After an amazing first quarter focused on digital customer experiences, Q2 continued down that path with great UX and UI improvements and added development accelerators to keep you in the flow.

In May, we launched a set of new accessibility assets. With millions of people worldwide confined to their homes as a result of the global pandemic, digital tools and technologies have never been more essential - for everyone.

Accessibility with Great UX

We improved our accessibility capabilities in our state-of-the-art reactive model to make it much easier for developers to create accessible apps for both web and mobile. This means you can take advantage of the more than 70 accessible patterns, widgets, and screen templates in OutSystems UI.

You can also create any custom accessible pattern or interface you need, setting styles, colors, HTML tags, and ARIA roles. And we’ve made new accessibility features available that will enable you to implement focus states, skip-to-content options, accessible links, contrast enhancements, and text spacing, among other actions.

You’ll find updated UI patterns and layouts from OutSystems UI that comply with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards, improving support for keyboard-only interactions, and screen readers. 

UI Development Improvements and New Capabilities

Apart from accessibility, there were a lot of new things to make UI development easier and more consistent. We’d like to highlight some:

  • There are 3 new screen templates for both reactive and mobile apps in OutSystems UI: Request Management, Request Detail, and Request Creation. You can find them under the dashboard, detail, and form categories, respectively.
  • The unified design system works for both mobile and reactive templates and includes shared CSS variables for a single consistent experience when creating applications and Style Guides.
  • OutSystems UI now converts fixed CSS values in the OutSystems UI theme to CSS variables, improving your app customization experience.
  • The new OutSystems UI Figma Kit includes a complete collection of styles, UI patterns, widgets, and layouts based on the OutSystems UI framework and ready to use in all your Figma projects.
  • Use the OutSystems UI Style Guide Theme to create your live style guide and easily use brand colors, custom patterns, and specific screen templates to promote visual consistency across all your Reactive and Mobile apps.

General Availability of Architecture Dashboard

Architecture Dashboard has been in early access for a while, allowing us to receive input from users and improve the experience in preparation for its public release. The tool provides insights on code quality and performance that enable developers, team leads, and architects to view and manage technical debt and keep improving their apps. Make sure to check the documentation page for guidance.

We also took the opportunity to add new features and improvements, such as streamlining the register and setup process and improving the Report filter. 

Improved Reports filter in Architecture Dashboard.

Development Experience

Throughout the quarter, Service Studio got a handful of new features and improvements to make you more productive than ever. Thank you OutSystems community for inspiring some of these!

Keeping Your Productivity High

Improved Compare and Merge

We tweaked the Compare and Merge feature to make it easier to track the number of conflicts that are left to solve when facing conflicting module versions during the publishing process! This improved experience also gives you the option to ignore all conflicts and accept the local version right away.

Access Switch Node Conditions

Access the conditions of a Switch node in Service Studio without having to select it. With a simple double-click of the condition arrow, you'll access them right away! No time wasted.

Quickly Find Widgets in the Widget Tree

And what about widgets? Well, let’s just say that finding a widget in the Widget Tree is easier than ever! All you have to do is click on a widget and select See in Widget Tree to automatically point to its location in the tree. Easy peasy.

Copy Structures and Paste as Parameters

We have made it much faster to create an input, output, or local parameter based on either an entity or structure. To do so, you simply select it, then copy it and paste it as an action’s input, output, or local parameter by selecting Paste as.

Quickly Find Disabled Elements in Search Results

Looking for disabled elements? Do a simple search and you’ll see disabled elements with a greyed-out icon to differentiate them from the remaining search results.

Check Your App’s Publish Status in the Module’s Tab

When working on multiple modules, the last thing you want is to lose track of your app’s publishing status. There is now a new icon that appears, indicating when an app has finished publishing, even if you’re editing a different module.

Reactive Web

If you’ve been building reactive web apps, then you'll be happy to know that we’ve added a couple of things. SAML 2.0 authentication is now available, which means you can easily configure any identity provider (IdP) that supports SAML 2.0, such as Azure AD, Okta in your reactive apps.

AI-Assisted Development

When it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI), our goal was to have you be more productive with fewer clicks, while improving the accuracy of the suggestions.

The AI-Assisted Development assignment suggestion has been improved with greater accuracy, and the radar is easier to see in empty logic actions. When you successfully accept a suggestion, the assistant automatically opens a new set of predictable next steps.

AI for Applications

The Chatbot component has been enhanced for both traditional and reactive web! Configure it to start adding new, clickable thumbnail images (reactive only), attachments, and buttons for automatic responses, providing your users with a richer experience, and a better response to their needs.

What’s the NextStep?

Wrapping up the second quarter is made all the more exciting by what’s coming. NextStep, our annual user conference, is just around the corner and this year we’ve gone completely virtual.

Join us on September 15-16 and find out the new OutSystems capabilities to take your business to the next level.

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