|Helix 7.0 is Here
Helix 7.0 is the first major upgrade of our database application development and deployment tools since completing the transition from Classic Mac to Intel-only macOS. It was introduced on December 20, 2016.
Helix 7.0.1 is a bug fix release that was introduced on January 20, 2017. The Release Notes detail the over 20 improvements to performance and stability.
Helix 7.0’s new feature list is extensive, with over 70 distinct items described in the complete release notes, in addition to clarified specifications and numerous bug fixes. Here are some of the major new features introduced in Helix 7.0…
Helix RADE, Helix Engine and Helix Client/Server:
- Unicode support. Helix has spent its entire existence in the 256-character world of ASCII. That’s now a serious limitation, as Unicode is here and supported virtually everywhere. Helix 7.0 provides Unicode support for text and styled text data and collection file names as well as icons, strings and text labels in Design Mode. Unfortunately, we’ve had to postpone Unicode support for document management, due to the aforementioned financial crunch.
- Expanded collection file size support. Helix collections are no longer limited to 4GB. In Helix 7.0 they can grow to as large as 64GB. No one likes to have to archive data; now, you may never have to worry about that again.
- PDF replaces PICT as Helix standard for Picture field data, resulting in sharper images and more flexibility.
- Collection update integration. Like the structure check before it, collection updating is now a part of RADE, Server and Engine, with an option to automatically create a zip archive backup.
Helix RADE Design Mode:
- Column Sorting: When viewing a collection or relation window in List Mode, you can now sort by any column, just by clicking on the column headers. Creation and Modification Date columns have been added, and you can sort in ascending or descending order, up to three levels deep. You can even hide columns you don’t care to see.
- Object Timestamping: Knowing when an object was created and/or modified is a very useful piece of information in the design and construction process. In Helix 7.0, icons are timestamped on creation and when modified. This information appears in the Inspector when the object is selected, and as new columns in List Mode.
Helix Client/Server (and Helix Personal Server):
- TLS/SSH Secured Connection (trusted host and encrypted communication). In addition to its two levels of password protection and other security features, Helix collections now support secure data access, using industry-standard authentication and encryption.
- User-based idle time logout. Network managers can now tailor Helix data access to individual users’ work habits, specifying how long a user’s workstation can be idle before being automatically logged out.
- Compact Object Map. When compressing an existing collection, this new capability boosts performance for older collections by removing the gaps that occur in a collection’s internal Object Map over time.
- Rescale Collection. Along with providing the ability to expand a collection up to 64GB, this new tool adjusts the ‘internal block size,’ allowing collections that won’t be growing to such an extreme size to run more compactly. (A collection can be rescaled — up or down — as often as desired.)
- Expert Mode. This tab provides collection repair tools for qualified users.
Helix 7 requires transformations within the collection structure. Once a collection is updated to Helix 7, it can not be opened in Helix 6.x again. For this reason, a new feature of the collection update process offers to automatically make a backup for you. We strongly encourage you to make a backup before updating.
Of course, all software contain bugs — this software included! To streamline the reporting process, we have created a complete bug reporting database in our online Helix database: techdb. For those who have never used techdb before: accessing techdb means using Helix Client to log into our own Helix Server from anywhere in the world. This is a great demonstration of the capabilities of Helix Client/Server. You can get your free copy of Helix Client on our download page.
Reporting bugs through techdb has many advantages:
- Report Discussions — communicate with our staff and other users. Help us identify the root issue behind the bugs.
- Search Capabilities — find out if others are experiencing the same issues.
- Feature Votes — indicate how important a fix is to you. More votes = higher priority.
- Document Exchange — submit collections, scripts, diagnostic logs, etc. Helix’s document management capabilities make it easy.
For more on using techdb, please visit this page.
Before you enter a new report, please look at the existing reports to see if the bug you have found has already been reported. The Callisto Reports item in the Reports menu displays just the reports that pertain to Helix 7.0. This form also has options to filter the list only to show the reports in which you are personally involved.
Because we are trying to get the most visible and productive work done in the shortest possible period, we reserve the right to “condense” reports. If a report you entered seems to have disappeared, rest assured it isn’t a Helix bug. We routinely remove duplicate reports. Please don’t take it personally if your report is removed in favor of another. Either way, we do appreciate your contribution.