Panorama X 10.2 (Public Beta)

To: All Panorama Users
Date: October 15, 2021
Subject: Panorama X 10.2 Public Beta Release

Over the past 3 years Panorama X 10.2 has gone through a long gestation process -- 22 beta releases, over 80 beta testers, over 100 new features, over a thousand pages of new documentation, and over 200 bug fixes (including many crashing bugs). We've now reached a major milestone - the release of a public beta version. We're calling this new version Panorama X 10.2 Denali.

Releasing a public beta is something new in the 35 year history of Panorama - we've never done this before. We're doing it now because of Apple's transition from Intel to M1 processor chips. The Intel version of Panorama X 10.2 is complete and ready to go, all that's left is to do is the conversion to M1 native code, updating the web site and writing the press release. There are so many huge benefits to Panorama X 10.2 that we realized there was no valid reason to make you wait for the M1 conversion - you should be able to start taking advantage of Denali immediately. Denali runs great on all types of Mac computers, whether you're using an Intel or an M1 processor (thanks to Apple's Rosetta technology). Even though this release is labeled a "beta", I urge all Panorama users to upgrade immediately for the improved reliability even if you're not interested in any of the new features. You can always go back if you regret it (but you won't regret it).

Of course there's no extra charge when you upgrade to Panorama X 10.2. All upgrades are included in your existing account plan (there are, however, extra charges for Panorama X Server). You can simply download and start using it right away - and it's 100% compatible with your existing Panorama X databases. (Note: If you don't have a Panorama X account yet, the Denali public beta version also works with the Panorama X 7-day free trial.)

In closing, I would like to thank the many beta testers that provided support and feedback during this project. Without you this milestone would not have been achieved. Dozens of you have been helpful, but I would like to particularly thank Thomas Cooper, David Thompson, Eric Bolden, Chris Griffin, James Cook, Gary Yonaites, Kurt Meyer and Mark de Jong. And I'd also like to thank the academy, oh wait, wrong speech.

Sincerely,

Jim Rea
Founder, ProVUE Development

P.S. I'm sure you may have many additional questions about Panorama X 10.2, so we've compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions on this page. If you can't find the answer to your question there, please visit the special 10.2 section of the Panorama Discussion Forum. If you're interested in a comprehensive video training course to learn Panorama X 10.2, see Is there a training course to help me learn Panorama X 10.2? On the other hand, if you just want to get started right away, you can jump straight to the Panorama X 10.2 Installation Instructions.

What's New in Panorama X 10.2?


Panorama X 10.2 introduces two blockbuster features: multi-user database sharing and first class relational database management. I've been hearing from many of you in organizations and groups that have been waiting on pins and needles for Panorama X Server so that you can unleash the power of Panorama X in your team's environment. Panorama X Server is designed from the ground up to coordinate database access across multiple simultaneous users. Whether you have two, five, or dozens of users, the server keeps everything organized so that users can modify data without interfering with each other, and everyone has the most up-to-date data at their fingertips when they need it. Panorama X Server is the key to unlocking the power of Panorama for multi-user teams of any size. If you've been using Panorama 6 Server you'll find that the new server is much smoother, faster, easier to use and much easier to deploy than ever before.

The 10.2 release also introduces a completely new approach to working with multiple interconnected databases. Instead of using obscure lookup formulas, you can now manage relationships with a comprehensive, flexible and easy to use visual dialog panel. Once a relationship has been established between two databases, you can use that relationship to quickly select data that corresponds to the current database, to display related information in a form or report, to accelerate data entry of related information (including cross-database Clairvoyance™), to post updated data to a related database, and to perform super fast full joins between two databases (including inner and outer joins).

The new server and relational features are just the tip of the iceberg. Panorama X 10.2 includes over 100 new features and over 200 bug fixes (and that's counting Panorama X Server as one feature!). For complete details on all of the exciting new changes, see the Version 10.2 Release Notes documentation page. As you'll see, the complete release notes is over 50 pages long!


General Questions (Expanded)

How do I install Panorama X 10.2?

If you already have Panorama X 10.0 or 10.1 installed on your computer, the best way to install 10.2 is to use the Download Assistant which is available in the Panorama Database Exchange. The installation process only takes 7 clicks, so you'll be ready to start using the new version in a couple of minutes. To learn how to use the Download Assistant you can either read the short instructions below, or you can watch this two minute video.

If Panorama isn't already open, start by launching your current copy of Panorama. Next, open the Panorama Database Exchange from the Help menu, then search for download, as shown in the illustration below.

