Aware IM works with several popular SQL databases, such as MySQL, Oracle, MS SQL Server, Maria DB, Postgre SQl and Cloudscape/Derby. Aware IM imposes no limits on the amount of managed data. This depends only on the capacity of the selected database.
In addition to the native support of the above-mentioned databases (where Aware IM automatically creates and modifies database tables according to the definitions of business objects) Aware IM can also work with any existing database that has a JDBC driver or with data stored in Active Directory/LDAP server.
Aware IM applications can run not only on PC, Linux or Mac, but also on mobile devices. Aware IM supports all popular mobile platforms. You do not need to develop a separate application for mobile devices – the same application will run on all devices, mobile or not. You can create browser-driven mobile applications and also build native mobile applications. Virtually all features supported in non-mobile applications are supported in mobile applications as well.
Aware IM has a built-in version control mechanism that allows making and testing changes in a separate version of the application. Once tested the new version can replace the previous operational version. The version history allows determining data definitions and business rules that were in effect at a given date in the past.
Aware IM has a number of features that significantly simplify and speed up the process of creating or changing applications and safeguard users from making errors. These features include the following:
Application configuration can be easily searched to see where a particular element is used. For example, which document template includes the client’s name, when the customer registration e-mail is sent, etc.
The integrity checker uncovers consistency problems in the application. For example, a document template that includes a data element that has been deleted will be automatically detected before the application is made operational.
When a data element is renamed the change is automatically made to all parts of the application where the element is used, including other data elements, forms, rules, reports, document templates etc.
A context assistant suggests applicable data elements and keywords when business rules are being entered or edited. In many cases the context assistant allows creating a rule simply by pointing and clicking.
Business logic in Aware IM is governed by business rules. Business rules are very different from code-based scripts, routines or procedures used in other systems – they hide technical details and do not require programming.
Aware IM has full automatic support for database transactions. This means that your data always remains consistent. If error occurs the current transactions is automatically rolled back to preserve the integrity of your data.
Allows the end users to define their own workflow. They can define their own business processes in terms of business rules using data, email and document templates, conditions and actions available in the application. In short, the users (if allowed by the developer) have almost the same level of flexibility when defining a custom process at run-time as the developer when creating an application with the Aware IM Configuration Tool.
Aware IM supports password authentication by default. Two-factor authentication can also be built into your application. Authentication information can be stored either in the Aware IM – managed database or in Active Directory/LDAP server. Aware IM supports Single Sign-on through Active Directory or SAML, which allows users on a corporate network to login without specifying their credentials. Remote users can specify their Windows user name and password. Aware IM also supports anonymous user access where users are not required to login.
Access to data Aware IM supports access restrictions based on user categories and access restrictions based on data ownership:
Access restrictions based on categories of users allow selecting, on a very detailed level, which data is available to users of different categories.
Access restrictions based on data ownership restrict users other than the data owner from viewing/changing the owner’s data. For example, staff members may be allowed to change their own details but not those of other staff members; customers may be allowed to change their own details, but not even see details of other customers.
Aware IM automatically makes data read-only or removes it from data forms altogether based on data access restrictions for a particular user.
Aware IM supports access restrictions to operations and documents based on user categories. Operations and documents disallowed for a particular user are automatically removed from menus and other operation lists.
Aware IM does not require users to describe their business elements in terms of database tables, columns, files or records. Instead, business elements are defined as objects with attributes describing either some simple facts (textual, numeric, etc.) or links (single or multiple) to other related objects.
Aware IM fully supports data relationships including one-to-one, many-to-one and many-to-many relationships. Relationships are easy in Aware IM because It fully automates both definition and management of related data at run-time.
Aware IM creates database tables for each defined object and other tables necessary to maintain links between related objects. Aware IM automatically adds, removes, changes type or renames tables and table columns whenever changes are made to definitions of objects or their links.
Documents and pictures can be stored in the database just like any other data. While pictures are automatically displayed on forms, documents can be viewed within a browser by the appropriate document editor.
Users can easily adjust look and feel of their application. They can choose colors and fonts, specify which panels are visible on the screen and their sizes (banner, footer, side panels, etc.), style and position of the application menu, etc. Users can also choose to have different layout for different parts of their application. All settings are controlled by dialogs, there is no programming or scripting involved.
The appearance of the application can also be optionally customized for different categories of users. Aware IM allows various level of customization, from colors and fonts to completely different look and feel including different data forms, menu, operations, etc.
Aware IM provides a default menu allowing users to perform standard operations such as creating or searching data, generating documents and reports, etc. Users can easily customize the menu by adding specific operations arranged in the desired way.
Search results can be presented as grids. Grids are very flexible and powerful. Users can move columns around, group data and/or headers, expand data, perform operations with data entries, conditionally display rows in a different color etc.
Aware IM allows displaying appointments, tasks, events or other time-based data in a calendar view similar to a diary. There are several different calendar views: day, week, month, and year. Users can switch between the views, create a new appointment with a single mouse click or drag and drop appointments.
