Integrate the Web into existing applications
The Neuron Data WEB ELEMENT is a new component of the ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT that allows an organization to build intranet-enabled, business-critical, distributed applications. The WEB ELEMENT allows you to build intranet applications in two ways. First, you can extend your existing application by embedding the WEB ELEMENT's Web browser into your application clients, giving your business-critical applications instant Internet access. The second method extends HTML functionality with Neuron Data's OOScript language, transforming static HTML documents into full-featured, distributed, business-critical applications.
Embeddable Web Browser
The WEB ELEMENT consists of an embeddable Web browser and Web-link Navigator that can extend a business-critical, distributed application into an Internet-enabled application in minutes. For application developers who need more power, WEB ELEMENT Pro is packaged with a Web Control and API that allow developers to build custom embeddable browsers. The WEB ELEMENT is designed to work with Neuron Data's ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT.
Today's Web browsers are limited in that they are stand-alone programs and are not designed to be embedded into business applications. In addition, Web browsers today have no C/C++ APIs and are not part of an integrated development environment. Further, today's browsers only provide a simple history mechanism for navigating HTML-based documents using simple get-next and get-previous commands. The Neuron Data WEB ELEMENT changes all of this.
The WEB ELEMENT is designed to be embedded into an application any number of times. Users no longer are required to exit their applications to evoke stand-alone Web browsers. The WEB ELEMENT includes a graphical Web-Link navigator that allows you to jump to target documents quickly. The WEB ELEMENT is also customizable with a complete C/C++ API for building highly functional applications.
HTML is not a programming language designed for building complex applications. To transform HTML documents into business applications, the WEB ELEMENT supports Neuron Data's OOScript "Applets," powerful mini-programs written in Neuron Data's OOScript language executed within a Web document. Now the same script language that is used for building business-critical applications can be used to extend HTML for use within the corporate intranet. With OOScript Applets, the complete power of the Neuron Data's ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT is unlocked on the client machine.
WEB ELEMENT Benefits
True Client/Server Applications
Other Web technologies require you to route all information requests, like accessing relational databases or objects on other clients, through a Web server or registered "player" program. This is not necessary with the Neuron Data WEB ELEMENT. OOScript Applets, running on a client machine are fully functional, distributed applications capable of performing direct communications to relational databases or other distributed objects. These Applets are true distributed applications with the application logic running locally.
Maintainable, Distributed Applications
All of the business-critical information and procedures are maintained on a server, while HTML and OOScript Applets are downloaded to the client at runtime. Because everything is stored on a server, you can instantly update your business-critical applications, increasing manageability and maintainability.
Business-Critical Functionality for Intranet Applications
The ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT has been used by thousands of companies to build business-critical applications. The complete power of the ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT is available through the OOScript language within an OOScript Applet, including access to a SQL database, OLE and Neuron Data's INTELLIGENT RULES ELEMENT -all from the client.
WEB ELEMENT Components
The WEB ELEMENT is a complete World Wide Web browser that can be easily embedded within any existing Neuron Data ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT application. The WEB ELEMENT is completely customizable to meet your application development needs. In addition, the WEB ELEMENT provides a graphical Web-link Navigator, that makes navigating the Web a breeze.
The WEB ELEMENT browser is built with the Web Control and Powerful Web Navigation API:
The Web Control is a browser with API designed to be embedded into any Neuron Data ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT 2.0 application. The Web Control can be manipulated through the C/C++ API or by directly accessing the Web Control's Attributes and Methods through the ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT's powerful OOScript Language.
The Navigation API allows developers to access the internals of an HTML document, including links and text. This powerful functionality enables the creation of content-aware applications. Controls can be created with alternative representation of HTML documents; for example, the HTML links can be represented as a tree for advanced browsing applications or HTML authoring tools.
Powerful Browser Technology
The WEB ELEMENT has all the functionality necessary to render HTML documents and navigate the World Wide Web. Features include:
The WEB ELEMENT includes an HTTP driver that allows the WEB ELEMENT be used out of the box as a World Wide Web browser. This feature enables application developers to create powerful Web Navigators in minutes.
A complete HTML Editor is also included in the WEB ELEMENT for authoring HTML documents, eliminating the need to remember complex HTML directives.
HTML 2.0 Support
The following features of HTML 2.0 are supported: headers, physical character styles, logical character styles, lists, formatting, anchors, images and forms.
