Chapter 19. Adding a User Interface to Your Component

Now that you've learned how to extend the pipeline with your own custom components, the next step is to improve the user experience and efficiency, by adding a user interface. This will be demonstrated using the ReverseString example from the previous chapter.

Pipeline Components do not require the developer to provide a user interface, because the components ship with a default interface called the Advanced Editor. Although this saves time and resources, the overall user experience can be poor. It can increase the package development time and requires the user to have an intimate knowledge of the component to be able to correctly set the required columns and properties. It is also dangerous and open to data integrity problems, because the more complex the configuration required, the more acute the lack of suitable prompts and real-time validation becomes, making configuration tedious and error-prone. For complex components with multiple inputs, the Advanced Editor will not be suitable. For simple components, however, the built-in Advanced Editor, as used by several stock components, is perfectly acceptable. If you want to add that extra style and guidance for the end user, though, this chapter is for you.

You will learn how to add a user interface to a component and look in detail at each of the stages. You will then be able to apply these techniques to your own components. It is worth noting that this chapter deals exclusively ...

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