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Important information about Universal GUI

Introduction to the Universal GUI

The Universal GUI is the latest Thinkwise user interface, capable of providing a state-of-the-art user experience on mobile, desktop and web.

The current version of the Universal GUI is suitable for use in a production environment, but does not yet provide all features that are available in the other Thinkwise user interfaces.

So, if you wish to use the Universal GUI for your application, please make sure you are aware of the limitations. More information about the supported features can be found in the Universal blog posts on the Thinkwise Community and in the feature matrix in the Thinkwise Community Portal (menu item Software > Feature Matrix).

A new version of the Universal GUI with additional features is released every three weeks.

Current capabilities

Please check the feature matrix in the Thinkwise Community Portal (menu Software - Feature matrix) to learn more about the capabilities of the current release.

Differences between Universal GUI and other GUIs

Some new concepts have been introduced, and some model settings are interpreted differently in the Universal GUI than in previous GUIs. This is by design. All designed changes remain subject to change.

Vertical scrolling

All components in the Universal GUI are allowed to grow vertically. This can introduce scrollbars. To prevent parallel scrollable components, the Universal GUI expands the screen type vertically, providing a global scroll bar for the entire screen.

Breakpoints (horizontal space)

With vertical space usage covered, limited horizontal space is resolved in a different manner. Where the other GUIs relied on the components dealing with limited horizontal space, the Universal GUI allows for screen-type switching at runtime, depending on the horizontal space.

This concept is known as breakpoints. For every screen type, breakpoints can be defined and come into effect when a certain minimum width is reached.

See Breakpoints.

Form tabs as sections

Form tabs are not implemented because of the ability to grow indefinitely vertically. Instead, new tabs are interpreted by the Universal GUI as new _sections_. The number of form columns can vary for each section. Groups are kept together in form columns as much as possible and will be spread evenly over a section.

Form column count

The number of columns in the form is based on the number of columns set in the Software Factory at different levels (subject, variant, project version). The number of form columns will never exceed the number of groups in the section. The Universal GUI will also drop columns when the form controls have too little space to be used comfortably, down to one column on small screens.

Grid edit mode

In the Universal GUI, if you select Add, Copy, or Edit in the toolbar, all editable components in a subject become editable. This is limited to one record for each open document. Changed values are synchronized, after which you can continue editing. One record can be edited at a time. When default edit mode is activated on a subject, the next selected record will automatically enter edit mode after the previous one is saved.

To offer a similar grid edit mode experience as the Windows GUI, you should only enable Autosave in the subject. Then, a user has to trigger edit mode first by selecting Edit in the toolbar. Multiple records can be edited until the subject is manually saved or canceled in the toolbar. When both default edit mode and autosave are enabled, the subject is always editable.

In the Windows and Web GUIs, user action is based on the selected subject. This is shown to the user by the ribbon. If you activate a (detail) subject, the ribbon shows the available options. In a grid or a form, when you select Add, Copy, or Edit (grid only), the focused subject changes to edit mode on the focused component.

In the Universal GUI, the ribbon has been replaced by a toolbar placed directly above the subject, so it is not focus-based.

Mandatory fields

The Universal GUI will not save a row if a mandatory field is empty, even if it is not visible to the user. In the Windows and Web GUIs, saving is allowed.

Tasks with a pop-up

In the Universal GUI, a task with a pop-up will keep the pop-up open when the task execution has been aborted. If a process flow is active, it will continue to the success step if subsequent execution is successful. It will continue to the failed step if the task pop-up is canceled.

The Windows and Web GUI do not present the task pop-up again and follow the failed step.

Verify the abort indicator of tsf_send_message calls in task logic.

Model loading in Universal GUI

Contrary to the Windows, Web and Mobile user interfaces, the full model of the application is not loaded. Instead, segments of the model are loaded on-demand, when a screen is opened, when a look-up is translated or when a component is initialized. This allows the Universal GUI to quickly start massive applications.

Troubleshooting

Compared to Windows GUI and Web GUI, troubleshooting in the Universal GUI is different. See: