Thursday, February 16, 2023
APE, APEX Project Eye, we’ve been blogging about it before. It’s our tool to ensure our development teams all work in the same way. To make it easier to work with APE and - actually - to oblige the developer to write code according to the project’s or customer’s standards, we’ve built in a Live QA Assistant. Today we’ll focus a bit more on this Live QA Assistant.
This blog post is part of a series dedicated to the wonders of APE. Certainly, have a look at our prior blog posts:
Getting Started with Quality Assurance in APEX Project Eye (APE)
APEX Project Eye (APE) Quality Assurance: Many Workspaces, Same Rules
Keep your APEX Apps Consistent with Quality Assurance in APEX Project Eye (APE)
In the prior articles, it’s been discussed how rules work and how to set them up. If you’re new to APE, have a look at those first!
The Live QA Assistant is probably the nicest feature for the developer. In your development environment, it runs all the APEX rules (not the DB rules that take up a lot of processing time) on every page you visit. Don’t worry: it’s made in a smart way. The rules are only executed when a page has been edited since the last time APE assessed it, and everything happens in the background, so it will not be in your way during your tests.
Live QA Assistant is only visible to developers, but in a way that is just annoying enough for you to notice and immediately take steps to address the issue. Let’s say you have a rule that enforces labeling each APPLY CHANGES and CREATE button as ‘Save’. APEX, by default, sets the label to ‘Apply Changes’ and ‘Create’ for these buttons.
The first time you run a page after creating it, APE will show that you need to re-label the buttons. Just go in there, change the label, and the message is gone when you return to the page. As a developer, you should always try to avoid APE remarks on your pages. And when no “errors” are left on your pages, APE leaves you in peace, and the APE QA region is no longer shown.
When a rule is violated, the APE QA region is shown on top of the page, but it’s collapsed.
You can look at the rules that have been violated by expanding that region.
For many components, it is possible to use the “Fix” link directly from the APE region to navigate to the APEX Builder and immediately fix the issue. Sometimes it’s also possible that the issue should be marked as an exception. This means that this rule is no longer checked for that specific component. Any later assessment will exclude that specific rule for that specific APEX component. You can, of course, remove the exception from your APE app.
Also, notice the “Disable for this Session” button in the region header. Clicking this will stop the Live QA Assistant from executing and showing the APE QA violations during the session you’re working in. This can be useful when performing a demo for your client. Or, in case you’re working hard on a page and don’t want to lose focus on APE messages. It WILL be turned on again when you start a new session. And that’s the way it is intended: be just annoying enough that you actually fix the issues!
You must set Live QA Assitant up for each application you want to use it in. It’s easy, though!
Open APE in your workspace and navigate to the Quality Assurance page:
Click on the cog “Manage various QA settings and lookup values”
and click the eye, “Live QA Assistant settings”.
Here you get to see some information on how it all works technically. And in the Interactive Grid, add a line for the application you want to kick off the Assistant for!
APE creates some general components in your application. When you want to stop using the Assistant, you can go in and remove them; of course, after all, it’s your application!
APE Live QA Assistant is there to help you build better applications. It highlights the rules you violate in a way that is annoying enough for you to do something about it without interfering with your development work. You can directly fix the issues or add them to an exception list. And when all the issues of a page are solved, the region magically disappears.
However, it doesn't completely replace all the other QA Assessments you should perform in APE itself. The Live QA Assistant will not run the rules investigating your database issues.
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