Cutting-edge features in new 1C:Enterprise 8.3: cloud computing, mobile, new user interface, cross-platform integration, and more!

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December 05, 2013

The 1C Company released the latest version of the1C:Enterprise 8.3 technological platform. This new version provides significant improvements for the most requested platform features.

Development and enablement of cloud technologies

Improved scalability, fault tolerance, and load balancing of server clusters. New load balancing architecture for server clusters, with automatic balancing between the cluster nodes based on available servers, fault-tolerance criteria provided by the administrator, and real-time analysis of server performance. Fine-tuning of load balancing for individual cluster nodes is available. Increased options for management of memory allocation for server working processes, this increases the cluster tolerance towards potential human-initiated malfunctions.

Licensing and external session management services. The licensing service distributes client and server software licenses, which eases the deployment of the server cluster in the virtual environment, as well as dynamic allocation of server resources. The external session management service informs an external system about attempts to open or close a session and receives responses that grant or deny permissions. This allows administrators to limit the number of simultaneous user connections to infobases and keep track of infobase usage time. A web service provides interaction with the external system.

Support of secure SSL connections and certificates for all Internet protocols as well as platform features based on these protocols. For example, the web services and the thin client now work over secure channels.

Background infobase restructuring. This new feature minimizes the downtime required for application updates. While the previous versions required pausing user work for the entire infobase update period, in this new version the majority of changes are applied in the background. A short downtime is then required for the final update step. This approach greatly reduces the total downtime of the system and increases its availability, which is extremely important for cloud services and large-scale configurations.

Background restructuring can be performed incrementally and paused, which frees the computing power during peak-load periods, thereby leaving nights and holidays for system updates.

Security profiles. Service providers that provide Internet access to 1C:Enterprise solutions developed by third parties cannot thoroughly test the solution reliability. At the same time, they have to provide seamless access to their services and to other solutions included in these services. In 1C:Enterprise version 8.3, security profiles are implemented to facilitate this task. They prohibit application-initiated actions that can impact the functioning of the entire server cluster or the entire service, such as:

  • Accessing the server file system.
  • Running COM objects, external reports or data processors, or applications installed on the server.
  • Using 1C:Enterprise add-ins.
  • Accessing Internet resources.

Automatic update of the thin client via the Internet. This option reduces the effort required to update remote users' software. Previously, automatic update was only available in the local network.

Mobile platform

1C:Enterprise mobile platform is a technology for creating applications for tablet computers, smartphones and other devices that run Android or iOS. It includes:

  • A distribution kit of the mobile platform that runs on Android or iOS.
  • Technology for creating and publishing 1C:Enterprise mobile applications.

A mobile application installed on a mobile device includes the mobile platform and the application infobase. The infobase includes the mobile application (the code that is executed on the mobile device) and a database, which is similar to a file infobase used on desktop computers.

Development of mobile applications is similar to the development of regular 1C applications using the standard Designer environment, with some limitations provided by the mobile platform.

Mobile application development in Designer

The development of mobile applications utilizes standard 1C:Enterprise platform tools and the available functionality is a subset of 1C:Enterprise functionality. Therefore, developers can reuse the code and business logic from their desktop solutions and implement standard integration techniques. Mobile applications run on desktop computers with Windows or Linux operating systems.

The mobile platform supports multimedia and location-based services. You’re able to obtain and use geographical location data and the postal address that matches the location directly from a mobile application, as well as take photos and record video and audio files that will be stored in the infobase.

Mobile applications are able to run in the offline mode, storing their data on the mobile device. At the same time, you’re able to add interaction with any back-office system using standard 1C:Enterprise integration tools.

Mobile application screenshot (application source available in the demo package at Mobile application demo)

For more information on the mobile platform, see Working on mobile devices.

Development of cross-platform support

Client applications for Linux

Previously, Linux users could only access 1C:Enterprise applications using the web client in browsers available on Linux. In 1C:Enterprise 8.3, client applications for Linux are introduced, which are identical to client applications for Windows:

  • Thin client for managed applications.
  • Thick client for managed and ordinary applications.
  • Designer for infobase administration and configuration updates.

Client applications support both file and client/server modes. X86 and x86-64 versions are implemented. In 1C:Enterprise 8.3, application developers and infobase administrators are now able to work in Linux environment, not just users.

Cross-platform administration tools

The previous 1C:Enterprise versions required a dedicated Windows computer for administering a server cluster because the administration features were based on Windows tools.