Click on the Download Assistant to select it, then press the Download button. When the download is complete, press the Open button.

(At this point you can close the Panorama Database Exchange, you are finished with it.)

The Download Assistant is very simple, it only has one button. Simply press the Download button to download the latest version of Panorama X.

When the download is finished, the Reveal Downloaded App in Finder button will appear. Click this button to open your Downloads folder and reveal the downloaded app.

You can drag this app to your Applications folder or to wherever you keep your applications. The downloaded app's filename includes the version and build number, but you can edit the name to remove these if you prefer. (Note: If you replace your existing copy of Panorama X, be sure to quit before you actually replace it.)

Your new copy of Panorama X 10.2 is now ready to use. You can launch it at any time simply by double clicking on it, or by double clicking on a Panorama database.

Once Panorama X 10.2 is installed, it automatically checks for updates each time it launches (you can also use the PanoramaX>Check for Updates window to check for updates at any time). Panorama X 10.2 can automatically download and install future updates for you, so you'll only need to use the Download Assistant one time, you won't need it again.


Installing 10.2 From Scratch (without a previous version of Panorama)

If at all possible, we recommend that you follow the steps described above to install Panorama X 10.2, starting from a previous version of Panorama X. However, if that is not possible (for example if you have already installed macOS 12 Monterey), you can install Panorama X 10.2 from scratch, though some extra steps are required if you are using recent versions of macOS. Start by downloading Panorama X 10.2 using this link:

http://www.provue.com/downloads/sparkle/PanoramaX/3846/PanoramaX.zip

If you are using macOS 10.14 Mojave or earlier you can simply unzip the downloaded file, then move the PanoramaX.app file to the Applications folder (or to wherever you keep applications).

If you are using macOS 10.15 Catalina or later, a special step is needed the first time you run the public beta version. Because this public beta version of Panorama X is not notarized, these versions of macOS will refuse to run it if you double click on it -- you'll see a warning like this about not being able to check for malicious software.

To get past this warning, you must right click on the PanoramaX.app file and choose Open from the pop-up menu.

The system will display the warning dialog again, but now there is an additional option to Open the software.

This extra step is only necessary the first time you run PanoramaX.app after downloading. After the first time, you can open it normally simply by double clicking on it or by double clicking on any Panorama database file.

Once Panorama X 10.2 is installed, it automatically checks for updates each time it launches (you can also use the PanoramaX>Check for Updates window to check for updates at any time). Panorama X 10.2 can automatically download and install future updates for you, so you'll only need to use the Download Assistant one time, you won't need it again. (In fact, you may see the update notice immediately the first time you launch Panorama X 10.2, since the link above may not be kept up-to-date with the latest version.)

What are the hardware and software requirements for Panorama X 10.2?

Panorama X 10.2 will run on any Macintosh computer running macOS 10.12 or later, including:

  • macOS 10.12 Sierra
  • macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • macOS 10.14 Mojave
  • macOS 10.15 Catalina
  • macOS 11 Big Sur
  • macOS 12 Monterey

Warning: Panorama X 10.1 and 10.0 are NOT compatible with macOS 12 Monterey (as of Oct 8, this may change when the final Monterey version is released). You must upgrade to Panorama X 10.2 to use Panorama on a computer that is running Monterey.

Will Panorama X 10.2 run on Apple Silicon (M1) Computers?

Yes, absolutely! The public beta release of Panorama X 10.2 includes only Intel native code, which runs well on computers with M1 processors using Apple's Rosetta technology (including Panorama X Server). See the forum post Panorama X Speed Tests on an M1 Mac (via Rosetta) for more information about performance on Apple Silicon machines. The final release of Panorama X 10.2 will include native code for both Intel and Apple Silicon processors (universal binary).

What remains to be completed in Panorama X 10.2?

Most of the work needed to complete Panorama X 10.2 has been completed:

  • All of the new features planned for Panorama X 10.2 are finished.
  • All of the changes made to Panorama X 10.2 have been documented.
  • Over 200 bugs have been resolved.

With so much complete, you may wonder why we are releasing this version as a public beta, rather than as the final, official release. The primary unfinished task is converting the internal code to M1 native (Apple Silicon). When that task is achieved we will remove the "public beta" designation and officially deliver and publicize Panorama X 10.2. Our goal is to complete the M1 native code conversion by the end of 2021.

