Navigation

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1 Introduction

This document describes the concept of navigation in Mendix applications and the properties of a profile. The Navigation document can be found by expanding the Project node in the Project Explorer. It defines the navigation structure of the application for users. It also allows you to set the home page of your application and to define the menu structures that can be used in menu widgets.

A user’s home page can vary based on their user roles.

2 Profiles

At the heart of the navigation model in Mendix, there are seven types of profiles:

  • Responsive
  • Hybrid tablet app online
  • Hybrid tablet app offline
  • Hybrid phone app online
  • Hybrid phone app offline
  • Tablet browser
  • Phone browser
  • Native phone

Users that access the app via a particular device type are automatically redirected to the homepage of the appropriate profile based on the profile type (for details, see the Redirection to Profiles section below).

The device type of the currently logged-in user is available in microflows as the $currentDeviceType variable. The type of this variable is the enumeration System.DeviceType, which has the values Phone, Tablet, and Desktop. You can use $currentDeviceType to perform different actions based on the device type. A typical example is to show different pages based on the device type.

2.1 Responsive

Every app always has one profile of a Responsive type which cannot be deleted. This is the default profile used by a Mendix app.

2.2 Hybrid Profiles

A Mendix app can be installed on a tablet or phone as an app by creating a PhoneGap hybrid package. Hybrid profiles can be accessed from such a PhoneGap app. Hybrid app profiles are determined by device type (phone or tablet) and by the offline accessibility feature enabled (online or offline). If no profile exists with the requested combination, an error will be displayed in the app.

Hybrid offline apps are designed to allow users to continue using their Mendix app even when they have no internet connection. However, certain restrictions apply. For an overview of the ramifications of running an offline device profile, see Offline first.

Four different hybrid profiles are available:

  • Hybrid tablet app online
  • Hybrid tablet app offline
  • Hybrid phone app online
  • Hybrid phone app offline

2.3 Tablet Browser

All the users accessing a Mendix app from a browser on a tablet will automatically be redirected to a profile of the Tablet browser type. If no profile exists of that type, the user will be redirected to the Responsive profile.

2.4 Phone Browser

All the users accessing the Mendix app from a browser on a phone will automatically be redirected to a profile of the Phone browser type. If no profile exists of that type, the user will be redirected to the Responsive profile.

2.5 Native Phone

A Mendix app can be installed on a phone as a native application which has the benefit of a more responsive UI. The app will also be offline-first, which means all the data is stored on the phone and only synchronized with the server on request.

3 Redirection to Profiles

Mendix Runtime automatically redirects users to the home page of the appropriate device type based on the device they are using. This happens by examining the User-Agent string that is sent by the device. The default configuration for this redirection is as follows:

User-Agent String Regular Expression Device Type
Android.*Mobile|iPhone|iPod|BlackBerry Phone
Android|iPad Tablet
(other) Responsive

To configure the regular expressions used to match phone or tablet users, see Custom Settings.

It is also possible to force the client to use a specific profile by adding a profile query string parameter to the URL when visiting a Mendix application. The possible values are the names of the profiles, which are Responsive, Tablet, Phone, HybridTablet, and HybridPhone. For example:

https://myapp.mendixcloud.com/index.html?profile=Responsive

4 Navigation Profile Properties

A profile can be added with the Add navigation profile button. Only one profile per type is allowed. While adding the profile, it is possible to copy the settings from an existing profile.

4.1 General

4.1.1 Application Title

This specifies the application title. This title is shown in the title bar of the browser.

4.2 Home Pages

4.2.1 Default Home Page

The default home page indicates which page or microflow is opened after a user signs in. If role-based home pages (see below) are specified for one of the user roles of the user, then that home page will be used instead.

4.2.2 Role-Based Home Pages

By using role-based home pages, you can show different home pages for different users. If a user logs in, the first role-based home page of which the user role matches the user role of the user is displayed. If no match is found, the default home page is used.

For each role-based home page, you can specify the user role it applies to and the target (page or microflow) that will be opened.

4.3 Authentication

If an anonymous user tries to access a resource to which the user has no access, the configured sign-in page will be displayed, prompting the user to sign in.

If the sign-in page is set to none, a built-in pop-up window will appear instead. The page title is translatable and may be overridden.

4.4 Menu

Each device type contains a default menu. You can use these menus in menu widgets. Defining the menu for a device type works the same as when editing a menu document. For more details, see Menu.

4.3 Profile Buttons

4.3.1 Change Profile Type

Allows for changing the profile type.

4.3.2 Delete

This deletes the profile. If menu widgets are still referring to the profile, errors will appear. It is possible to undo the deletion of a profile.

4.3.2 Sync configuration

Only available on profiles supporting offline synchronization.

This opens the Customize offline synchronziation dialog which is used for overriding offline synchronization settings for specific entities. For each entity the download setting is shown. A default is automatically determined by analyzing the model, but can be overridden in which case the setting will appear in boldface. The download settings are one of the following:

  • All objects – download all objects of this entity type
  • By XPath – download only those objects matching the specified XPath constraint
  • Nothing – download none of the objects of this entity type

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