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10 Reasons to Pick MobileTogether Over Microsoft PowerApps


Microsoft’s recent announcement of their new PowerApps product comes at an interesting time, considering that MobileTogether has been on the market for over a year now. Though Microsoft is a bit late to the game with this offering, their announcement serves to underscore the importance of enterprise mobility and the challenge that MobileTogether was created to solve: businesses need to mobilize essential processes – for all devices – in a reasonable amount of time.

MobileTogether has been filling this need for over a year now, allowing developers and power users with no mobile development experience to build powerful, data-centric apps.  If you can build formulas in Excel or write simple SQL queries, you have the technical skills needed to build a robust, sophisticated app using MobileTogether. While PowerApps may be a boon for Office users who need to mobilize simple productivity tasks via basic apps, MobileTogether lets customers take it many steps further, adding rich functionality for processing, analyzing, and collecting data in ways that add value beyond simple mobile access to services.

And in the 2.0 version of MobileTogether, Altova brought the same ease of developing cross-platform business solutions to building fully native apps for all mobile platforms. This is something that PowerApps promises to do – but you only get native apps from PowerApps if you develop the mobile app by hand via the native SDKs on each platform or use a cross-platform framework like Xamarin and then access PowerApps APIs on Azure. In contrast, building cross-platform native AppStore apps in MobileTogether 2.0 is really just a matter of selecting the “Generate code” command from the menu.

The Microsoft PowerApps announcement can be really confusing to parse, so we’ve put together a list of the top 10 reasons why we believe MobileTogether is superior to PowerApps.

How PowerApps compares to MobileTogether

Read more…

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UML Class Diagrams in Altova UModel


Altova products have long been recognized for their rich, intuitive user interface. One example is the UModel diagram window, which includes multiple display options for class diagrams to facilitate ease of use and improve information clarity in objected-oriented models. Class diagram style for projects that generate .NET (C# and Visual Basic) application code UModel 2011 Release 3 includes a new option for displaying class diagrams for .NET programmers. If your project will generate source code in .NET programming languages (C# or Visual Basic), your classes may contain .NET properties that can be called from outside like attributes, but are implemented internally as methods. To better organize .NET classes, UModel offers an option to display .NET properties and methods in separate operations compartments inside classes. UML class diagram for .NET This view is an optional setting in the Styles helper window for class diagram display and editing. Choosing to display separate .NET properties compartments or a single traditional UML operations compartment has no influence on code generated from the class.

View or Hide Class Properties and Operations Developers can collapse Properties and Operations compartments using convenient grab handle tools along the right edge. They can also customize the display of classes to show or hide individual class properties and operations. The right-click context menu offers a Visible Elements dialog for any selected class. UML class diagram showing properties and operations

Altova UModel visible elements dialog

This feature lets users simplify the diagram to focus on the properties and operations relevant to the task at hand. Hidden items are indicated by ellipses. UML class diagram with some properties and operations hidden Clicking on an ellipsis re-opens the Visible elements dialog. Options for Interface Notation UModel 2011 supports alternate diagram styles for interfaces between classes. By default, new interfaces are created in class diagram style with arrowhead styles and notations to indicate the interface creator and interface users. In the class diagram below, the developer wants to concentrate on class relationships and interfaces, so all the properties and operations compartments are collapsed. UML class diagram showing interfaces Interfaces have a special Toggle Notation quick-editing button to switch from the class diagram style to the UML ball and socket interface notation. UML class diagram toggle notation helper UML class diagram with alternate interface notation Visibility Icons vs. Mathematical Operators The UModel visibility icons, along with the visibility pull-down menus in the drawing window and properties menu, have been praised because they avoid confusion with common mathematical operators that can also appear in definitions of properties and operations. But users who prefer the traditional view can choose UML Style in the Project Styles helper window. Altova UModel Styles window and traditional visibility notation All the style settings selected to display class diagrams on screen are also applied when rendering project documentation in Word, RTF, or .html formats Find out for yourself how you can improve development of your object-oriented application by customizing the display of class diagrams with Altova UModel – download a free 30-day trial today!

