A post on the SalesLogix newsgroup asked for the steps on creating a custom smart part. For this installment I am just going to detail out the steps.
There are times that the out of the box functionality in SalesLogix web may not be enough to support a business requirement. When this occurs breaking out VS and doing some hand coding will be required.
The steps to creating the Smart Part are actually quite straight forward;
1. Create a Smart Part in application architect and position it correctly in the target page
What we are doing is giving a starter point smart part that will give us access to the entity model and other services. There is no reason for us to code this by hand.
2. Position the Smart Part accordingly in the target page
The Smart Part though it has no immediate functionality has a position (Detail, Tab, or Dialog). The reason we do this up front work is that it will be hosted in the web site and we have a way to test the changes outside of the AA build/deploy/test loop.
3. Build the web application and deploy
We want the smart part and the web to be completely deployed so we can open it up in Visual Studio. This will ensure access to the complete framework and services.
4. Open the web up in Visual Studio
Self explanatory but this now gives us access to the underlying web application.
5. Locate your smart part in the solution explorer and make the required custom changes.
6. Test the smart part while in VS. In the project properties I edit the start action. By default it is “Build Web Site”. This can add considerable time to the process. Change it to “No Build”
7. When you are happy with the customization. In App Architect delete the old Smart Part and import the new one.
8. Finally update the page settings to point to the new custom smart part, build and deploy