Atlas Informatics

The Atlas Xperience™

As a user of Atlas Informatics software you will experience the good feeling software can produce if it's programmed way above average. You can profit from many advantages all the time:

  • Extensive Drag & Drop possibilities in all controls. In particular in data grids, you can select several rows and rearrange them using pointers or Copy&Paste, transfer them to other data grids and, to a limited extent, to other applications. For this purpose, each line has a structured XML representation on the one hand and on the other hand its own representation of how it should look like in textual form. Furthermore, files and folders can be dragged directly from Windows Explorer into the data grids or transferred as a comma or line list. To start Drag & Drop hold the pointer down for half a second.
  • Multi-step 'Undo' and 'Redo' function for all input boxes and also for mass change operations. The old value of input boxes can even be restored when they were cleared by a clear button. Older program technologies allow only for a single undo step. Tip: You can use this to determine how old the technology of a program is.
  • Tight integration of Windows Explorer: From within Windows Explorer, functions of the application can be called directly by right-clicking. Inside the application pathnames can also be pasted from the clipboard instead of having to browse for them cumbersomly, and secondly it's possible to open a Windows Explorer window showing the item. Our Golden Tip for you: If you make a shift-right-click on a file in Windows Explorer you will get an additional entry in the menu about in the middle named "Copy as Path".
  • Lots of sophisticated checks at the time of entering and not only if the dialog is finished (above market average). This will uncover mistakes early, before other inputs are based on them and consume valuable time.
  • Most of the filepath input fields support not only drive letters but also URIs (\\ServerName\Share or \\ip\share).
  • All Atlas programs work just fine with very long paths. This means that there will be no problems when folders are extremely deeply nested and file paths get longer than 260 characters. And there is also no 4 GB limit for file sizes.
  • Resizable and zoomable windows wherever possible. Special care has been taken to enlarge the most important elements if the window is made bigger.
  • File and folder operations with retry boxes in case the file or folder is in use by another process or has the Read-Only flag set. Imagine a processing is in the middle of modifying several files and now it has to be aborted. You would get quite a mess and it would cost a lot of time to sort this out.
  • Filesystem traversing operations are done directly by Windows-Calls instead of those of the .NET Framework which makes them quicker by a factor 20 or more compared to common .NET programs
  • Some file operations will automatically reconnect network drives that were disconnected by Windows or driver faults
  • Wherever possible file and folder deletions are made by just moving them into the trash instead of deleting them. From there they can be restored if necessary. If the drive does not provide a recycle bin, you will get a warning.
  • Browse dialogs keep the folder of the last browse operation. If a path doesn't exist anymore the first existing parent folder will be opened. Depending on the task area, there may be multiple such recalled places so that it fits with the user's expectations. When entering a file or folder name for output, the system checks already in the dialog whether it could write to this location at all. This will spare the user one more trouble later on.
  • At nearly any occasion paths of files and folders allow the use of environment variables, eg. %UserName%, %ComputerName%, %temp% aso.
  • Automatic correction of upper and lower case characters for manually entered file and directory names. It also handles network file systems that distinguish between upper- and lowercase (e.g. Linux and Unix) correctly.
  • Special care was taken that accidentally inserted blanks, indentations or empty lines aren't treated meticulous in locations where it doesn't matter. In many third-party programs, numbers, as an example, can no longer be processed if they are entered with a space at the beginning. Also items searched for by name can simply no longer be found. In contrast Atlas programs behave like humans, spaces are ignored where humans ignore them.
  • All time inputs can be written in a simplified format, eg. "12" instead of "12:00" or "430" instead of "4:30"
  • All timespans can optionally be written in a quick format, eg. 2h30m. The full format is 20d10h5m2s100t (days, hours, minutes, seconds, ticks. 1 second has 10 million ticks). Each number can be of any size (eg. 90m). Blanks are allowed between each component.
  • The date boxes react also on f=first day of month, l=last day of month, t=today, m=tomorrow, a=day after tomorrow, y=yesterday, b=day before yesterday.
  • Yes/no boxes accept a lot of notations, for example y, n, 0, 1, yes, no, on, off
  • Many dropdown boxes support a quick selection by just typing the start and not even having to open the list. This can speed up entering data considerably.
  • In some input boxes placeholders and replacers can be used which reduces manual input significantly
  • Nearly all inputs, many outputs and also undo infos are saved even between closing and reopening the app. Examples are window sizes, window positions, window splitter positions, zoom factors, datagrid column configurations (column orderings, column widths, column data sort orders) aso. Maybe a unique feature is, that previously performed file renames, file trashings and more are also included.
  • Multimonitor aware: Opened windows are automatically brought back to the visible desktop. This works correctly even if you have multiple monitors of different resolutions joined to one big area. Especially useful for presenters.
  • Clear and easily understandable UI that tries to join the user's thinking and presenting functions that could be useful. Usable with the fewest keystrokes and clicks as possible, accompanied by algorithms borrowed from Artificial Intelligence.
  • Helpful: A lot of tooltips everywhere which make the software intuitively usable and give a hint on goodies. What use are goodies if they are hidden?
  • Clear and transparent: A log window documents constantly and thoroughly what the program is doing. This makes it understandable and can also serve to look up later what was already completed and what the results were.
  • Meaningful exception messages: How many times did you get "Error 53" or "File Not Found" from other software and were scratching your head what that means or what file is meant? In contrast, Atlas software always includes the object of interest and explains in an understandable way why something couldn't be done. An example could be "The file x could not be deleted because it is in use by user y". To be able to do that Atlas software contains an analyzer that distilles even the tiniest info out of the internal exception data. In addition, several system calls were extended in such a way that they produce a clear error message in the event of an exception. This required the experience of more than 13 years of .NET programming.
  • Do you know the situation, that an output of the program, eg. a pathname, is right in front of your eyes, but you can't select it and therefore can't copy it over to another program? In Atlas applications any displayed output text can be copied out. In addition, pathname outputs generally provide a double-click or right-click function to open a file explorer window on the pathname.
  • Long lasting operations can be paused at any time by pressing [Pause], and aborted by [Ctrl][Break]. This is especially useful when entire directories are processed.
  • Automatic update delivery system in the background that makes manual checks or downloads unnecessary. An application can also contain live tables that are updated daily from the Atlas web site. This way you can even profit from improvements without even updating the application.
  • Online web pages with lots of informations that can be brought up by a key press in the current window (context sensitive)
  • Use of the most advanced programming language, most advanced UI technology and most advanced architecture scheme (C#, WPF, MVVM)
  • Unit tested, failure proof and robust programming wherever possible. In addition, there are even programs in use that check the source code for common programming errors. This results in programs you can rely on, especially after an update.
  • Updates with new features and fixes over a long period of time, but only after being well tested and not every second day. Some tables are updated daily from the Atlas server so you can profit from improvements without even installing an update.
  • Bug sending system (if you agree) that provides the programmers with a lot of info to fix it
  • Designed and implemented by a long time professional, a certified senior software engineer of the highest degree
  • Many more details that can't all be described here

Atlas Software isn't just jotted out pragmatically, but designed and constructed with the professional hand crafting of an engineer to get high quality results. This is the list of basic principles:


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