Bridge plug-in runtime error.

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glenharvy
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby glenharvy » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:38 pm

MaxLogic.eu wrote:The net bridge is only a bridge between IA and its C# compile time and runtime plugins.
It is only an extension of the IA plug-in architecture, allowing for C# plug-ins.
It is not a bridge between IA and any C# dll.
Keeping that in mind, unfortunately, you are the one to write the GUI part for your plug-in.


Thanks for this post as it has clarified a number of issues I had with this whole thing.

As I now know, .Net Bridge is not a plug-in at all but a seemingly very useful tool enabling C# developers to now design their own plug-ins.

You can no doubt appreciate my disappointment as I renewed my IA subscription primarily on the email's sent to me by IA indicating at least to me that it was a plug-in. Particularly:
IA - Jason Strathmore wrote:The new .NET Plug-In Bridge enables managed code plug-ins to extend the InstallAware IDE and built setups.


Obviously this appealed to me greatly as I don't have the time to spend on creating/designing IA plug-ins. :cry:

There is a commercial opportunity for someone to build the GUI and I hope it may not be to long in the making.

Thanks for your contribution. I hope you have been appropriately rewarded for your efforts.

I look forward to seeing Franscesco's efforts.

MaxLogic.eu
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby MaxLogic.eu » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:10 am

glenharvy wrote:Thanks for this post as it has clarified a number of issues I had with this whole thing.

As I now know, .Net Bridge is not a plug-in at all but a seemingly very useful tool enabling C# developers to now design their own plug-ins.

I would say yes. But it is so far a plug-in, asa it was build based on the win32 plug-in architecture, obviously. Technicaly speeking it is a plug-in, but a specific one, that can not do anything on its own. It is just a kind of proxy / bridge / router, call it as you like, just this "something" between your C# plugin and the IA ;)


glenharvy wrote:You can no doubt appreciate my disappointment as I renewed my IA subscription primarily on the email's sent to me by IA indicating at least to me that it was a plug-in. Particularly:

IA - Jason Strathmore wrote:The new .NET Plug-In Bridge enables managed code plug-ins to extend the InstallAware IDE and built setups.
Obviously this appealed to me greatly as I don't have the time to spend on creating/designing IA plug-ins. :cry:

I think that one should answer someone from IA.
Like I said, I'm either an IA employee, nor an IA Studio expert. But I think, Jason Strathmore is in so far correct, that you can write now your own compile time and runtime plug-ins in C#.

If I understand you correctly, you wish to have the RunDLL plugin to be extended/rewritten/upgraded to allow accessing .Net Assemblies.
This may (or may not) be the next step. With the new net bridge it is perfectly posible to write now such a RunNetDll plugin.
About me:
Pawel Piotrowski is a software developer and a Delphi and C++/C# expert with 15 years of programming experience.
Learn more at http://www.maxlogic.eu

glenharvy
Posts: 141
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby glenharvy » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:14 am

MaxLogic.eu wrote:If I understand you correctly, you wish to have the RunDLL plugin to be extended/rewritten/upgraded to allow accessing .Net Assemblies.
This may (or may not) be the next step. With the new net bridge it is perfectly posible to write now such a RunNetDll plugin.


To me, the Bridge should be transparent and of no concern to the IA end user. The IA end user should just need to specify the c# Dll that he wants to access, the method he wants to call in that DLL and then have the result returned to IA and placed into an IA variable.

I think that your Bridge (and it is your Bridge even if you have given it away) is an excellent tool that can be included in a new IA Plugin that would do all the above.

I believe there would be a commercial market for such a tool and if I had the skills to do it I would do it myself and then sell it for a fee around the $100 mark. I can think of 3 people that would probably pay the $100 almost upfront. 8)

Simple. :D

christ23
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby christ23 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:36 am

Hey guys,

this are fine news. Is it possible to make the "corrected" bridge available here ? Or where can i find a download, or, is it still in the testing phase ?

MaxLogic.eu
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby MaxLogic.eu » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:15 am

glenharvy wrote:To me, the Bridge should be transparent and of no concern to the IA end user. The IA end user should just need to specify the c# Dll that he wants to access, the method he wants to call in that DLL and then have the result returned to IA and placed into an IA variable.

