Jun 8, 2012

Linx version

Please note that Linx version is available for download.  This is the second beta release of Linx 4 and contains a lot of new features and bug fixes, some of which are highlighted below.  Since we have made some changes to the program file structure, it is recommended that you uninstall any previous versions of Linx 4 and do a clean installation of the new version (Linx 2 installations will not be affected). Also, if you run Linx 4 on the same machine as Linx 2, please ensure that you specify valid port values (configurable during the installation) that are not already in use by Linx 2.


We've built and improved on the new features added during the previous beta release to increase the usability and aesthetics of the designer.

Changes include:
  • Solution validation.  Solutions that are opened in the designer will continuously be monitored for warnings and errors which are displayed in an easy to read list format.  The user can go to the relevant warning or error and rectify it by double-clicking on the applicable message.
  •  Debugging in the main window.  When the user selects a process to debug, the designer will modify all the relevant toolbars, menus and output windows to enable debugging in the same environment that was used to design the process.
  • Visible (public) and invisible (private) processes.  When designing a process, the user can change the "Visible" property to define the scope of a process.  Visible processes can be executed via the Linx web service, the RunRemoteProcess component or directly from the server administration web site, while invisible processes are limited in scope to items in the same project (e.g. timer service event handlers or a RunProcess component in the same project).  For new processes, the "Visible" value will be set to false, while processes in legacy solutions will have a "Visible" value of true.  The user can determine the scope of a process by either looking at the process icon or by checking the "Visible" property value.
  • The RunProcess component can now execute a process in another project (in the same solution).  Note that if you want to execute a process in another project, the process that you want to call has to be visible (see explanation above).
  • The size and location of all editor windows are persisted.
  • All entities (where relevant) will support cut, copy & paste (via a context menu and the standard shortcut keys).


The server has been extended with the following functionality:

  • Display and edit of configuration values.  If you upload a solution with a configuration file, you will be able to see (and edit) the configuration values from the server administration web site.  Note that you have to be an administrator or have solution management rights to access this functionality.
  •  Rollback of solutions.  Every time that you update a solution on the server, Linx will create a new version that you can keep track of in the "Update History" tab.  If you are an administrator or have solution management rights, you will also have the option to roll back the current version of the solution to the previous version.  This functionality gives the user an easy and predictable way to revert a solution should something go wrong.
  •  Display service information.  If any of the registered solutions on the server makes use of services (e.g. timer services), a link will be displayed on the "General" tab that provides the user with detailed information regarding these services.  This centralised view can be useful for planning future service execution times or for troubleshooting common performance problems (e.g. too many services running at the same time, service not active, etc.).
  • Server unavailable warning.  If, while the user is connected to the server via the web site, the server goes down for some or other reason, a warning will be displayed to alert the user of the problem.  The web site will attempt to reconnect to the server until a successful connection can be established.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of new features to try out, so please install the latest version and let us know what you think.

May 14, 2012

Linx version 2.4.832.1376

Please note that Linx version 2.4.832.1376 is available for download. See the release notes for a complete list of features/fixes. Notable changes include:
  • Add user security and port properties on all MQ components.
  • Add "IncludeUserHeader" property on SwiftBuild component.
  • Numerous bug fixes, including:
    • ReadMailCDO component not showing the proper subject line.
    • NewRow component type/name conflicts.
    • Can assign to constants, records and tables using the Assign component.
    • DateTime subtract in Assign component does not work.
    • ApplyDefaultValue in Assign component does not work.
As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Feb 13, 2012

Linx version

Today marks the first release of Linx 4 ( Note that this is a beta release, so there are still some outstanding changes and issues that need to be resolved. We are however releasing it at this stage, so that you can have a look at what is coming in the final version, as well as provide feedback and suggestions that can help to shape the final release.


The biggest changes in Linx 4 are related to the way in which a process is executed. When you upload a process to the server (or debug a process in the designer), it will create natively compiled code that can be executed by the .Net Framework. This allow us a lot more freedom in the execution engine, in that we can now hook into existing .Net features (logging, memory management, etc.), as well as future-proof our solutions by compiling them with newer versions of the framework (as they are released).

All new solutions in Linx 4 will now be saved with a .lsoz extension. Files of this type are a lot smaller than older .lso files, which helps to speed up the upload process, as well as save disk space. It is also possible to save older files in the new file structure (Save As.. option in the designer).

Note that Linx 4 solutions are backward compatible with Linx 2 solutions, so all of your old solutions will work in Linx 4. It is also possible to run Linx 2 and Linx 4 on the same machine. The only requirement is that they make use of different communication ports on the server. When you do a new installation of Linx 4, you have the option to test the desired ports for availability.


At first glance, the designer might look the same, but several improvements have been made to enhance and simplify the building and debugging of solutions.

Some of these include:
  • Indicator lines on the process designer. When you drag components (new or existing) onto the process designer, an indicator line will show the destination location of the dragged component.

  • Improved feedback on the property grid. Required and invalid properties will now be highlighted, while the description should give adequate information regarding the property type and function. (Note that this is an ongoing feature that we’re still implementing for all components.)

On the debugging side, some highlights include:
  • The ability to add breakpoints to existing processes.

  • The ability to step into a process when making use of the RunProcess component.

  • The ability to assign values to input parameters before you start debugging the process.

  • Improved debugger feedback on component output values, location in process, etc.
  • In Linx 4, solutions are now uploaded to the server. As part of the upload process, you are able to specify comments to describe the uploaded solution. This makes it easier for administrators to track solution changes and can help to highlight execution problems. If you want to change an existing solution on the server, you have the option to download the solution, make the required changes and then update the solution on the server by uploading it again.

  • Service state (started or stopped) is now managed by the server and cannot be changed in the designer.
  • Each solution now runs in its own Windows process, which will help with stability and memory management.
The easiest way to experience all of this new functionality (and provide valuable feedback) is to install Linx 4 on your machine and try it out for yourself. As mentioned, this is a beta release, so we are still making changes where necessary. We do however want your feedback, so that we can focus and prioritise our attention on the areas that are the most important. You can log any bugs, feature requests, questions, etc. on HotHouse in the Linx 4 project. You can also have a look at the Linx 4 backlog in StoryTracker if you want to get an idea of what features are still outstanding.

Feb 10, 2012

Linx version 2.4.817.1343

Please note that Linx version 2.4.817.1343 is available for download. See the release notes for a complete list of features/fixes. Notable changes include:
  • Update Fincad components to work with Fincad Analytics Suite 2012.
  • Allow web service components to handle XmlElement attribute values for different output types in same property.
  • Ability to call Linx web service from CallRestWebService component.
  • Several bug fixes in the web service components to facilitate better error handling and usage.

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.