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DataFlex for WordPress – Beta Release

August 09,2016
By Chip Casanave

DataFlex for WordPress (“DF4WP”) is a plugin component that enables DataFlex web apps to be embedded into WordPress websites. The goal of the DF4WP project is to provide both DataFlex developers and WordPress users with an easy way to bring together the capabilities of these two different but very complimentary software products. Details about WordPress, the plugin software and its documentation and sample apps are available on the demo website www.dataflex4wordpress.com. This blog is to provide background on the project and what developers can expect from it as of the beta release.

DataFlex for WordPress was originally announced in a forum blog. Much has been done and learned over the past several months. Together, DataFlex and WordPress offer a powerful resource for app developers and website publishers and content managers. They have little in common technically though so connecting them required considerable work – more than anticipated. Along the way, a major security update to WordPress was published requiring additional plugin development to ensure that both the website and any embedded DataFlex apps met high security standards. Finally, the decision was made to enable cross-domain resource sharing (CORS) to allow DF4WP users maximum flexibility and economy when deploying their combined web apps and sites. With CORS, a WordPress site can be hosted on either a Linux or Windows domain while the DataFlex web apps are hosted on a different Windows domain. When used on a single Windows domain, CORS is not required.

Despite the extended time to create it, the resulting DF4WP plugin now offers exciting capabilities for:

  • Creating great looking, highly functional web sites that contain DataFlex web apps – from simple forms to large-scale transactional solutions, and/or
  • To wrap DataFlex web applications with relevant, great looking content and web site functionality of any kind from application documentation to a complete company or ecommerce website.

Those choosing to use DF4WP can take advantage of the vast number of WordPress design templates and designers for the eventual combined web site and app. Assimilation by DataFlex web apps of the selected WordPress design is not automatic. Adjustment to the default DataFlex framework visual properties to conform to a WordPress design is done in the app’s CSS. With such an adjustment, the result can be a DataFlex web app that blends seamlessly into the WordPress design and web site. The extent of visual adjustment will be impacted by the design selected and the objectives of the entire web project. For developers that elect not to make visual changes to web apps themselves, sources of CSS assistance are: other developers in the DataFlex community who provide such services, commercial web developers (readily available in the marketplace) and Data Access Worldwide.

A new DataFlex for WordPress forum has been created for DF4WP in the Resources section of the Data Access Worldwide forums. We encourage you to become familiar with the DataFlex for WordPress project on dataflex4wordpress.com, to experiment with the plugin and to follow and participate in the dialog about it in the forum.