AutoCount Plug-in Package Builder
Posted on September 8, 2014 | By Mohd Imran
The AutoCount Plug-in Package Builder is a program created by AutoCount Sdn. Bhd. to help developers create plug-ins with standardized installers for the company’s flagship accounting software AutoCount Accounting.
This program helps by packaging the plug-in created by the developer into the AutoCount Plug-in Package (.app) file and thus eliminating the need for the developer to create their own installers.
Obtaining the program
This program is available to all users that have registered as a AutoCount Developer to AutoCount Sdn. Bhd. To register as a AutoCount Developer, you must first write-in (in the future, registration via website will be available) to AutoCount Sdn. Bhd. You must also include your email address (if for multiple developer, their email address as well) as the email address(es) will be used as the AutoCount Developer ID.
When your application is accepted, a notification email will be sent to the email address that you have specified. This email will contain your AutoCount Developer password together with the download link for the AutoCount Plug-in Package Builder and AutoCount Plug-in Package Viewer programs.
The ID and password is used together with the AutoCount Plug-in Package Builder to verify that the plug-in created is by the user registered as AutoCount Developer. This verification process is done during the build process and requires that the computer running the Package Builder be connected to the internet so that it may contact the AutoCount servers to confirm the email address and password.
Below is the download link to the current AutoCount Plug-in Package Builder and Viewer (compatible for AutoCount Accounting version 1.8.8)
Installation of the AutoCount Plug-in Package Builder is standard. After downloading the program, extract the installer (if the program is zipped) and execute the setup as per normal installation procedure.
Using the program
Starting the AutoCount Plug-in Package Builder program will lead you to a New Project window. Before starting work on creating the AutoCount Plug-in Package for your plug-in, you may wish to enter your AutoCount Developer ID (the email that you registered yourself as) and password into Profile tab. Just click on the Change Developer Id button and enter your ID and password into it.
After entering the Developer ID information, you may begin to create the AutoCount Plug-in Package file by first selecting the Plug-in Assembly File (.dll) that you wish to package. To do so, please click on the Open Plug-in Assembly File button and navigate to the required .dll file that you wish to add into the package.
Selecting a correctly build AutoCount Plug-in .dll file will cause the program to automatically fill the following information into the Properties tab:
- Plug-in Assembly Filename
- Minimum Accounting Version
- Plug-in Name
- Manufacturer Url
- Sales Phone
- Support Phone
based on the information that is already provided in the plug-in .dll itself. For further information on how to set the information for fields 2 to 10 in the plug-in source code, please navigate to the AutoCount Accounting Plug-in (version 2) topic.
You can then fill the description of the plug-in which describes the function of the plug-in in the Description field. The What’s new field is used to fill in the change log done to the plug-in by you.
If you wish to package files together with the plug-in, navigate first to the Files tab before using the Add Files button. After selecting the files you wish to package together, you may select to enable the option Execute After Extracted which will execute the file added after it is extracted into the plug-in running computer. Example of files that you can package together with the plug-in would be the sql scripts needed to modify the database or the compilation file created for reports that go together with the plug-in.
Installation Scripts tab
For advance developers, if you wish to add installation scripts into the package, you can do so by using the Installation Scripts tab. If you do not wish to do so make sure that there is no script present in it.
The Script Template button will generate 3 template methods (shown below) which you can modify to enter the scripts that you wish to run during the installation process of the plug-in. The Check Script button will check for errors in the script entered while the Clear Script button will remove all scripts that has been entered.
Building and Verifying Package
To build the plug-in package, just click the Build Package button to begin the process. A note to developers, if you did not properly enter or entered information different from what is stored in the AutoCount server, the following 4 fields will be automatically updated with the information stored in the AutoCount server:
- Manufacturer Url
- Sales Phone
- Support Phone
This is also one of the reason why you must be connected to the internet when building your plug-in package as it requires information from AutoCount servers. For the Copyright field, if there is a difference between what is stored in the server, it will only just prompt you about the difference which you can ignore and continue on, or modify to follow the stored version.
After finishing the build, you may wish to verify the plug-in package before sending it to your customer. To do so just click on the Verify Package button.