This is a good idea. But it is just a small part of the posibilities you are getting with the whole compile time and runtime plugins.
After I did the bridge, and now refreshed my experience with it ;), it would be no problem at all to write something like that.

glenharvy wrote:I think that your Bridge (and it is your Bridge even if you have given it away) is an excellent tool that can be included in a new IA Plugin that would do all the above.
I believe there would be a commercial market for such a tool and if I had the skills to do it I would do it myself and then sell it for a fee around the $100 mark. I can think of 3 people that would probably pay the $100 almost upfront. 8)

Thanks. Unfortunately, I have little experience in selling software projects on my own.

christ23 wrote:this are fine news. Is it possible to make the "corrected" bridge available here ? Or where can i find a download, or, is it still in the testing phase ?


I'm done with testing, like I wrote ;). Franscesco is still reviewing my adjustmens, As soon as he confirms that it is working with his and mince C# samples, and as soon as he decides whoes (mine or his) C# samples to make available to the public, he will upload the new version here.
About me:
Pawel Piotrowski is a software developer and a Delphi and C++/C# expert with 15 years of programming experience.
Learn more at http://www.maxlogic.eu

christ23
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby christ23 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:26 am

Ok, thanks. So i will be patient until the new samples are finished.

I am looking forward :)

bokkie
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby bokkie » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:39 am

While we're waiting for Francesco to complete his tests I'd like to ask something.

1. I generated another plugin-based project. I looked at the GUIDs in the generated code. One of them was different and where it differed it was literally by one character at the end of the GUID. I can be forgiven for being a little suspicious but if you generate two GUIDs using the utility that VS provides, the probability they'll differ by just one character at the end is quite remote. Not impossible, but improbable I think. I generated another plugin project a couple of minutes later and this time, the GUIDs were identical. I know IA uses GUIDs a lot in the project but if you wanted to register two of your own plugins in IA and they contain the same GUIDs will that cause a problem? I thought I'd ask while we're waiting. Putting it simply, are duplicate GUIDs bad?

2. In the CompileTimeBuild method what is the purpose of the "fetch" parameter? What do you use it for; what does it tell you; what does it tell IA, what does IA use it for?
Peter. Smartly dressed, he still resembles an unmade bed.
InstallAware MVP

MaxLogic.eu
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby MaxLogic.eu » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:16 am

bokkie wrote:1. I generated another plugin-based project. I looked at the GUIDs in the generated code. One of them was different and where it differed it was literally by one character at the end of the GUID. I can be forgiven for being a little suspicious but if you generate two GUIDs using the utility that VS provides, the probability they'll differ by just one character at the end is quite remote. Not impossible, but improbable I think. I generated another plugin project a couple of minutes later and this time, the GUIDs were identical. I know IA uses GUIDs a lot in the project but if you wanted to register two of your own plugins in IA and they contain the same GUIDs will that cause a problem? I thought I'd ask while we're waiting. Putting it simply, are duplicate GUIDs bad?


IA does not alter the GUIDS inside of the sample code when copying it to your project location. In other words, you have to change them yourself if you need to.
But, as far as I know, thee GUIDs are irrelevant in this case. The net bridge uses the file path and the name space to call the appropriate assembly and its methods. The bridge ignores the GUIDs.
In other words, if you wish to go by the rules, change the GUID. But it should not matter if you use the assembly only in conjunction with the net bridge.

bokkie wrote:2. In the CompileTimeBuild method what is the purpose of the "fetch" parameter? What do you use it for; what does it tell you; what does it tell IA, what does IA use it for?



IA help wrote: Fetch: Whether plug-in will require any files in addition to the runtime DLL

My observation: if it is set to true, your assembly and the bridge have access to other files from the set-up.
If it is set to false... IA is not able to load the runtime net bridge.
In other words, set it always to true.
About me:
Pawel Piotrowski is a software developer and a Delphi and C++/C# expert with 15 years of programming experience.
Learn more at http://www.maxlogic.eu

glenharvy
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby glenharvy » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:50 pm

Franseco - Can we have an update on progress please.

Thanks...

FrancescoT
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby FrancescoT » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:45 am

Dear Guys,

I have not forgotten the matter! If you have not received any news from me, it was just because we was working on it.