Since everything but M1 native code is finished (and Panorama X already runs well on M1 computers using Rosetta), we decided that there was no reason to make existing Panorama users wait any longer for the benefits of the 10.2 release. We recommend that all Panorama X users upgrade to 10.2 immediately. If you are planning to upgrade your computer to macOS 12 Monterey, you must upgrade to 10.2 since Panorama X 10.1 does not work on macOS 12. If you are running macOS 10.15 or macOS 11, you'll also find that Panorama X 10.2 fixes important Panorama bugs on those OS versions.

Do I need to be a "test pilot" to use the public beta version?

No, you do not. Even as a public beta, Panorama X 10.2 is the most tested and most reliable version of Panorama ever. During the private beta test period over 80 customers have been using the software full time since January 2021. The software has been continuously and significantly improved during the beta period, we're now up to the 22nd beta update. Here are some recent quotes from the Beta 10.2 section of the ProVUE discussion forum:

If Apple hadn't introduced the new M1 processors, we'd be releasing the current beta version as the final "official" 10.2 release right now. It's ready. In fact, we're going ahead and releasing the public beta now because it is actually significantly more stable that the previous 10.1 version, to the point where we could not justify making existing users continue to use the older, less reliable version. Although we feel that native M1 support is an absolute requirement for the "official" release, it's unnecessary to make you wait for that for the benefits of 10.2. You've waited long enough.

We urge all Panorama users to upgrade immediately for the improved reliability even if you're not interested in any of the new features. We're confident that you won't regret it, but if for any reason you do, you can easily go back to the previous version at any time. In fact, you can even ask Panorama X 10.2 to re-install the older version for you, using the new Panorama Software Updates window.

Upgrade Questions (Expanded)

What are the major new features in Panorama X 10.2?

There's something for everyone in this new version, including:

  • Multi-user database sharing with Panorama X Team Server.
  • First class relational database management including cross database linking and posting, multi-field and partial field keys, case/accent insensitive keys (optional), auto-join, and super fast SQL style inner and outer joins. Panorama can now automatically open all related databases when a primary database is opened.
  • Greatly enhanced layout options for fast and easy automatic form construction, including the ability to control the position and style of field labels (including color and/or gradient backgrounds), more layout options including the ability to arrange multiple fields on the same row, the ability to “snap” objects into a grid for perfect alignment, custom background colors, the ability to display fields without making them editable, more control over spacing, padding and borders, and control over the editing behavior of form objects (insertion point, focus ring, pop-up editing, etc.).
  • Upgraded line item support, including the ability to automatically generate a line item form grid.
  • Greatly enhanced data input validation, including validation of numeric and date values, the ability to validate that values are not duplicate or not unique, and even the ability to write your own custom validation checks that are fully integrated into Panorama data entry.
  • New advanced Clairvoyance™ options for partial database searching, cross-database (relational) searching, and fully custom value lists. The ability to step up or down through clairvoyance values with the keyboard has returned, and you now have the option for Clairvoyance™ to operate silently.
  • Panorama now automatically checks database integrity every time a database is opened or saved, guarding against hardware problems that could corrupt your data.
  • Expanded preference options, including user configurable deletion warnings, new search preferences, and the ability to easily deploy preference options and account credentials to multiple computers across an organization.
  • The new Debug Instrumentation feature turbo charges debugging of Panorama code. We implemented this feature to help us debug Panorama Server, and soon realized it was so great we had to make it available to all Panorama programmers. Instrumentation makes the dynamic internal operation of your code fully visible. With instrumentation, you'll often find that the solution to frustrating problems becomes instantly apparent. Without instrumentation we would still be tracking down stubborn problems in Panorama Server (by the way, instrumentation works both locally and in server code). Our only regret is that we didn't think of this idea sooner. If you are a Panorama programmer, this may be the most consequential new feature in Panorama X 10.2!
  • New View Search window for comprehensive searching of procedures and forms.
  • New Reorder Fields dialog makes it easier to rearrange the fields in databases with lots of fields, and works even if some fields are hidden.
  • New Object Value dialog (Graphics Mode) displays the raw text result of formulas embedded in the selected object, making it much easier to diagnose formula problems in a graphic object.
  • You can now quickly pull up a favorite summary or crosstab table with a single click on the Summary tool in the toolbar of a data sheet or form, and the Summary Workshop and Crosstab Workshop now support exporting the analyzed data as tab delimited, comma delimited or JSON text files.
  • Panorama can now be configured to abort endless loops that cause the program to freeze.
  • Panorama now gives you precise control over the arrangement and position of windows that open when a database first opens.
  • Windows can now be referenced in code and formulas by a unique numeric id, eliminating possible ambiguities from duplicate or changing window names.
  • The new Timer Workshop window makes it easy to monitor running timers and to create and test timer configurations.
  • Panorama X now supports the x-callback-url protocol, which allows it to communicate with other applications that support this protocol, and allows Panorama procedures to respond to standard web links.
  • New automatic update system gives the user precise control over Panorama updates, including the ability to automatically install beta upgrades and to go back to a previous version.
  • 152 new statements, 148 new functions, and over 200 bug fixes.

