Kofax TotalAgility Feature Evolution
Kofax TotalAgility has witnessed many changes over the years, the most significant being Kofax TotalAgility 6 followed by Kofax TotalAgility 7 and now the recent release of Kofax TotalAgility 7.1. Whilst feature enhancements have been mostly progressive with the exception of some significant backward steps from version 5.5 to 6, some changes have had their critics from experienced Kofax TotalAgility users and developers (including myself).
One such example, whilst at first glance would seem minor, it makes a major difference with HCI (Human Computer Interaction) capability for the end user. In my opinion, it results in a backward step for the Kofax TotalAgility product. This feature is related with the implementation of default button click action against the trigger of an Enter key press from the keyboard.
Default Button Feature on TotalAgility Forms
Kofax TotalAgility users and developers who have worked on KTA 5.x and its predecessors will remember the availability of a form default button concept. It was a very useful feature used by most of the TotalAgility developers to trigger custom form actions from a button Clicked event, whenever enter key was pressed by the end user.
It was quite disappointing to see this feature being pulled out in Kofax TotalAgility 6 and Kofax TotalAgility 7. It was a very useful feature as far as the KTA customization procedure is concerned. Despite a plea to Kofax for the reintroduction of a similar default button concept in KTA 6, it did not materialize either in KTA 7 or KTA 7.1.
HCI Usefulness of Default Button Function
In order to understand the problem, let us consider an example where this default button function proves to be quite useful for the end users. A very simple example of its HCI usefulness would be the login screen, while another example would be the barcode scanning transaction. Let us have a look at these two situations in detail.
Processing Enter Key Trigger on Login Form in KTA 6/ KTA 7
Assume a login screen on your computer screen asking to enter your username and password. After typing your username and password, do you prefer to click the Login button using mouse or do you like to hit the Enter key quickly from the keyboard!
If I am not wrong, all of us prefer hitting the Enter key, rather than placing the mouse pointer over the “Login” button to submit the details typed in the login form.
In KTA 6 and KTA 7, extension of this functionality was not available. The function can only be triggered by holding the mouse and clicking on the “Login” button, rather than simply pressing Enter key from the keyboard.
Find Button Trigger from Keyboard in Barcode Scanning Transaction
We experienced another case depicting the similar situation while implementing a customized Kofax TotalAgility solution for one of our clients. Our client’s process uses barcode scanning to locate an activity for further processing. Initially, we were developing this form in KTA 6 (KTA 7.1 was not launched by that time).
It was a big challenge for us because of the unavailability of default button feature in Kofax TotalAgility 6. By using out of the box KTA feature, the user has to scan the bar code and then use the mouse to click a “Find” button.
Embedded ASP.Net Form Implementation for Button Control Feature in KTA 6
You can imagine a user’s frustration at having to use the bar code scanner first and then click the mouse to process the transaction further. It is an unacceptable solution that we would not want to present to a client. I planned to resolve this problem by adding an embedded ASP.Net form to implement a custom control feature to offer a rich user friendly experience.
After all, technologies are developed to simplify processes for the end users, rather than making it appear more complex for them. Success of technologies are highly dependent on their user-friendly behavior.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius… and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
– Albert Einstein
I designed a customized solution to resolve both the issues; one related with the login screen while another related with the barcode scanner operation. Moreover, the customization is quite general in nature and can be adopted to many similar situations.
- In order to resolve the login screen issue, we can simply detect Enter key press in the password text box. After detecting and capturing the Enter key press action, we can simulate a button Clicked event on the Login button.
- Considering the other problem behind processing barcode scanner transaction, we can program the scanner to send the Enter key trigger at the end of barcode scanner transaction. Quite similar to the situation 1 as mentioned above, we can simulate a button Clicked event on the Find button when enter key is detected.
- txtPassword – The textbox in which you want to detect the Enter key press.
- btnLogOn – The button control that you want to simulate on the Clicked event trigger.
t1.onkeyup = function(evt)
if (evt.which == 13 || evt.keyCode == 13)
Save the form and release it to test the implementation on login screen. Enter the username and password; then without losing focus on the password field hit the enter key. You will see that the login button actions are executed.
I agree, this solution is not a 100% replacement for the implementation of form Default button, but it is one of the most viable solutions to meet the challenges of the missing default button on Kofax TotalAgility 7.1 customized forms.
I would be happy to hear any suggested improvement to the above procedure. It would also be a pleasure to answer any question related to the above implementation procedure.
In my upcoming posts, I am planning to cover many more examples to enhance your experience of Kofax TotalAgility 7.1. I will be featuring some more examples experienced by myself as well as other clients, users and developers. Stay tuned for the next update.
You can also submit your questions as well as examples using the Contact Us form. We can work together to make the Kofax TotalAgility experience better for all of us. Let us make Kofax TotalAgility 7.1 a revolution in the emerging Smart Process Applications market.