BUT TODAY IS THE DAY!

The Net Bridge runtimes are finally available with the required fixes we discussed.
To have access to these, please upgrade your InstallAware NX to the new 14.03 version, already available from our download page.
The NET Bridge update comes with an a new Net plugin skeleton that integrates the new changes.
For a complete list of the changes introduced with the new 14.03, please refer to:
http://www.installaware.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8835

Now let me talk a little about InstallAware plugins and Net Brigde.

It is important to clarify (... this because some questions posted by users) that Net Bridge is not a Framework.
Net Bridge is actually an Interface that allows MANAGED CODE, to handle callback comunications request from IA Ide and IA engine.
These requests are notified to the plugin through events. This mechanism is indetical using; C++, Delphi or Net to develop plugins.

The only difference developing IA plugins with NET, is with THE FACT THAT IS not possible to communicate natively with IA, you must use the net Bridge interface to receive InstallAware NOTIFICATIONS.

All the rest of the works that the plugin does using NET it is quite the same as using C++ or anything else.

Said this, for any information regarding the functions usage and parameters, you must refer to InstallAware Plugin documentation.

It is important to clarify also, that Net Bridge doesn't come with anything else additionally. It is the interface only!
The developer is responsable of any code operation executed by the plugin and incorrect operations, may cause serius faults in IA engine functionality.

The Net Bridge doesn't come with a ready to use "User Interface". The developer is responsible to develop it.

Finally, with the development of a plugin you can do what you want. There are no limits.
It all depends on your development skill.

Last but not least, as compendium to the plugin skeleton available with InstallAware NX, I have realized a simple NET plugin ready to use.
My plugin sample is a DUMMY plugin that in reality does nothing, but illustrates with a ready to use sample how it works.
I will post you very soon all the projects required to test it ... so I'm just asking you to be patient for while ... the time required to complete some parts that I think you will find useful.

These last two weeks has been very busy for me, Bridge testing, sample testing and ... many more.

Regards
Francesco Toscano
InstallAware Software Support

White Papers (HowTos) - http://www.installaware.com/publication ... papers.htm
Publications - http://www.installaware.com/publications-review.htm
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bokkie
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby bokkie » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:24 am

Francesco,

Many thanks for your help. I will download the new version and will try it. :)
Peter. Smartly dressed, he still resembles an unmade bed.
InstallAware MVP

christ23
Posts: 82
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby christ23 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:45 am

Francesco,

is it possible that you paste a .zip of the new bridge here in the forum ? I cannot download .exe here at work, and i am the one of us developing plugins and driving the whole installer thing forward at our company.

That would be very kind.

Best regards, ah, and - you have done good work for us !! :)

FrancescoT
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby FrancescoT » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:59 am

Dear christ23,

Unfortunately this is not possible ( ... due internal rules).

I will post my sample ... that's for sure!

Regards
Francesco Toscano
InstallAware Software Support

White Papers (HowTos) - http://www.installaware.com/publication ... papers.htm
Publications - http://www.installaware.com/publications-review.htm
InstallAware Help -F1 anywhere in the InstallAware IDE

bokkie
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby bokkie » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:23 am

christ23, I've downloaded the file here at work but I'll only install it when I get home later and presumably, I'll need to generate a new licence file as well. I'll then create a new plugin using the template and I'll compare it to the one I generated last week when we first had the problems. I might just need the new bridge dlls but there might be some code changes between the plugin solutions. Whatever, I'll be looking at that later on and I'll report back as soon as I can. Of course, you might have downloaded it yourself by then and tested it for yourself. :)
Peter. Smartly dressed, he still resembles an unmade bed.
InstallAware MVP

FrancescoT
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Re: Bridge plug-in runtime error.

Postby FrancescoT » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:49 am

Dear Bokkie,

... by the way, I can assure you and all the other guys, that I have personally tested the Net Bridge runtimes.

Regards
Francesco Toscano
InstallAware Software Support

White Papers (HowTos) - http://www.installaware.com/publication ... papers.htm
Publications - http://www.installaware.com/publications-review.htm
InstallAware Help -F1 anywhere in the InstallAware IDE


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