Charts can be easily included into your application. Aware IM supports many different charts including bar, line, pie, area, gantt, radar and gauge charts. Several data series can be displayed on a single chart.
Aware IM can include Google Maps into its automatic forms. Just specify the address attribute that Aware IM should show on a map and Aware IM will do the rest. You can even define operations to be performed when a user clicks on a marker on the map.
Aware IM includes a visual designer where users can create advanced data presentations as an optional alternative to auto-generated forms. The presentations can display data differently depending on specified conditions, include hyperlinks to start operations, etc.
Aware IM includes a visual Report Designer that allows users to easily design comprehensive reports that may include:
Nested grouping of data with summaries for each group. For example, a time-tracking report for an organization arranged by departments, teams within departments and individuals within teams.
Sub-reports including nested sub-reports. For example, a report on customers where data for each customer includes a list of orders placed by the customer and each order has a list of order line items.
Conditional aggregate operations. For example, a report on customers where data for each customer includes a total amount for all orders placed by the customer and shipped by a certain date.
Conditional data presentation where the same report field can show data differently depending on some conditions specified for the field. For example, account balance can be shown in black if it is positive, red if it is negative or shown as a special icon if it is zero.
Charts, including bar, area, line, pie charts, support for data series.
Aware IM allows working with any type of electronic document or file. Documents can be stored, retrieved, printed, exported and saved to disk, imported from disk, attached to e-mails and viewed within a browser with the appropriate editor. You can also edit documents in-place using the Zoho document editor.
Aware IM can automatically generate personalized documents from document templates that users can create in MS Word, MS Excel, HTML and plain text formats and import into Aware IM. Document templates may include:
Placeholders for data (like client name) to be taken from the database and inserted into the generated document (also known as “mail or document merge”).
Placeholders for related data to be shown as lists in the generated document. For example, a customer letter may include details of all orders of the customer.
Conditions indicating when a particular section of the template should be included into the generated document.
Sub-documents to improve structure and formatting of complex templates.
Aware IM can automatically send and receive e-mails. Business rules are used to specify conditions when e-mails should be sent or what should happen when emails are received. E-mails can be easily personalized:
Subject and body of an e-mail may include placeholders for data (like client name) to be taken from the database and inserted into the e-mail.
E-mail attachments can be specified as document templates, which are automatically converted into personalized documents when e-mail is sent.
Runtime Builder allows application developers to prepare an installation package for distribution to their customers. The package includes an application configured with Aware IM bundled together with the Aware IM runtime engine that allows the customers to run but not change the supplied application.
Runtime Builder allows developers to include their own license, product name, copyright and documentation into the installation package. A customer simply needs to run the installation program to start using the bundled application.
Developers can distribute an updated version of their application by sending a single application configuration file to their customers. Aware IM will automatically deploy the updated application and make any necessary changes to the database.
Aware IM supports web services, a communication protocol commonly used for business transactions over the Internet. Both SOAP and REST protocols are supported. Aware IM automatically discovers web services provided by other systems and converts their parameters into Aware IM objects. Aware IM also automatically generates web services that other systems can use. In both cases Aware IM automatically handles all communications. No programming or scripting is required.
In addition to queries defined in the application configuration, developers can allow their customers to add and run their own queries using a web browser. There is no need to change the application configuration to add custom queries for a particular customer.
If allowed by the application developer the customers can add new reports and document templates, or even substitute those supplied by the developer. This allows accommodating specific logos, page design, etc. without any changes to the application configuration maintained by the developer.
Application developers can let their customers maintain their own list of choices for data fields where a fixed but customer-specific set of values is required (product types, client categories, account states, etc.). No changes to the application configuration are necessary.
Aware IM also offers an XML interface to the back-end server. If you want you can write your own custom user interface to your application and use Aware IM as a back-end platform only – manage data, execute rules etc.
Aware IM can communicate with other software systems or devices via standard or custom-built channels. Custom channels can be developed and plugged into Aware IM to communicate with special software or hardware.
You can publish a mobile application Built with Aware IM on any app store, after wrapping it with a tool such as Apache Cordova/Monaca.
To do this:
1) Develop and test your browser-based Aware IM mobile application as any other Aware IM application
2) Once the application is ready use the “Build Native Mobile Application” menu command and specify the details of the application – Name, version number, author etc. At the end of this process Aware IM will prepare a zip file that includes all artefacts of the application
3) Open an account with Monaca (www.monaca.io) if not done already
4) Create a new “project” and import the zip file prepared by Aware IM into this project
5) Start Monaca build(s) for the target platform(s) – Android and/or iOS. The iOS build requires you to enter developer certificates that you must obtain from Apple. Follow the Monaca documentation about this process.
6) The end result of the Monaca Build(s) is the file (s) in the native format for the target platform(s)
7) Download the native file into the device and test it
8) Download the native file into Apple Store and/or Google Play – follow the guidelines of Google and Apple.