Ext Designer 1.1 Released
We’re pleased to announce the next version of Ext Designer, version 1.1, is released and available to download. Ext Designer 1.1 brings several key features to promote the reusability of components created within Ext Designer and brings additional stability and performance improvements.
To date, you’ve been able to reuse a component in a project by means of the Promote to Class and Linked Instance features. But these components are still within the confines of a single project. What if you wanted to reuse a component across multiple projects? Up until now, there has been no way to transfer components between projects. Ext Designer 1.1 changes this today.
Save to Toolbox
Save to Toolbox is a new feature allowing you to save your project’s components directly to the component Toolbox for later use. This new feature enables you to save and reuse components across multiple projects with extreme ease.
To get started, right-click on any of your top-level components in the Component Tree and select “Save to Toolbox” (you may notice another new feature here, but we’ll visit that shortly). A “Save to Toolbox” dialog will appear allowing you to give a custom Name to your component, as well as the ability to store the component in any of the available Categories in the Toolbox. Or, simply type your own Category name to create a grouping of your own. When your component is saved to the Toolbox, it will appear with your specified Name, within the specified Category, and represented by a nice noticeable green component icon.
Save to Toolbox stores a snapshot of your component, along with any associated Linked Instances or Stores. What this means is that any changes that you make to the original component in your project will not propagate to your Toolbox copy. This keeps your Toolbox copy pristine, and could also be used as a way to version your components.
What if you want to update a Toolbox snapshot? No problem! If you use the same Name as your snapshot in the Save to Toolbox dialog, you will be given an opportunity to overwrite the snapshot; and even save to a new Category if you wish. Right-clicking on a Toolbox component will present some additional actions, such as Delete to remove your Toolbox component, and Rename to give it a new name.
Component Import & Export
Save to Toolbox provides a great way to reuse components across projects. But, what about taking those components out of the Designer altogether and sharing them across computers and users? Well, now you can do that too! And yes, it’s just as easy as saving to the Toolbox.
Having your components in file format gives a lot of freedom to organize and reuse your components. Do you want to share your components with other members of your development team to use in their own projects? Do you want to do source control versioning on particular components? Now, you can.
Once again, you will right-click on any of your top-level components in the Component Tree, and this time select “Export to File”. A file save dialog will appear, allowing you to choose a file name and location to save your component. The default file extension for Ext Designer components is “.xdc”. When you commit the save, you will be notified in the bottom Status Bar that your component exported successfully.
OK, excellent. So now how do you re-import these components? You can right-click anywhere in the Toolbox and choose “Import from File”, or you can simply click the nice large “+” button at the bottom of the Toolbox: open your component file, give your component a Name and a Category, and you’re done. Your component is now in your Toolbox and available for use, just as if you did a “Save to Toolbox”.
Ext Designer 1.1 takes you to the next level by allowing full use and flexibility of the components you create in the application; across your projects, across your machines, and across your team. We’re confident the improved stability and the new component-oriented features will prove to be a tremendous asset in the daily use of the application.