Platform Update: Builder Bar, Properties Resolver, and Spring Cleaning

Updates ahoy! Some big changes are being released for the platform this week. Upcoming changes to the the Builder Bar make it even more user-friendly – we’ve got your back, Citizen Developers. Everything you know and love is still there, it’s just been repositioned to let you work on individual application features in their own development space. That means you can really focus on your User Interface, Back Office, Actions or your Data Model without other features distracting you.

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So what’s changed? The Builder Bar has now been separated into two main sections:

Primary development features:

  • Play button -  Runs your application
  • Pages - Create user interfaces via drag-and-drop with the Page Builder
  • Data Model - Create your application’s data structure
  • Actions - Create processes which run in your application
  • Back Office - Create a Back Office interface to administer and manage your data

Block store and Endpoints:

  • Quick switcher - Navigate through your application with a search function
  • Block Store - Get access to reusable application components
  • Endpoints - Create custom APIs or UIs
  • Tools - All the tools you need to set up, edit, and customize your application

The biggest change here is that Pages and Endpoints are now two separate environments. Hopefully, with this change, it will be even clearer what builders can do within these features. To summarize: ‘Pages’ is our drag-and-drop interface which you’ll use to create the front-end of your application which users will interact with. Endpoints, on the other hand, are used to create custom HTML pages and API’s which are not created using the Page Builder.

Besides this, we also changed how builders can access the Back Office to improve ease of use. The Back Office is now one of the regular Builder Bar items, instead of using the toggle between web and back office modules. Enabling Builder Mode in the back office is also changed. Now you can use the switch at the top of the user menu.

You’ll also notice some new icons that show more clearly what the features are about. We’ve also added the Quick Switcher to the Builder Bar for ease of access. Now the Quick Switcher can be opened by simply clicking on the search icon.

Updated - Expression properties resolver

Don’t let the technical speak scare you! In reality, changing to a new expression resolver is as simple as this: Whenever you update any data in your application or run an action, the resolver checks the data and makes sure everything ends up in the right place. The new resolver is much faster and more stable when expression properties have to be updated (resolved). As a user, this just means that you’ll experience major performance improvements. In some cases, 10-20 times faster than before.

There are just a couple more applications to migrate before we're working 100% on the new resolver. We caught up with Betty Blocks developer, Jelmer Kok to find out how we're progressing: 

"We’ve been working our fingers to the bone over the last few months to migrate all Betty Blocks applications to the expression properties resolver. Today, we are excited to share that 98% of all production applications are running on this new resolving technique. In the upcoming days/weeks, we are planning to knock out the last 2% as well."

Removed outdated features

Everyone needs to do a little spring cleaning every now and again, even software platforms. With the latest release, we combed through the platform in search of outdated or unnecessary features which are no longer needed.

All the action events listed below haven't been removed completely though. In order to make it easier for developers to create custom pages, we’ve re-created these features as webservices which can be found in the Block Store. As an example, you can now create Slack message event’s from a pre-made template.

What features did we change?

  • Send Slack action event
  • Sign document action event
  • Exact Online XML action event
  • Twinfield action event
  • Soap request action event
  • Mail action event (not the 'send mail' event)
  • Google document property kind
  • Periodic functions in Sum & Count property kinds
  • Webblocks settings of Back Office form components
  • Mail event option in action triggers/callbacks

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Try it out for yourself

All these changes sound great on paper but, they’re much easier to grasp when you’re actually in the Betty Blocks no-code platform. Feel free to request a free demonstration if you’d like to have one of our experienced developers show you the ropes.