In total there are 350 new topics in the Panorama X help system, over a thousand pages of new material. See, the Panorama X 10.2 Release Notes for a detailed summary of everything new and changed.

Are my existing databases compatible with Panorama X 10.2?

Yes. All databases created with earlier versions of Panorama X are 100% compatible with Panorama X 10.2. There is no conversion required, databases simply open as usual with the new version. All of your current forms, formulas and procedure code will continue to work exactly the same. (Of course if you still have Panorama 6 databases, those can also be brought into Panorama X, but may require some adjustments to forms and code.)

Warning: If you plan on moving databases back and forth between Panorama X 10.2 and earlier versions, we recommend that you disable the Save database with integrity seal option (in the Database Options dialog. The integrity seal option is only supported by Panorama X 10.2 or later. Older versions of Panorama X will open a database that has an integrity seal without any problem, but if the database contents are modified when using an older version of Panorama, the integrity seal will no longer be valid and the database won’t open in Panorama X 10.2 or later. If you encounter this situation you can temporarily disable integrity checking so that the database can be opened. See Database Integrity Checks to lean more about this feature. To avoid this type of problem we recommend upgrading all of your computers to Panorama X 10.2 at the same time, there is no reason to continue using an old version.

Is Panorama X 10.2 documentation available?

Yes. All of the new features and changes in Panorama X 10.2 are already fully documented in the Panorama Help included with the software (from the Help menu). The updated documentation is also available on the web. The best place to start is the Panorama X 10.2 Release Notes, which contain a detailed list of everything that has changed, with links to the appropriate documentation pages.

What's the best way to get news and provide feedback for the Panorama X 10.2 public beta?

To facilitate discussion about the Panorama X 10.2 public beta, we've set up a special section of the Panorama Discussion Forum specifically for discussing the beta version.

This area of the forum will be the primary means of communication for news of new software updates, feedback and bug reports (this special area of the forum has existed in private since the beginning of 2021, so you'll already find hundreds of posts there). If you're not already signed up for the discussion forum, we strongly encourage you to do so now -- signing up is free and only takes a couple of minutes.

Is there a training course to help me learn Panorama X 10.2?

Yes, in fact a comprehensive online course is available right on your computer! The course was taught on Zoom by Jim Rea, the founder of ProVUE Development, and is the easiest way to get the maximum benefit from Panorama X 10.2. (Note: This course assumes you already have a basic familiarity with Panorama. Some topics will require basic Panorama programming skills (familiarity with procedures, variables, etc.).)

To purchase this course, open the Panorama Video Training window from the Help menu, then click on the shopping cart icon.

The shopping cart allows you to purchase one or more courses,. Simply select the course or courses you are interested in, then fill in your contact information and credit card information (the contact information will be pre-filled for you based on the information you have on file with your account, but you can edit it here.) To complete the transaction, press the Purchase button.

The courses you have purchased can be viewed at any time right from the Panorama Video Training window. The detailed curriculum for the Mastering Panorama X 10.2 course is listed below, to learn more see the Panorama Video Training help page. (Note: The recorded videos can only be viewed from within the Panorama Video Training window – they cannot be viewed in a web browser or on other devices.)


Curriculum: Mastering Panorama X 10.2

12 Sessions • Running time 17 hours 56 minutes

Orientation Recorded on Jan 19, 2021 - 2 hr 29 min)

Introduction to the course, and round table introductions of the group.

Debug Instrumentation Recorded on Jan 22, 2021 - 1 hr 28 min)

The Debug Instrumentation feature enables conditional logging of the internal state of Panorama program code for rapid debugging. The granularity of logging can be controlled at the level of individual procedures, allowing instrumentation code to be left permanently in production code, but selectively enabled only when trying to diagnose a problem. This granularity lets you keep clutter in the log to a minimum, improving performance and making the log easier to analyze.

