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UI Plugins: A Brief History

By: Ismir Tufek

My name is Ismir Tufek and I work in AGI’s technical support group. I am responsible for questions regarding customization of the AGI products. This blog is the first in the series dedicated to the UI Plugins.

AGI has always recognized the need for the customer to customize their interaction with the STK Desktop application. STK 5 was the first STK version that was only released on the Windows operating system. STK 5 included Web Browser control, which allowed users to create HTML pages that could interact with the STK Desktop application. I started my career at AGI in 2003 and my first assignment was to create some of the first sample HTML utilities.

HTML pages were great first step, but they lacked even basic development tools. All interactions with STK were done through Connect Commands. Things got a little easier after the introduction of the STK Object Model, but it was still not an optimal solution. Enter UI Plugins that were first introduced with STK 9.1.

The initial version of the UI Plugins allowed the user to create custom user interface panels, toolbars, and context menu entries. STK 10.0 added an option to add commands to the main application menu. STK 10.1 allowed users to install their plugins without requiring administrator rights on the user computer. STK 11 introduced a method for detecting globe mouse events.

In the future blogs I will explain how STK interacts with the plugins (the plug part), discuss installing and registering the plugins, describe Visual Studio template for creating the UI plugins, and other topics.

Posted: 10/28/2016 6:55:52 AM