The Connected Business SDK is an integrated collection of tools, patterns, reusable components and prescriptive instructions that guide developers throughout the development process.
Developer level customizations involve the creation and modification of plug-ins using the API or the source code. The API’s exposed elements can be used to create plug-ins that work with the application. Developers can use the source code to modify the pre-existing functionalities of the plug-ins of the application.
When creating programs, developers usually end up setting the projects or classes they need and typing long lines of code, sometimes repetitively. Errors can seep in the programs due to wrong spelling, incomplete structures and invalid references. Intuitive development environments such as Visual Studio 2010 reduce these sources of errors a great deal yet logic errors can still persist. This is especially true in modular applications where one application can consist of a large number of interconnected programs. Developers therefore have to keep track of their relationships as well.
The creation of the Connected Business Platform - powered plug-in applications requires different software layers to be constructed and interconnected as illustrated in the Connected Business Platform Architecture Overview. These layers are then collected as a project and compiled into a DLL which is connected to the main application as a plug-in. If done manually, the developer will have to write code that initializes the plug-in to the platform and code that defines the function of the plug-in. The initialization code follows a pattern and could be tedious to write. For this purpose, the SDK includes the Connected Business SDK, a Visual Studio 2010 guidance tool that initializes these software layers and the necessary code within them. This simplifies the developer’s task by letting him or her focus on the code that defines the plug-in’s custom functionality. Be reminded, however, that this does not “dumb down” the task of programming plug-ins by reducing plug-in creation as a simple point-and-click operation. Knowledge regarding how the application operates and programming essentials are still required; the time spent on typing code is nonetheless reduced. Beginners will find this tool extremely helpful and instructive, as it will give them further insight into the plug-in internals.