Approaching a myView project

myView is an extension for Inventor, AutoCAD and Vault. It’s a customizable dialog that helps users capturing relevant information based on their company rules. Here a short video. It is a quite popular add-on for companies that likes to bring more structure in their Vault. In order to simplify the implementation of myView, we created a specification template that might help you in your future myView projects. The template can be downloaded here. The template is split in 4 parts:

  1. The configuration: before you start with designing the UI, the set of required fields must be defined. Thus, for all information the user will enter, view or edit an according myView field must be defined. By completing the according table in the template, you will describe the field type, which fields are obligatory, the according label, and so on.
  2. The User Interface: I know, I know. Usually you would start by drawing some lines, place some controls around, as this gives you the feeling of seeing a progress. Please complete the configuration part and take time to specify the user interface first. Let’s define how the fields belong together. In order to structure the myView dialog, the fields will be grouped in logical boxes, into group-boxes. Additionally, fields like drop-down boxes needs a data source that defines which values shall be shown. There might be some fields that depend on each other. For instance a computed field that generates a value based on other fields’ values, or drop-down boxes that shows different values based on the value selected in a dependent field. Once all this information is defined, it becomes very easy to design the UI.
  3. The Logic: In almost every project, the myView shall enable and disable certain fields for editing, depending on specific rules. In simple cases you may want to have different configuration for the different file types. In other cases the fields available to editing shall be dynamic to some user input. So, take the time to define first the behavior of the myView. Additionally you will also define how the files name shall be computed and the location where the file shall be saved.
  4. The Specialties: The 3 items above, covers those topics that are common in every project. But as every project has some specific requirements, this is the section where this will be defined. Here you may have some special functions, or special behavior. The important thing is to not mix these topics with the 3 items of above.

Having a clear understanding of the configuration, the user interface and the logic, will ensure that the fundament of myView is solid. Additionally, by implementing the first 3 items, you’ll have in short time a running myView. This allows you to gather early on customer feedback, before you go too far into details. So, myView projects could be quite fun and successful, if taken from the right prospective. I hope this post and the related template will help you to successfully implement your myView. And as usual, in any case, we are glad to help.

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