Some weeks ago I blogged about a preview of a tool that allows developers to import controls from OpenNTF into custom apps in Domino Designer. There were a lot of positive comments which allowed my colleagues Guo Yi and Chen Yang Jun to find some time to finish a first version. Today they published this release.

Additionally I deployed/uploaded it to the OpenNTF update site so that developers can install it via drag and drop. Drag this extension.xml and drop it onto your My Widgets sidebar panel in Lotus Notes.

There is a video that describes the tool, both how to use it to import controls as well as how to use it to export controls.

At this point there are only a handful of controls that are displayed in the import dialog. When importing a control in most cases you only want to import the minimal set of design elements. Often you don't want to import the XPages sample pages for example. That's why developers should provide a so called importlist.xml file and put it in the zip file. This file includes the list of design elements/files that will be imported by the tool. The file is generated by the export dialog automatically.

Right now only the business card control and Paul Withers' audit comments control support this. The other controls in the import dialog import the complete database only. For now I kept these controls in there to demonstrate the difference. However I tend to only show controls with the importlist.xml file as a policy. If you think that listing also controls that don't have these config files provides value, please respond below. I think in the optimal case we'd have another checkbox "import core control only vs control plus sample pages" but as long as we don't have this I'd think it makes more sense to only import the core control design elements. Again, speak up if you disagree.

I'd like to ask all control contributors to update their controls with the configuration files. I'll then add the controls to the list in the import tool.

Here is an example of an importlist.xml file:

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