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Visit Altova at TechEd


TechEdThe Altova team is excited to be heading to New Orleans next week to exhibit at The Microsoft TechEd and BI Conference 2010! You can find us in booth #644 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana from June 7-10. We hope you’ll stop by our booth to chat about what you’re working on, and see a demo of the newest features announced in our MissionKit 2010 Release 3, the integrated suite of XML, database, and UML tools. Among other features of interest for Microsoft® developers, support for integration with Visual Studio® in MissionKit tools has been updated to include Microsoft’s latest release, Visual Studio 2010 (versions 2005 and 2008 are also supported). Tools that support VS integration include the XMLSpy XML editor, MapForce data mapping tool, StyleVision stylesheet design tool, and UModel advanced UML tool. eventsWe’d be happy to show you the latest functionality in XMLSpy for working with NIEM, a United States XML-based standard that is already inherently supported in many of the Altova MissionKit products. The new version delivers support for xsi:nil for XML Schema mapping in MapForce, as well as the ability to generate C++ code for 64-bit applications. StyleVision has improved its XBRL support with the addition of iXBRL, a subset of the XBRL standard that is, at this point, primarily used only in the United Kingdom. Other important new features in v2010r3 include mapping data based on SAP’s IDoc EDI format in MapForce, and support for C# 4.0 and Protocol Machine State Diagrams in UModel. You might also be interested to hear about our new 64-bit product versions and support for working with XML on SharePoint® Server that was added to XMLSpy back in February. We will also be have the Altova product raffle – stop by and enter for a chance to win one of ten Altova product licenses!        

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Report from Microsoft PDC


We always enjoy meeting developers who currently use Altova tools and others with projects our tools can help them complete. This year’s PDC in Los Angeles was no exception – great weather, great camaraderie, and a brand new Version 2010 of the Altova MissionKit to demonstrate and talk about. Below is our short YouTube video of PDC highlights. If you were there, see if you can spot yourself in the crowd. If you didn’t get to go this year, we’re sorry we missed you.  

  Wanted2 And don’t forget to check out Version 2010 of the Altova MissionKit online. Version 2010 is packed with over 70 new features that were requested by our current users. Our What’s New page describes highlights of the major new functionality in XMLSpy and the other Altova developer tools. If you are covered by a current SMP plan, your update to v2010 is free. If you need to purchase an upgrade, click here to visit the Upgrades page on our Web site. The Altova Upgrades page describes all the details and connects to our online Upgrade Wizard to get started right away. You may be eligible for a discount of up to 40%! Our trip to Microsoft PDC wraps up the Altova show season for 2009. We hope to see you in person at another event next year.

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Altova at Microsoft Tech Ed 2009


If you missed Microsoft Tech Ed in Los Angeles last week, check out our latest YouTube video for a quick trip to catch up on some of the sights and sounds of the Partner Exhibition. Our team on the scene reported a strong positive response to the XBRL and HL7 functionality in Version 2009 of the Altova MissionKit and many shout-outs from the floor for individual Altova tools — XMLSpy, MapForce, StyleVision, and UModel are all popular in the developer community. IT professionals commonly use DatabaseSpy and DiffDog to efficiently complete everyday database and differencing tasks.

  You can also see a video clip reporting on Altova at Tech Ed at the TechTarget site. Check out the Altova Events page to follow our upcoming show schedule and see where you can meet us live!

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Microsoft PDC 2008 Recap


The Altova team exhibited at Microsoft PDC (Professional Developers Conference) in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago. PDC is billed as a tradeshow for “leading-edge developers and software architects,” and, true to its promise, this event delivered a crowd of high level technology professionals. We enjoying catching up with a large number of current Altova customers and other .NET developers interested in learning more about using Altova MissionKit tools to solve XML, UML, and database design and development challenges. Our visitors were particularly interested in MapForce, a powerful and VERY affordable alternative to large-scale ETL solutions like BizTalk and SSIS, and UModel, for its advanced UML support and integration with Visual Studio.We also took this opportunity to introduce visitors to the MissionKit and the huge savings offered through downloading it as an integrated development suite. The MissionKit was also a popular conversation topic because of the powerful plugins it offers for Visual Studio – in XMLSpy, MapForce, and UModel.One of the most enjoyable memories that this exhibitor has in particular from PDC is the large number of current customers who brought their friends by to encourage them to try our tools – telling them how they could solve problems that they had previously discussed and even answering questions from other visitors listening in! It really made me recognize and appreciate the enormous amount of support that Altova and Altova tools have from the .NET community… Thank you everyone. We hope that you continue to enjoy Altova MissionKit tools and to see you all again the next time PDC rolls into town!Lastly, here’s a video from the show: Allyson and David demoing UModel live at PDC.

Altova UModel at PDC 2008
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Altova at TechEd


Microsoft TechEd 2008 is presently underway in Orlando, FL, and this year the show has been split into two separate events: TechEd for Developers is coming to an end tomorrow, and next week we have TechEd for IT Professionals. Altova is sponsoring both events and we invite you to visit us at booth# 1114 to see the latest new features in version 2008r2 of our developer tools. We’ll be happy show you the new Open XML (OOXML) features introduced in MapForce, StyleVision, and DiffDog, as well as the new support for C# 3.0 and Visul Basic 9 in our UML modeling tool, UModel. To try these new features yourself, you can download a free 30-day eval version from our web site.

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