Depot is a structured data editor for Visual Studio Code that leverages Code's Custom Editor API to allow you to edit JSON data like a spreadsheet. Data you would normally store in raw JSON or XML can instead be stored, edited, and managed, all through a single Depot file.
Download as a Visual Studio Code Extension Here
- Edit data normally stored as raw JSON in a spreadsheet style interface
- A Depot file contains its data model, making the file itself portable to any other program
- Because the file uses JSON with newlines, you can easily track changes to data values or the model itself through source control
Watch an overview video here
- Install Depot as an extension in VS Code or through the Visual Studio Marketplace
- Once installed, use the "Create a new Depot file" command to create a new Depot file in your workspace.
- Click on the file, create a new sheet, and start working!
You can also manually create a Depot file by creating a file with this as its contents and giving it a
Note that once Depot is installed, the extension will try to open any file with
.dpo through the Depot editor. If you want to manually create a Depot file, I suggest creating the file as a
.txt file, adding the above contents, then changing the file's extension to
Custom File Extensions
You can also use a custom file extension for Depot by editing your
settings.json file and adding the following line:
In the above example, clicking on a file with
.bar would also open that file for editing in Depot.
Other Extension Settings
depot.defaults.newFileName allows you to set the default name for a new Depot file created through the Command Palette command.
About / Why
Depot is meant as a way to allow people to edit data for their applications and programs in a manner that is common for data editing (spreadsheets) but also structured and indexable (JSON).
A Depot file is special because it contains not only its data, but also stores its data model inside itself. This means any given Depot file can be loaded and used anywhere, as the file itself contains the instructions for reading it. This also means the file can perform validation of itself at edit time, making sure that variables are within defined ranges or point to other valid sheets and lines.
Additionally, because Depot uses JSON with newlines, your data can be easily versioned through things like Git. Any changes to the data model or data itself will be reflected in the Depot file, with the same accuracy as normal source control.
Lastly, Depot could not exist without the work done by Nicholas Canasse on CastleDB. Depot is heavily inspired by CastleDB, but with the goal of bringing structed data editing to the IDE itself instead of needing to use another program. If you're familiar with CastleDB, you can read more about the similarites and differences between it and Depot here.
Under the hood
A Depot file (
.dpo) is just JSON, but unlike normal JSON it's organized through Sheets, Lines, and Columns.
Read more about sheets on the wiki here
At the highest level, a Depot file consists of some number of sheets. These sheets are invididual collections of structured data, with the added benefit that they can also reference each other.
A given sheet also has some number of lines. You can think of a sheet's lines as entries in the database defined by the sheet. Lines have data based on what columns are in the sheet it is a part of.
For a deeper dive on columns and their types, click here
Columns define the fields of a sheet that a line can have data for. Columns can be specific primitive types (
int, etc.), but can also be other special types unique to Depot:
||A generated GUID for the given line. These cannot be edited.
||guid as string
||The ID of a column. These are ideally unique, and Depot will warn you if you duplicate the value.
||index in sheet as string
||A standard line of text.
||Longer line of text. These fields can be resized in the editor.
||True / False boolean value.
||true or false
||Path to an image relative to the location of the Depot file (displayed in the sheet)
||String relative path to the image
||Exclusive choice between a set number of choices
||Several choices between a set number of choices
||Array of selected values as strings
||A reference to a line in a sheet in the current Depot file
||String GUID of selected line
||A reference to a sheet in the current Depot file
||String GUID of selected sheet
||An array of structured data
||Array of structured values
||Path to a file relative to the location of the Depot file (displayed in the sheet)
||String relative path to the image
||This is a top level JSON object that allows you to specify properties for lines and index them directly from a line instead of needing to use an array.
||This is a top level Array object that allows you to specify an array of values and index them directly from a line instead of needing to use a list on entries.
For more in-depth documentation on Depot, you can read the wiki here.
Edge Cases WIP
- When the sheet a line reference field references is deleted, the line value goes to "", the default values are cleared, and the sheet is reset to "".
- When the linw a line reference field references is deleted the lines that pointed to that line get their linked value set to "". Defaults that pointed to that get pointed to ""
- If the sheet column is modified for a line reference field, the defaults and values stay as their old values but display an error that they link to an unreachable value
- NEW COLUMN Grid
- Grids allow you to define top level arrays that can be indexed like
sheets.lines.myGrid. A grid is able to contain values of different types, as configured in the grid settings themselves.
- Grids, like Properties, can be nested in nested sheets and properties.
- Grid values are limited to Depot's "primitive" types, so
longtext. The Grid could be expanded to contain other types in the future!
- NEW COLUMN: Properties
- Properties allow you to create schemas and data structures that don't need to be indexed by an array. For example, doing something like sheets.lines.props.key is now possible
- Before, everything needed to be a sheet/list, so you would need to do sheets.lines.props.key. If you only have one set of props, you don't want to use arrays all the time!
- Nesting: Properties can contain other properties and lists, and list and sheets can contain any number of properties. Nest away!
- NEW COLUMN: File Reference
- Similar to the image reference column, a file refrence allows you to select a file and link it in by path to your Depot file.
- This is useful if you want to use a Depot file to corrall all your build platform options, and you want to set file references to platform specific build scripts
- Bug Fixes:
- Fixes issue where renaming display columns messed up line references that pointed to the affected sheet
- Updates Mult-select fields to use checkmark options instead of Ctrl/Cmd+Click
- Adds ability for Multi to display horizontally or vertically
- Adds in List preview in lines to see what items are in a given list. Uses ID to display values
- Adds in concept of "Column Updating" for a column. If the default schema of a column is updated (for example, Multi-Select got the "displayType" property), Depot will prompt you to update "older" versions of that schema to add in any new values.
Initial release of Depot
Image samples in the example folder are from game-icons.net under the CC BY 3.0 license