OK, so we’re not WikiLeaks (so PLEASE don’t launch a Denial of Service attack against us) since we’re pulling this information from the Philip Stears blog ,and we’re pretty sure he’s OK with it. But we want to make sure that all of this good stuff about DriveWorks 8 is getting to our readers. So here’s another installment in our commentary on the upcoming DriveWorks 8 release.
Another DriveWorks forms related improvement is the ability to add hyperlinks. (Check out our other post on DriveWorks 8 forms.) Adding hyperlinks to DriveWorks forms has always been one of our basic training examples for how to write DriveWorks macros since it is such a common request. But the implementation of hyperlinks we expect to see in DriveWorks 8 should go beyond a simple macro button control. The hyperlink address will be rule driven, so you can make them dynamic. This means that you can have a user click to go to a Material Safety Data Sheet for whatever material is currently selected. The URL in the hyperlink is in the standard “http://…” format, so we’re hoping that this means that we can also point to UNC paths (ex. “\ServerNameShareNameFilename”) that will allow us to point to internal documents as well as external links.
As if that wasn’t a nice enough improvement, on Philip Stears’ blog, the hyperlinks are also shown to allow for images. We’re hoping that hyperlinks with images mean that we can start to create image maps. In an image map, you have a series of images, each with a link on them. So the user is clicking on sections of an image, rather than a series of blocky controls. Returning to our car analogy (from a previous post), imagine an image of our car. When the user clicks on the spoiler in the image, a web page or PDF document pops up explaining the details of all of the spoiler options, or a specific spec sheet on the spoiler that they have selected. Click on the hood and we get engine specs, and so on. Implementing this fully will rely on the ability of the hyperlink images to support transparency. We don’t know if that’s going to be available, but we certainly hope that it will. (If not, we can always work around it.)
The last little goody mentioned in Philip’s preview of DriveWorks 8 forms improvements is the ability for hyperlinks to support hover behaviors. At this point, we’re only anticipating the ability to swap out the image at this point. But we’re hoping that the images will support dynamic images (like animated GIFs) or other fun features to make the links even more intuitive and valuable.
As the DriveWorks 8 details are revealed, we’ll keep you up to date with what’s being announced and how you can utilize it in your implementations moving forward.