Relational Databases Part 1 Recorded on Jan 27, 2021 - 1 hr 28 min)

Many database applications require multiple database files working together. For example, organizing a company’s order entry operations usually requires an invoice file, an inventory/price list file, and possibly a customer file. This session introduces Panorama's extensive capabilities for relationally linking multiple files together

Relational Databases Part 2 Recorded on Feb 2, 2021 - 1 hr 11 min)

Many database applications require multiple database files working together. For example, organizing a company’s order entry operations usually requires an invoice file, an inventory/price list file, and possibly a customer file. This session introduces Panorama's extensive capabilities for relationally linking multiple files together

Relational Databases Part 3 Recorded on Feb 2, 2021 - 1 hr 38 min)

Many database applications require multiple database files working together. For example, organizing a company’s order entry operations usually requires an invoice file, an inventory/price list file, and possibly a customer file. This session introduces Panorama's extensive capabilities for relationally linking multiple files together

Automatic Form Construction Part 1 Recorded on Feb 4, 2021 - 1 hr 17 min)

For many applications a form can now be built entirely automatically without needing any manual “twiddling” – a huge time saver and for users that aren’t graphic design gurus this will also result in more attractive forms as well.

Automatic Form Construction Part 2 Recorded on Feb 9, 2021 - 1 hr 27 min)

For many applications a form can now be built entirely automatically without needing any manual “twiddling” – a huge time saver and for users that aren’t graphic design gurus this will also result in more attractive forms as well. This video covers more advanced topics including multiple items per row and line items.

Short Programming Topics Part 1 Recorded on Apr 6, 2021 - 1 hr 39 min)

This session covers using the View Search window to search code and forms, customizing database initialization, and window ID numbers.

Short Programming Topics Part 2 Recorded on Apr 13, 2021 - 1 hr 27 min)

This session covers clone form windows, form initialization, timers and delays.

Understanding the Run Loop Recorded on Apr 16, 2021 - 1 hr 11 min)

This session explains how Panorama code interacts with the macOS run loop system, and how that impacts implicitly triggered procedures. When code is triggered implicitly, that code is usually limited in the types of operations that code can perform. Many Panorama operations, including most that switch to different window or update the display, cannot be performed in an implicitly triggered procedure. Attempting to perform an operation that is not allowed can result in failure or even in a crash. Panorama doesn’t have guardrails in this area, so it’s up to you to make sure you only use statements that will work in the context the code is being run.

Data Validation & Clairvoyance Recorded on Apr 28, 2021 - 1 hr 17 min)

This session explains how Panorama does input validation for numbers and dates, and how to set up custom validation for any type of data. It also shows how to customize how Clairvoyance™ scans a database, or even how to set up a pre-defined list of data values for Clairvoyance to use.

Encryption & Deploying Panorama Recorded on Apr 29, 2021 - 1 hr 20 min)

This session shows how to set up different Panorama roles (Administrator, Developer, User) and how to restrict various database activities to certain roles. It also shows how to save Panorama configuration (account and preferences) and then quickly duplicate that configuration on other computers via a link

What's the code name for Panorama X 10.2?

Apple gives a name to each version of macOS, so we've decided to follow suit. Instead of places in California, we are going to name Panorama versions after mountain peaks -- after all a mountain peak is the best place to view a panorama! Since Panorama X 10.2 is such a towering upgrade, we've decided to name it after the tallest peak in North America - Denali.

Pricing (Expanded)

How much will Panorama X 10.2 cost?

Pricing for the single user and client versions of Panorama remain unchanged (monthly pricing between $5-$15 per user). There is no upgrade charge for Panorama X 10.2, all upgrades are already included in the monthly pricing you have already signed up for.

For information about Panorama X Server pricing, see How much will Panorama Server cost?

How can an organization purchase more than 60 months of Panorama X usage at once?

In the past, it was only possible to purchase a maximum of 60 months of Panorama X usage in a single transaction. If your organization is using Panorama X Server with many users, this limitation may be inconvenient, so the Site License window now allows purchase of any amount. Simply choose Custom Plan from the Plan popup menu, type in the number of months you want, press Apply, then fill in the payment information and press Purchase.

Server Questions (Expanded)

What is the purpose of Panorama Server?

Without a server, it's not possible for multiple users to simultaneously share a single database. Panorama Server makes it possible for multiple users to work together on a database as a team. The server coordinates access to the database so that everyone can work together. Whether you have two, five, or dozens of users, the server keeps everything organized so that users can modify data without interfering with each other, and everyone has the most up-to-date data at their fingertips when they need it. Panorama X Server is the key to unlocking the power of Panorama for multi-user teams of any size.

How much will Panorama X Server cost?

There is no up-front cost for the Panorama Server software itself, however, the Panorama Server application will not launch unless you have purchased the Deploying Shared Databases training course. See the next section, How do I sign up for the Deploying Shared Database course?