HTML 3.0 Support
The WEB ELEMENT will also support some of the more popular proposed HTML 3.0 features such as tables.
The WEB ELEMENT includes support for HTTP and local HTML file access.
The WEB ELEMENT supports GIF, TIFF, Postscript and X Bitmap images.
All previous HTML links are recorded in the WEB ELEMENT. A document can be loaded from the previous, next, first or last entry in the document list of the widget.
Non-graphical Display Support
The text within an HTML document can be written into a formatted ASCII buffer to support non-graphical display.
Web Control C/C++ API
A powerful set of APIs exists for the Web Control. APIs include: browser widget creation, widget's internal control flags access, document text loading, document history list access, ASCII text output for non-graphical display and interrupt.
Web Navigator C/C++ API
These are additional API calls that provide advanced Web navigation of a resulting HTML-formatted page. Navigation functions include search string and enumerate all anchors or tags in the page.
Web Control Resource Attribute Editor
The Web Control Resource Attribute Editor is available for altering the internal setting of the Web Control. These attributes can also be controlled from the API.
The WEB ELEMENT provides bookmark management functions such as saving bookmarks to a file, categorizing bookmarks or adding and deleting bookmarks.
Printing of the currently viewed document is supported.
Works with Any Web Server Software
The Neuron Data WEB ELEMENT is a client technology. No special server software is required. This means that the existing Web server site software can be utilized.
OOScript Applets, a powerful extension of the HTML syntax, allows Neuron Data OOScript to be downloaded to Web clients as Applets (similar to JAVA applets). This powerful capability gives an application developer access to the full power of the OOScript language, allowing the creation of 100% dynamic, portable, distributed applications.
OOScript executed from an OOScript Applet can access SQL databases using Neuron Data's DATA ACCESS ELEMENT, external OLE objects using INTEROPERABLE OBJECTS ELEMENT, business rules using INTELLIGENT RULES ELEMENT or even C or C++ routines.
The NDAPPLET directive, an extension to HTML, reserves some space in the HTML page and identifies an OOScript procedure that will be executed when the page is activated. The procedure has full access to the ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT toolkit. In particular, it may instantiate any class supported by the ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT. For example, a graphical control could be instantiated inside the HTML page and open modeless windows and dialogs, or initiate a SQL query.
The NDAPPLET directive follows the general principles of HTML syntax so that documents that contain NDAPPLET directives can still be loaded by Web browsers that do not support the NDAPPLET directive. In this case, the directive will simply be ignored.
ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT Support
The NDAPPLET directive can reserve some space inside an HTML page and instantiate any ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT class. For example, a GUI control could be rendered inside the HTML document. Also, by instantiating a panel or a scrollable panel, it becomes possible to populate an HTML page with arbitrary combinations of GUI controls. The OOScript can also be directed to execute a SQL query, access an external OLE object like an Excel spreadsheet or execute a local C or C++ routine.
An NDAPPLET directive is created with the ND OOScript language. From the script language, the programmer will be able to control the widgets, populate them with data and retrieve the data which user may have modified. The script will also give full access to external objects like OLE objects and other OOScript Applets on the same page.
C and C++ Support
The OOScript language can be extended by adding custom verbs that can be executed from an OOScript Applet. Custom verbs can be written in C or C++ and reside in the client executing the OOScript Applet. In this way, logic may be written in C or C++, rather than in ND OOScript.
User interfaces and applet scripts associated with an NDAPPLET directive are created using the Visual Editors of the ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT. OOScript is created with a visual script editor that allows you to visually browse all of the available classes, objects and OOScript procedures available. Open Editor, the ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT visual GUI editor, is used to paint the GUI controls as they will be rendered by the NDAPPLET directive.
Applets will be stored on a Web server, along with the corresponding HTML pages, in their own resource file. They will be downloaded on demand when the corresponding NDAPPLET directive is activated. The client site will not need any pre-installed software apart from the WEB ELEMENT-enabled application and its run-time support.
Copyright 1996 Neuron Data, Inc. The ELEMENTS ENVIRONMENT, DATA ACCESS ELEMENT,
DISTRIBUTED MESSAGING ELEMENT, INTELLIGENT RULES ELEMENT, INTEROPERABLE OBJECTS
ELEMENT, OPEN INTERFACE ELEMENT, WEB ELEMENT, Open Editor and OOScript are
trademarks of Neuron Data. Other product names are trademarks and/or trade names
of their respective manufacturers.