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In IBM ILOG Elixir 3.5, we had the opportunity to re-write the calendar as spark component. The component is compatible with Flex SDK 4.5.x.
The keyword for this component is "flexibility", you will understand why in the next sections.
Here is an non exhaustive list of new or improved features:
First of all, the calendar is a real spark component which means that you can customize any pixel of the component.
At the contrary of the previous version which was a sort of black box, you have access to the internals of the calendar, its sub components, how they are placed, how they are rendered etc.
By accessing the Calendar skins you can:
Here are three different skins applied on the same component instance.
The default skin (click on image to enlarge it)
The spark calendar provides sub components (row header, column header, grid, data groups, layouts etc.) and base classes and building bricks to create your own skins.
Multiple calendar display in column view
In the previous versions, the color of the item renderers was used to differentiate two items that are belonging two different calendar.
In addition to colors, in order to easily compare items from two different calendars, the new component can, for each column representing a day, display a sub column per calendar.
When time is selected in sub columns, you can easily determine the associated calendar, for example to create a task on the selected calendar.
Type of view and time range are not correlated
The calendar's core job is to display events in time through different views. In MX calendar, the kind of view is determined by the duration of the queried time range. This is not the case anymore, now you specifies the time range to display and the display mode: columns or grid.
For example this kind of view were not possible in previous versions:
Time range definition
To set the time range, you can:
Item / renderer association
Before the kind of renderer (vertical, bar, horizontal or label) was hard-coded according to event duration.
Now you can specify the kind of renderer to use for each item using a simple custom function. It is very easy and very powerful.
Here are some examples where the default behavior is overridden:
Here are some screen shots of usage of the renderer kind custom function:
The Calendar components now has the ability to filter out some days of week.
Here are some example of usage of day filtering:
Time of day filtering
Another feature often asked is the ability to choose the first and last hour displayed in the view.
In grid display mode, it only applies on horizontal renderers and not labels.
Only the 8am to 6pm part of the day is displayed: the left side of a cell is 8am and the right side is 6pm.
Minimal sizes supported
If an event is very short is may not be readable. If readability is more important for you than exact time projection on the screen, the layout is now supporting a minimal height or width.
With a minimal height, the event is visible but its end is not correctly projected so the label must include end time.
New grid display mode layout properties
In grid display mode, it is now possible to configure the layout to make the horizontal renderer to fill cells.
The horizontal renderer can now overlap each other like in columns display mode.
The definition of working and non working periods is now delegated to dedicated object.
This work calendar allows to:
As this work calendar is also used in the Gantt chart components (resource chart and task chart), it allows a seamless integration of the calendar component in an application using these two components.
New animation engine
The new architecture allows to create new animations:
The sole transition that is not animated is from one display mode to another.