Important note: During the public beta period (before the final release), the monthly fees for using Panorama X Server will be waived. The monthly charges described below will not begin until the final version of Panorama X 10.2 is released. (However, requirement to purchase the Deploying Shared Databases training course is not waived during the public beta period.)


When Panorama Server is used for database sharing, your Panorama X account will be debited each month based on the number of clients that connected to the server during the previous month. The debit will be two months per user (one for the client and one for the server). For example, if your organization has five users, your account will be debited ten months at the end of each month. If you are purchasing credits in increments of 60 months or more, this means that the cost per user will be $10, so $50/month for the hypothetical 5 user organization, or $100/month for a 10 user organization.

When Panorama Server is used for database web publishing there will also be a monthly charge for Panorama X Server based on the amount of web traffic processed by the server (similar to an electricity or water bill, or similar to Amazon AWS). The server software includes instrumentation to monitor usage levels to determine billing. This will make Panorama X Server an affordable option for organizations of all sizes. (Note: Only aggregate usage pattern information is monitored, no private user or database information is monitored or reported. Specifically, the only information monitored is the number of active users, number of client requests, and amount of data transferred.) The exact formula for calculating the monthly charge for web publishing has not been determined yet. We won't be able to determine exact pricing until we're able to analyze actual usage patterns for real world use. We'll be monitoring those patterns during the public beta period. We're not trying to be coy about pricing, we simply do not have enough metrics to calculate reasonable pricing levels yet.

If your server is used for both database sharing and web publishing then both of the charges described above will apply.


Note: If your organization is using a server, you may need to purchase more than the usual amount of months. To learn how to use the Site License window for large purchases, see How can an organization purchase more than 60 months of Panorama X usage at once?

How do I sign up for the Deploying Shared Databases course?

The Deploying Shared Database course is a prerequisite for using the Panorama X Server software -- the server software will not launch unless you have signed up for this course. The course was taught on Zoom by Jim Rea, the founder of ProVUE Development, and it covers all aspects of installing and configuring the server, and designing and operating shared databases. The complete curriculum is listed below.

To purchase this course, open the Panorama Video Training window from the Help menu, then click on the shopping cart icon.

The shopping cart allows you to purchase one or more courses,. Simply select the course or courses you are interested in, then fill in your contact information and credit card information (the contact information will be pre-filled for you based on the information you have on file with your account, but you can edit it here.) To complete the transaction, press the Purchase button.

The courses you have purchased can be viewed at any time right from the Panorama Video Training window. The detailed curriculum for the Deploying Shared Databases course is listed below, to learn more see the Panorama Video Training help page. (Note: The recorded videos can only be viewed from within the Panorama Video Training window – they cannot be viewed in a web browser or on other devices.)


Curriculum: Deploying Shared Databases

9 Sessions • Running time 13 hours 36 minutes

Panorama X Server Quick Start Recorded on Jan 23, 2021 - 1 hr 40 min)

This session introduces the concepts used for Panorama X multi-user database access, then demonstrates how to set up a server and create and modify a shared (multi-user) database.

Setting up Panorama X Client Recorded on Jan 27, 2021 - 1 hr 23 min)

This session explains how to set up a computer for use as a client to Panorama X Server.

Server Configuration Recorded on Feb 5, 2021 - 1 hr 24 min)

This session covers all of the customization options available for Panorama X Server, including the server name, security settings and performance tuning.

Connecting a Server to the Internet Recorded on Feb 10, 2021 - 1 hr 47 min)

This session covers the topics involved in configuring your local network for a server, including static ip, dynamic DNS and port forwarding. It also covers how to enable an external web server to use in conjunction with Panorama X Server.

Panorama X Server Deep Dive Part 1 Recorded on Mar 23, 2021 - 1 hr 4 min)

The goal for this multi-part series is to unlock the mysteries of Panorama X Server. Part 1 covers record IDs and time stampes, server logging, uploading a database to the server, and basic data editing.

Panorama X Server Deep Dive Part 2 Recorded on Mar 26, 2021 - 1 hr 54 min)

This session covers multi-user data editing and synchronization with Panorama X Server.

Panorama X Server Deep Dive Part 3 Recorded on Mar 31, 2021 - 1 hr 44 min)

In a perfect world you might be able to design a perfect database the first time, never having to add, remove or change any fields, forms or procedures. In the real world you’ll often have to make these sort of changes. The Panorama Server does not allow you to make design changes directly on the server. Instead, changes are made on one of the local client computers, then uploaded to the server. From the server, the changes are then propagated to the other client computers.

