Dec 21, 2020
John Sheehy

Have You Seen Our User Interface Lately?

The Advantage user interface---we call the latest version Sky---continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of Advantage users and the technological landscape. The Sky UI offers increased efficiency, reduced complexity and added flexibility to the user experience for your team. It also comes with robust architectural underpinnings for the modern application.

Full Web Experience

Since Sky runs entirely in the browser, there are no more application installations. Users simply open their browser and start using the powerful features they are used to. Oh, and the transition to Sky happens seamlessly as part of our guaranteed upgrade path.

Reimagined Ribbon

The traditional horizontal ribbon has been reimagined as a vertical navigation pane for increased usability. The Sky UI boasts improved navigation configuration options aimed at optimizing a user’s experience. The vertical style, along with its pinned mode, allows more visual space for Advantage’s data-rich displays. Sky also includes hundreds of visual tweaks so users can do more in less time—we scrutinized the application to ensure data alignment, fonts and sizes, data organization and color schemes were all orchestrated with a common purpose.

Revamped Automatic Testing

Sky’s architectural components presented an opportunity to build out our automatic testing framework. We invested heavily in load testing and user-interface testing, which expanded our coverage beyond our existing business logic and data integrity testing. These efforts mean improved quality, reduced cost for end-user testing and easier testing automation in custom environments.

Technical Notables

As with automatic testing, we took advantage of the new technologies to make overall improvements to the technical makeup of the Sky UI. These include:

  • Security Improvements – Dozens of security improvements in the areas of encrypted protocols, database management, legacy tool access and server permissions.
  • Scalable Deployments – Deployments across multiple servers are more efficient, streamlined and robust.
  • Future-proofing with .NET 5 (and beyond) – Microsoft’s next-generation .NET is the foundation for the decade to come. Starting at 2021, Advantage runs on .NET 5. Sky is being optimized to take advantage of .NET’s newest capabilities with more advancements to come (Linux deployment!).
  • REST API Enhancements – Through improved scalability and reduced latency for our REST APIs, integrations are seamless. Sky takes the next step in our open application strategy.

Looking Ahead

The Advantage Sky UI provides important foundations for future enhancements as well. These include Linux server support, authentication options beyond Microsoft Active Directory and user-interface level integrations. We are excited for our entire community to update to the Sky UI and start realizing its many benefits.

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