agileBase update – development homepage

This release completes the redesign of the development homepage. This is the screen that you get when you toggle ‘development mode’ on with the toggle at the top right of the screen, when you’re on the agileBase homepage. It gives you an overview of the system, lets you see the connections between different parts and lets you easily find areas to work on.

The new development homepage initially shows two main options to select from. At the top left is a map of all the tables in the system, showing how they’re connected together. Clicking this will open up a full screen map which you can examine and search.

To the right of the map is a set of options for viewing data in list form. You can see lists of tables, tiles, roles, users and views. Usefully you can get quick access to all views of a particular type, i.e. API views, workflows, email chasers and notifications, or document generation workflows.

Each list will show particular information useful to the type selected, e.g. if you choose to see workflows then it will show the last workflow actions and any errors. 

Database performance improvements

The recent upgrade of the agileBase database from PostgreSQL version 12 to version 14 has resulted in noticeable speedups, with customers finding a general improvement in snappiness. As PostgreSQL say, “this latest release adds to PostgreSQL’s trend on improving high performance and distributed data workloads”

However, performance improvement work never ends – as customer databases grow in size and complexity, we need to ensure the system always works in the most efficient way. In this upcoming release, we reduce the background workload for all customers by more intelligently running background workflows.

To explain this a bit further: as you may know, you can set automated workflows to trigger on a timed basis, e.g. every 5 minutes. For example, when a batch of new invoices are generated, a workflow may trigger to email them to customers. Up until now, any change to any table used in the workflow will trigger a run. So for example, if the workflow view contains the customer name to include on the invoice, any update to any customer record will trigger the invoice email workflow. There may not be any new invoices to send, but the database will have to do the work of checking for that anyway.

This new release adds logic to check for whether a particular update could possibly cause a workflow to need to run, based on the field(s) being edited and whether a record was created, updated or deleted.

As a result, unnecessary workflow runs should be reduced, saving processing time.

Hopefully this will further speed up the system for everyone.

Document Generation

Setting up document generation, i.e. generating PDFs from templates, is now a lot easier. The facility has been migrated to the new development interface, one of the last remaining features.

You can now create, edit and assign document templates to file fields all in one screen. Additionally you can configure an automated workflow to trigger the document generation on demand.

We hope these updates are useful to you. Please let us know by the usual channels if you have any comments or suggestions.

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