Panorama X Server Deep Dive Part 4 Recorded on Apr 1, 2021 - 1 hr 2 min)

This session explains how to work with a shared database in programming code, including managing record locking, automatic numbering and synchronization.

Panorama X Server Deep Dive Part 5 Recorded on Apr 9, 2021 - 1 hr 34 min)

This session covers making bulk modifications to a shared database (formulafill, find & replace, serverformulafill etc.), importing text into a shared database, server variables, looking up data directly from the server and controlling and monitoring the server connection.

What are the differences between Panorama X Server and Panorama 6 Server?

If you’ve used Panorama 6 Enterprise Server, you’ll find that many aspects of Panorama X Team Server are very familiar, but there are some significant differences:

  • Panorama X Team Server is much simpler to install and configure. You’ll never have to worry about configuring Bonjour Threshold again. Shared database configuration and administration tools are now integrated into Panorama, instead of being stuck into a submenu of the Wizard menu.
  • Panorama X Team Server runs completely in the background, with no windows, menus or dock icon. Launching, shutting down, and configuration of the server is performed using the Preference dialog of a standard copy of Panorama running on the same computer (this copy of Panorama only needs to be open when actually configuring the server).
  • It’s no longer necessary to upload and then download an entire database just because a single procedure or form has been modified. The New Generation process, which used to work only for database field structure, now makes it easy and fast to distribute any kind of change to all shared users of the database. Code and graphics changes no longer require all other users to temporarily close the database.
  • Panorama X Team Server automatically compresses all large data transfers in .zip format (both up and downloads). Uploading a database, downloading, and synchronizing are much faster than before, especially with large databases. When uploading and downloading large amounts of data, Panorama X always shows a progress indicator in the toolbar – you are never left hanging wondering what is going on.
  • The current database sharing status is always shown in the toolbar.
  • Panorama X Team Server includes its own built in web server, but also can be used with external web servers. Industry standard TCP/IP is used for all client/server communication, even on the local network, the often troublesome AppleEvent protocol is not used. If you want to use the Apache web server built in to macOS, Panorama X now includes a panel to control Apache (since Apple no longer provides this), and Panorama X can automatically set up permissions and edit httpd.conf as needed to enable CGI (in the past this had to be done manually in a very technical process).
  • By default, Panorama X Team Server is locked to your account for increased security. If necessary access can be granted to specific alternate accounts (for example if you need to give access to a consultant), or security can be disabled.
  • Unlike Panorama 6, Panorama X Team Server does not support modification of shared databases when offline with later automatic synchronization when the client computer connects to the server. You can always view any database, but you cannot edit a shared database unless you are connected to the server.
  • Panorama X Team Server can be run in conjunction with Terminal.app so that you can view console output from the server in real time, and Panorama X includes new tools for generating console output for debugging. This makes it much easier to debug web code on a live server.

For additional information about the new server, see the Panorama X Server documentation.

What's the difference between Panorama X Server and services like DropBox or Google Drive?

You might think a simple way to share a Panorama X database would be to use a file synchronization service like DropBox, iCloud, or Google Drive. However, these services do not allow multiple users to modify a database at the same time. These synchronization systems are designed to synchronize entire files, not individual records within files. Even if different users are modifying different records, the file synchronization system will not work. At best, some or all users's changes will be lost, at worst, the database will become corrupted and the entire database could be lost.

Panorama X Server is designed to coordinate database access across multiple simultaneous users. Whether you have two, five, or dozens of users, the server keeps everything organized so that users can modify data without interfering with each other, and everyone has the most up-to-date data at their fingertips when they need it. Panorama X Server is the key to unlocking the power of Panorama for multi-user teams of any size.

What type of computer is needed to run Panorama X Server?

Any computer that can run macOS 10.12 or later can be used (either Intel or Apple Silicon). The most popular option is a Mac Mini. For light to moderate server use an older model is usually fine.

Is a separate computer required for Panorama X Server?

A separate computer is not strictly required for Panorama X Server. Panorama X Server runs completely in the background with no visible windows (and by default, not even a dock icon). If the server is being used for light usage (a handful of users), it's entirely possible to also use the computer for normal light usage (email, web browsing, etc.) at the same time.

Of course if the server will be heavily used, it's definitely better to have a separate dedicated computer for running just Panorama X Server. This is also true if you need to run intensive foreground tasks, which could slow down server response if run on the same computer.

Can Panorama X Server be hosted "on premise" in your office?

