Coghead 101: The Basics

Coghead 101: The Basics
Coghead - What is It?
Coghead is a web-based application service used to create, manage, and use web-based applications. That means: • You can build and publish applications on it • You can make changes to the applications and control user access • You and other users can use applications on it • Everything runs on Coghead infrastructure that you access through a browser and an Internet connection.

Coghead – Service Structure
Every user that logs on to the Coghead service has access to one or more accounts (that they either created or were given access to by another user). Accounts are how groups of applications and groups of users are organized (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 – Coghead Admin Console User permissions are managed at both the account level and at the application level. For every account, only certain users can add and manage applications or add new users to the account. For every application in an account, users may have full access to the application, or only access to certain tabs or only to certain data records.
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Coghead 101: The Basics Coghead – Application Structure
At the core of the Coghead service are applications. Applications in Coghead provide the following capabilities: • An interface that provides the ability for users (and other applications) to view and enter data and to execute application logic. • Embedded application logic that can execute defined sequences of steps, coordinate user activity, and coordinate interactions with external systems. • A data store that provides for the storage of structured data as well as attachments. Coghead applications use two basic building blocks to achieve these capabilities: • Collections: the containers for stored data in Coghead applications • Actions: the implementation of application logic in Coghead applications Figure 2 shows a typical view that a user may see where the collections appear as tabs across the top and the actions corresponding to a particular collection appear below the tab.

Figure 2 – Example Application Screen

Collections – More Details
A collection in Coghead is simply a set of data that have the same data structure, forms, views, and actions. A typical Coghead application is composed of several collections. For example, the Incident
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Coghead 101: The Basics
Management application shown in Figure 2 has three collections – Shipments, Incidents, & Accounts that are shown as tabs across the top of the screen. Each collection tab can show a list of entries (called records), as well as a form view of a selected record as shown in Figure 2. As mentioned, every record in a particular collection has the same structure, called the data structure. This data structure is analogous to a table structure in a typical relational database, but it allows for richer tree-like structures that one may see in documents of various sorts. The data structure goes hand-in-hand with the form definition associated with any collection. Figure 3 shows a form definition and associated data structure through the form editor in Coghead.

Figure 3 – Form/Data Structure Editor

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Coghead 101: The Basics
Actions – More Details
Actions are how application logic (or business logic) gets built into Coghead applications. Typically, an action appears as a button that you push/click that causes something to happen (they can also be invoked programmatically). Figure 4 shows an example collection called Shipments that has five available actions – New, Save, Save and New, Delete and Create Incident. The New, Save, Save and New & Delete Actions are present for all collections and they enable users to create and save new records, modify existing records, and to delete records. The ‘Create Incident’ action is a custom action that was added by a user with privileges to change the application.

Figure 4 – Example Application Screen

Actions are defined through the action editor shown in Figure 5. An action definition describes the steps that are executed from the time the action is initiated until it completes. There are 5 basic types of steps that can be used in an action definition: • Branch: allows alternative paths to be taken based on specified conditions. • Loop: allows a series of steps to be executed while some condition remains true. • Perform Action: allows a separate action (potentially on a different collection or different application) to be executed.
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Coghead 101: The Basics
• • Alert User: allows interaction with users via a notification or a work item request. Map: allows the manipulation of data within the action scope, e.g. transferring information from one record like a Sales Order to a different record such as an Invoice.

Users with privileges can add as many actions as they need and they can also modify the action definitions of the built-in Save and Delete actions.

Figure 5 – Action Editor

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