In version 8.3, cluster administration can be performed from any Windows or Linux computer. The following administration tools are implemented:

  • Administration server
  • Command-line tool

The administration server is a cross-platform application intended for passing control commands to a single 1C:Enterprise server cluster. It runs as a console application, Windows server, or Linux daemon.

The command-line tool is intended for sending commands to the administration server and for displaying data received from the server. It’s also a cross-platform application. The tool supports the entire set of commands required for administering server clusters.

New user interface and other usability improvements

1C:Enterprise 8.3 features a new Taxi user interface, which enhances user experience. It includes a number of new approaches to application usability:

  • Navigation commands are available in several auxiliary panels: tools, favorites, history, and more.
  • Applied solution developers can specify the default set of panels and their positions, based on the application purpose and feature set.
  • Users customize their workspaces by adjusting panel positions. For example, they create a minimalistic desktop that only contains the tools panel with the rest of the panels hidden. The tools panel alone provides access to all of the navigation options. Alternatively, a user can add multiple panels to their workspace, providing easy access to numerous application features.
  • Any section, list, database object, report, data processor, or command can be added to favorites to simplify further access.

For more information on the new interface, see User interface concept.

New interface features also include the following:

  • Interface mode that doesn’t require opening modal windows. In this mode, the web client doesn’t open new browser windows, which improves the performance and stability of applications working over the Internet and allows easy browser access from mobile devices.
  • Simplified list settings.
  • New "input by string" feature that enhances search within application data.

New platform language: Chinese

The following screenshot shows an example of the Chinese interface (development of a catalog form)

1C:Enterprise 8.3 Corporate: new license type for corporate customers

In 1C:Enterprise 8.3, two delivery and licensing options are available: standard and corporate.

Some of the new features that are only demanded by corporate users and companies that provide access to 1C:Enterprise applications in the Internet service mode are implemented in the 64-bit corporate version of the 1C:Enterprise server. These features include:

  • Background update of database configuration.
  • Advanced distribution of cluster services and infobase connections between working servers by infobase, client application type, and background jobs.
  • Flexible load balancing in the cluster:
    • Safe memory-per-call allocation.
    • Number of infobases per process.
    • Working processes memory size used to determine the efficiency of server performance.
    • Working process memory size limit.
    • Load balancing strategy (by memory or by performance).
  • External session management.
  • Security profiles.
  • Update of the thin client from the server.
  • Publishing infobase lists and thin client updates via HTTP.

All of these features require a corporate license, which is twice the cost of the standard license for a given number of users.

Other major improvements

  • Optimized performance. Performance improvements are made in the following areas: client workstations, server cluster, DBMS interaction (mostly for Microsoft SQL Server, including support of the new Microsoft SQL Server 2012 version), and memory usage.
  • Improvement of development tools. The option to export 1C configurations (both structure and data) to a set of XML files and to import them back. Better organization of the programming code by marking code areas that can be expanded or collapsed. Developers name these areas to make their code more human-readable. The context help is available for procedure and function parameters being typed, showing the parameter type and syntax. Context help for custom procedures and functions, as well as their parameters, is supported. The help information is taken from the procedure or function comments provided that they have the required format.
  • Automated testing. 1C:Enterprise 8.3 supports automated application testing based on algorithms written in 1C:Enterprise script. This feature also includes recording the sequence of user actions for further analysis or for converting it into an automated testing algorithm.
  • Improved report functionality and design. New chart display options and additional statistical and aggregate functions, such as ABC analysis.
  • External data source management is similar to management of standard configuration objects. Data from external sources are stored to temporary tables for further use in complex queries, or it can be used as separators in cloud applications. Forms for viewing external data can be redefined from 1C:Enterprise script. Connection to multidimensional data sources is available, including Microsoft Analysis Services, Oracle Essbase, and IBM InfoSphere Warehouse.
  • Infobase backward compatibility mode. Applications designed for 1C:Enterprise 8.0, 8.1, and 8.2 are able to run on 1C:Enterprise 8.3 without refactoring. The compatibility mode also allows downgrading from version 8.3 to version 8.2. Only slight changes are required to introduce version 8.3 features to applications designed for the previous platform versions.

Besides the listed features, the new version introduces many other improvements, including those based on partner feedback. The final release of version 8.3 was preceded by early access versions 8.3.1 and 8.3.2 together with a thorough functional and load testing. The testing of early access versions was performed by 1C specialists, franchisee partners, and application users. We’d like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who assisted with testing 1C:Enterprise 8.3.

Upgrade to version 8.3 is free for registered 1C:Enterprise users and 1C partners. Switching to version 8.3 does not require training for users who previously worked on version 8.2 because the general platform concept remains unchanged.

All documentation is available to download free of charge.

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