Yes, you can easily host Panorama X Server on a computer on your local network. If all of the client computers are on the same network, setup only takes a couple of minutes.

If the server needs to be accessible off-site, on premise hosting is still possible but is more complicated to set up. You'll need static IP address from your internet provider (for a low traffic server, a dynamic DNS service may suffice). You'll also need a router configured to forward inbound port 80 traffic to your server computer. If all that sounds daunting, you may want to consider hosting your server in a colocation facility (see next question).

Can Panorama X Server be hosted in a colocation facility?

If you need your server to be accessible anywhere on the internet, you may want to consider using a remote server in a server farm, also referred to as colocation. There are a number of companies that will either rent or sell you a Mac Mini computer in their facility, or allow you to ship them a computer that they will operate in their location for a monthly fee. The fee generally includes 24/7 superfast monitored internet with a static IP address and UPS backed up power. For an additional fee you can also usually get 24/7 monitoring of your computer, and even service or replacement if your hardware fails. If you need to rely on your server being available 24/7, this can be an excellent option.

Can Panorama X databases be hosted in "the cloud" without a server?

Currently Panorama X databases cannot be hosted in the cloud. Since it requires a macOS based computer, it does not work with services like AWS or Azure. We are considering setting up a hosted service version of Panorama X Server that would allow you to share Panorama X databases without having to own or rent your own server, please contact us if you would be interested in such a service.

Can a Panorama 6 Server installation be converted to Panorama X?

Not directly, but the conversion process only takes a few minutes. The first step is to convert the shared database to single user (this is done using Panorama 6). This single user database can then be converted to Panorama X format. The final step is to upload the database to your Panorama X server.

By the way, the process of uploading a database to the Panorama X server is much faster and more reliable than it was in Panorama 6. If you ever experienced the problem of a Panorama 6 upload stalling at the end of the process, you'll never see that again. To increase speeds, Panorama X now compresses all data before uploading or downloading it, which can result in a 10x speed improvement over Panorama 6. In addition Panorama X performs all uploads in the background, so you don't have to wait for the upload to finish before continuing with other tasks.

Is Panorama X Server difficult to install?

Installing a local Panorama X Server is as simple as opening the Preferences window, clicking on the Server panel, typing in a server name, then pressing the Start Panorama X Server button. That's it! (Installing a server accessible on the internet is a bit more complicated because you need to configure your router and IP configuration.)

Can Panorama X Server be used for database web publishing?

Panorama X Server includes the same web publishing code that was available in Panorama 6 Server. However, the web publishing feature is not yet documented, and is not officially supported at this time. If you have a Panorama 6 web based application, it should for the most part run without modification on the Panorama X Server (however, cookies are not yet supported). The Deploying Shared Databases course will include a short introduction to working with the Panorama X Server web server. This introduction will not be a comprehensive course in building web applications, it will only cover the basics of how to upload and debug web code and forms. Until this intro session is complete we won't be able to answer any questions about web publishing, and even after that there will only be very limited support.

In the long run, we are contemplating a complete overhaul of Panorama X Server's web rendering technology. The current web publishing feature was developed in 2006-7, which is quite ancient in terms of web technology. For example, Panorama's feature to automatically generate HTML code from a form generates fixed format, non-responsive HTML code, completely outmoded in today's mobile first web environment. Rather than performing the massive work of re-documenting the current old fashioned features, we may decide to put that investment into a more modern framework. However, development of such a modern framework may take a year or more, and may also be tied in with other changes to Panorama X.

That said, the low level HTTP engine in Panorama X Server is completely modern. If you've written your own custom code to generate HTML from scratch and aren't relying on Panorama's higher level web rendering code, you should be good to go right now (except for cookies, which are planned soon).

Does Panorama X Server work with other server software (Apache, Nginx, etc.)?

Panorama X Server includes a built in web server, and unlike Panorama 6 Server does not require any external server. However, there are some situations where you may want to use Panorama X Server with other server software:

  • When you are serving a full web site that includes non-Panorama generated pages.
  • When you need to use SSL for secure transactions (the web server built in to Panorama does not support SSL).
  • When you anticipate extra high traffic loads and need super fast performance (the built in server has good performance, but not as good as Apache, Nginx, etc.).

If you need to use an external server, this is much easier to set up than it was in Panorama 6, especially if you want to use the Apache server built into macOS. For standard configurations Panorama X does all the configuration for you, there's no need for you to manually edit configuration files. Panorama X also includes the controls for turning Apache on and off that Apple removed a few years ago. See Using an External Web Server for more detailed information.