Introducing ReadySuite, Part 7 – Grid

Posted Nov 24, 2009 in Features

We’re now ready to end our Introduction to ReadySuite series with last minute improvements to the grid and overall stability. While we try to release bug free software every time, we’ve always built in a bug report mechanism in case our software crashes unexpectedly. These reports are submitted by our users and contain useful details surrounding the events of the crash. One of the most common bug reports we’ve encountered occurred right after an import. Although it was difficult to reproduce, we spent a lot of time improving the stability and responsiveness of the document grid.

A lot of changes to the document grid occur after an import. Thousands of documents can be imported, new custom fields added, and metadata field values updated. We’ve added a progress indicator so you can see things are working in the background. But don’t worry: our goal is for the process to be fast and seamless. In our testing, imports over 50,000 documents with new fields only take a few seconds to populate.

Our grid has always featured a way to view the thumbnails of documents in a separate window. While most documents less than a hundred pages would show almost instantly, one area we felt improvement was needed was showing thumbnails of very large documents. You might have waited over 15 seconds to view a 700 page document. Navigating documents took longer than it should as a result. We’re happy to say this is one area we’ve greatly improved: loading a 1,700 page document now takes less than a second! Additionally, the enhancements to the thumbnail explorer now prevent the software from hanging after an import when the first document contained many pages.

We’ve also made additional improvements to editing and sorting in the document grid, aiming to make editing in the grid more excel-like. For example, if you’re editing a cell and press the down-arrow key, the cell below it will be selected and you can start editing. The same applies for moving to the left and right as well. Similar to Excel, you can now highlight a range of cells spanning multiple columns. These values can then be copy and pasted into any compatible editor. For editable fields, you can cut values from the grid or paste them into it. If you need to copy and paste the values from one column to another, go right ahead. You can even copy and paste from an excel worksheet into the grid and vice versa.

Our sorting algorithm in the document grid has also been changed for text fields to sort more intuitively. Taking a look at the below table to see how sorting has been adjusted:

Grid Sort Methods

Columns will now default to this new natural way of sorting. You can even sort on multiple columns using the grid; just hold the shift key and select the columns in the order you wish to sort.

We’ve made a few other minor changes here and there. For example, when new columns are added to the grid they will show automatically. Previously, columns were hidden until shown by the user. The field chooser still lets you pick which columns to show and hide. Additionally, we’ve added support for Windows 7. When a long process is running, you’ll notice the progress bar in the taskbar. As we add more features, we’ll look into adding more support for Windows 7.

This concludes our introductory series to ReadySuite. We’ll update you next week as ReadySuite progresses from Beta to Gold.