New CXDev Toolbox Tool: Workspace Generator

Another week and another new tool preview for the CXDev Toolbox! We are excited to publicly introduce a tool that has been on our drawing board for a while and has finally come to fruition - The Workspace Generator.

This tool is used to VERY quickly generate workspace definitions with all available fields for your Custom Business Objects. The definitions can be further edited and then imported into the console. This tool came to be because we found, over the years, that when we create a new CBO workspace we end up dragging ALL of the fields onto the workspace one-by-one; this was very time consuming. The Workspace Generator flips the paradigm. You can now start with a workspace that contains all available fields and remove what you don’t need.

The new release and tool will automatically be pushed to users over the next few days. If you haven’t installed the new CXDev Toolbox (v3), get the new version today from cxdevtoolbox.com.

Key Features

We are actively adding enhancements (vote via the link at the end of this article) but the initial release has the following capabilities:

  1. Generate a CBO workspace with ALL available fields
  2. Choose from two different layout strategies
    1. Simple List
      Creates a workspace where all fields are placed in the summary area. The ID field is placed first and the rest of the fields are added in the order that they were created in the CBO editor
    2. Tabbed Workspace
      Creates a workspace where the ID field is placed in the summary area and additional fields are placed in Tabs. If fields are created using a naming convention that uses underscores (_), they will be organized/grouped into tabs. For example, if you have fields named ShippingAddress_Street, ShippingAddress_City, BillingAddress_Street, BillingAddress_City the first two fields would be added to a tab named “ShippingAddress” and the last two fields would be added to a tab named “BillingAddress”
  3. Choose how many columns that you want to use in your layout. Works with both layout strategies. I’d recommend starting with 2 or 3 and seeing how you like it.
  4. Directly edit the generated XML using the integrated editor
  5. Save and export your generated (and potentially edited) workspace definition
  6. Load (and edit) a workspace definition.

Use Case

As with most tools, we create these out of our own necessity. This tool is no exception. After having created 100s (if not 1000s) of custom objects then hand-generating a workspace via the OSvC Workspace / Workflow editors we realized that we could shortcut our process.

More times than not, we want to use all of the fields we created in some way on the workspace. Using the standard editors we would have to drag and drop every field (one by one) onto the workspace. With the Workspace Generator we can now start with everything on the canvas and rearrange the fields if necessary. A lot of objects we create are for developer/administrator eyes only so the default-layout is good enough.

Feedback

This is a “Preview” version of the tool and is free to all users. After the preview period it will be available only to users with a Pro subscription. Interested in “Pro”? You can start a free week trial to test it out. Click the “Try Pro” option in the upper-right side of the app’s Title Bar.

Your feedback is important. Submit your thoughts through this Google Survey: https://goo.gl/forms/m2oBkePU5Prap9Qi1

A Side Note

For the real OSvC power users, the tool has some other less obvious but equally powerful capabilities. You can use the Workspace Generator to load an exported workspace definition (example: something you committed to your GIT repo), modify it through the integrated code editor, then re-save it and import it into your OSvC site. Why is this important? The Workspace Generator will apply the correct signature to your exported file. Without the correct signature you can’t import the workspace definition. This solves a huge problem we run into with workspace and report definitions that we check into source control. Occasionally the line-endings will be changed by a developer’s GIT configurations resulting in an XML file that can’t be imported.

Currently this works only for Workspace XML, but we have plans to roll out tools that will work with other exported definitions such as reports and guided assistance. We’ve run into multiple use cases where we just want to hand-edit the XML (ala a massive find/replace on a word/phrase) and believe that others have too.

Usage and Screenshots

Select Custom Business Object from List

When you open the Workspace Generator, all of your Custom Business Objects will be listed under “Available Objects”. You can expand the caret to preview the fields for that Object. Select which Object you want to generate a Workspace for. Only one may be selected and all fields are automatically included.

Choose your Template and Number of Columns

There are two layout templates to choose from. Simple List places all fields in the summary area of the Workspace. Tabbed Workspace includes the ID in the summary area and organizes all other fields into tabs. See below for examples of each.

Additionally, select how many columns you want in your layout. I’d suggest starting with 2 or 3.

Generate and Review Workspace Definition XML

Click the “Generate Workspace” button to generate the workspace definition XML. If you want, you can edit the generated XML (you probably don’t want to do this) or use it as is.

Save the Workspace Definition XML

Click “Sign and Save” to save the workspace definition to a file. Once in a file, you can use the OSvC Agent Console’s Workspace/Workflow editor to import the definition and perform additional visual editing.

Import the XML into the OSvC Agent Console

This is an example of the Simple List template using two columns.

This is an example of the Tabbed template using two columns.

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