New platform version, 2022-12-30

Release of REI3.2

Today we release a new major version, REI3.2. This release includes a long list of features, improvements and fixes, so let´s jump right into it.

Tab fields

For larger forms that struggle to contain all their inputs, fields can now be placed in tabs. The new tab field can contain multiple named tabs, which each can contain as many fields as desired. With container fields and nested tabs, even complex layouts are possible within tabs.

Tab fields come with many usability features. For one, they are marked if any required input is hidden within a tab and the record could not be saved. Additionally, tabs themselves can be hidden and managed via form states.

When a single input field is placed inside a tab, it will take all available space, making it feel seemless.

Multi-factor-authentication (MFA)

With REI3.2, users can increase their account security by adding an additional authentication factor to their account. Register an authenticator app by scanning a barcode in your user settings and your good to go. Any modern authenticator app can be used that supports TOTP, like Microsoft or Google Authenticator.

To protect against loosing access, multiple authenticators/devices can be added. If nothing else works, an REI3 administrator can reset your multi-factor-authentication.

Redesigned Builder

We´ve been adding new features to the Builder for years now, finding it harder and harder to stuff them into the existing user interfaces. Sometimes this caused the UI to suffer...

This had to change at some point. This point is now. We went a little nuts and reworked most user interfaces in the Builder. New navigation, new entry points, loads of moving stuff around and so on. It will take a bit of time to get used to, but we are very happy with the results.

Especially the form editor now keeps the important form layout as is, while form states, functions, field options and form properties stay in the sidebar.

Flexible help articles

Something for the good people updating documentation: You can now create help articles that are reusable in different contexts. Instead of creating a large documentation and copying parts of it to different form context help pages, you can now create short articles and assign them to the main application help or to multiple forms.

Articles can be placed in any desired order - with a table of content automatically being generated if more than 1 article is available. You can even reuse articles from applications that you build on.

Better integrated backups

We´ve had integrated backups for some time for smaller stand-alone systems running on Windows. With REI3.2 we now support other environments as well, allowing integrated backups to run on non-stand-alone instances, on Linux, on ARM systems or wherever you run REI3 from. The only requirement is that you have the Postgres client utilities installed on the REI3 server (for database backups).

Additionally, you can now view existing backup sets inside the admin user interface.

Upgrade notes

REI3.2 does not need any special upgrade steps.

  • On Windows: Run the installer.
  • On Linux systems: Extract the latest release and replace the r3 binary.

For integrated backups on Linux systems, make sure to install the Postgres client utilities, such as:
apt-get install postgresql-client

Small fixes and improvements

  • List filters are now cached for the user session, meaning they stay active when returning to a form.
  • Collection values shown in the header, are now combined into a notification bell on mobile devices.
  • Collection values are now updated when assigning records (like a contact) to a login. This makes a page refresh after assignment unnecessary.
  • Improved file inputs, making them take less space by default and show better image galleries.
  • The portable version of REI3 can now be started by just double-clicking the executable. This is enabled by default for new versions. For existing portable versions, add "portable":true' to the config file or continue using the start script.
  • Most database entities (applications, relations, attributes, backend functions) can now have longer names, up to 60 characters (from 32 before).
  • Fixed issue in the form editor where it would not alert the author if a referenced field was deleted.
  • Fixed application import issues that could cause the server to hang or the import to fail in some edge cases.
  • Fixed form state conditions not being always updated by relationship input fields.
  • Fixed CSV export ignoring column filters.
  • Fixed invalid column aggregation being shown after a list was updated in the same instance.
  • Fixed multiple issues with the form copy functions.
  • ... and more smaller fixes and improvements.

That´s it for this release. For the full list of changes, take a look at our change log.

New platform version, 2022-10-07

Release of REI3.1

We are happy to announce that REI3.1 just released. In addition to a redesigned file management, many new functions are included for operators and users of REI3. Please be aware that this version requires an additional upgrade step - read on below for details.

New file management

Until now, file management was a small part of REI3 - good enough to be useful but limited in functionality. This changes now.

Lets start with the new file input: It works as before, allowing you to easily attach files to any record; but it can now also grow and support much larger file sets. Including options for sorting, filtering and copying files - the new file input makes it possible to handle many more files at once.

We also got a new client application to support quick and easy access to files from within REI3. After setting up the app (on Windows, Linux or MacOS), it syncs to the REI3 server and receives requests to open files on your local computer. You can then directly work on your files, save your changes and the client will sync everything back

Additionally, application authors can now parse files and also create hardlinks to them, allowing access to the same files in different contexts.

We plan to release a file management application on the platform to enable teams to work on REI3 files together. In the meantime, authors can use the new features to build stronger file management into their own applications.

Column filters & aggregators

A small but universal feature: Users can now select filters based on all values within a list column. Together with a redesigned column management UI, these filters will be available on all lists automatically. Additionally, aggregation functions can also be used to build sums, averages and so on.

Builder improvements

The Builder has received some love as well. Interfaces that handle single entities (like forms, functions or roles) can now use the CTRL+S hotkey to save changes. In general, actions in the Builder have been redesigned to be more consistent with other UIs.

As a safety feature, the Builder now automatically defaults to a read-only mode for applications from other authors. You can still change these applications by disabling read-only mode inside the applications panel in the admin UI. As before: You can build on other´s applications safely; but direct changes to these applications are overwritten when a new version is installed.

ARM64 support

Get your Raspberry Pis out - REI3 now officially supports ARM64 processors on Linux systems. Requirements and installation steps are the same as for any other Linux operating system. For more details, check out our admin documentation.

Upgrade notes

REI3.1 can now create thumbnails for common file types, including images and PDFs.

Windows releases include most dependencies, but Ghostscript must be installed separately on the server for PDF support.

On Linux systems, both ImageMagick (for images/text files) as well as Ghostscript (for PDFs) must be installed separately. This can be done on most systems with the included package manager, such as:
apt install imagemagick ghostscript

Small fixes and improvements

  • Large lists now scroll their content instead of the entire form.
  • Multiple new messages and warnings help authors but also admins to avoid common mistakes.
  • Platform logs were cleaned up and are now in color.
  • Expert filters are now also available in smaller fields given the field size is sufficient.
  • Fixed an edge case, in which PWA do not reload their cache, when the server is updated. Hopefully, after 3.1, you never need to manuelly reload your browser cache again.

For the full list of changes, take a look at our change log.