear, Activity Log is the place where we log you edits, undos, redo, etc, so that you can refer what you have done so far.

If you click an item in the navigation bar, a corresponding tab will be created in the UI.


The advantage is that, if you want to move from the Servers tab to the Jdbc tab, its just a single click away. There is neither the overhead of fetching the details from the server nor the overhead of disposing the current UI elements and creating new UI elements. It just appears as soon as the mouse button is released when you click. It can't get any faster than this, that too in an web app

Except for the Home tab, all the other tabs are closeable. So what is the content of a tab? The content is fairly dependent on what tab it is. But most of the tabs have one single table, like this:



All the tables are sortable by *every* single column in them, and the user is free to select which columns to view and which to hide. You will have the Pagination controls at the bottom of the page, and in the text box you see there, you can say how many records you want to see in an single page. All the details of the table are configurable. Remember, all these operations (sorting, pagination, column selection) are done within the browser. This means no server process/network overhead.

You can also see action buttons in the bottom of the table along with the navigation. These should serve as the context sensitive quick links.

Now what is in the Action Bar?


As you can see from the first screen shot above, all the controls are in disabled state. When you start performing operations like deploying an application, deleting a data source, changing the port of the server, etc, each of those operations will be wrapped into a command and executed on a command stack. The buttons will reflect the status of the command stack and enable themselves accordingly. Can you localte the annoying "Lock & Edit" button? No? Its because we don't have it. Our console is little intelligent that it locks automatically when you perform the first edit operation. It will be released whenever you press Save/Cancel. Simple? Now you must be wondering why the old console didn't provide it

We will soon come up with the screenshots of the Wizard framework. Till then, post your comments/suggestions here or mail to cypal-lite@googlegroups.com

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cypal Lite, a light weight console for Weblogic

If you have ever worked with Weblogic, you probably know the pain of the product - its webconsole. Every release, the server gets faster and faster, but the console goes otherwise. Newly added features simply pull down the performance. Add it to the not-so-nicely designed UI, you end up clicking so many times and starting at the screen for the page to be loaded.

Well not anymore. We are working on a light weight console, which would allow you to do things much faster. We call it as Cypal Lite and more information is available here: www.cypal.in/lite We will be pushing updates in this blog, so stay tuned.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hello World !

Welcome to our blog. This is the place where we discuss about our upcoming products, design, thoughts and random stuff. Stay tuned.