Publishing to the PilotFish Interface Exchange (PIE)
In the previous tutorial, the ability of the PIE to provide pre-built Interfaces and other packages was demonstrated. Here, we will cover how to publish and share your own interfaces and components to the PIE. Just as downloading PIE packages is as easy as a few clicks, so too is the process of sharing them.
As always, we start in the eiConsole, at the file management screen. First, we select the Interface, or interface component, to be shared. We right-click on it to see the options that we have.
There are many options that we have to interact with a Route in the file management screen. The ones that we care about the most are at the bottom, the four last items with icons of two people side by side. These are the PIE sharing icons. There are four different ways to share an interface through the PIE.
- Product Information Only… Share just raw product information, without any of the components of the interface.
- Share Selected Component… Share just the component currently selected in the file management pane.
- Share Working Directory as Bundle… Share the entire working directory, packaged as a PilotFish .eipb bundle.
- Share Working Directory… Share the entire working directory as a normal PIE component.
Don’t worry, all four open the same wizard, and the process for setting them all up is virtually identical. The differences are based on what components get shared and how those components are packaged, which is determined at the time you make your selection here.
For our tutorial here, we are going to select Share Selected Component…, and share just a single sample route.
When we click this option the PIE Wizard appears. On the left-hand side is a list of the various tabs with settings to configure for sharing our route through the PIE. We will work our way through all of the tabs as we go through this tutorial. Like the rest of the eiConsole, this wizard is designed to be simple to work with, while still having the ability to define complex settings if you choose to.
In the screenshot above, you can see red dots to the left of several items on the first screen we have open. Those dots should be familiar to anyone who has been working with the eiConsole. They indicate fields that are mandatory for this process and have not yet been filled in. Any fields marked with this red dot are the minimum required fields that must be filled out to publish to the PIE.
In the screenshot above, we are on the first tab, the Product Summary. Here, we include some basic information about what it is that we’re sharing, as well as whether this is a free or commercial product.
The first field on this page, Resource Type, is defined by our selection from the initial right-click menu in the file management pane.
The next tab is the Product Details page. Here, we can add a detailed description of the product in HTML Format, if we choose to. As you can see, there is no red dot, so this is an optional, not required, feature.
The next tab is the Product Prerequisites page. This page allows us to specify libraries or external products required to run the interface or interface components.
The Licensor Contacts page allows us to specify individuals to be contacted for general information, technical information, sales and support. As you can see, the information for the eiConsole user who started this process is populated here by default.
Product Attachments allows us to include files, such as pricing information, demonstrations and tutorials. These can be uploaded from disks or specified via URL.
The Release Information tab allows us to specify a version number as well as any version-specific documentation. The documentation is written using our HTML editor.
Publish and Distribute
And then we move on to the Publish and Distribute screen. Here we specify exactly how we want to share the product. A product can be shared as Information Only, Public (meaning that information is searchable and the product itself is downloadable), Commercial/Protected (meaning that information is visible but the product cannot be downloaded for free) or Private (meaning that this information cannot be searched out on the web, the information is only visible, and the product downloadable, by those with whom the publisher chooses to share).
This page has the publishing agreement PilotFish has with our users. It needs to be acknowledged by selecting the indicated checkbox before proceeding.
Initial Download Agreement
Whenever a user downloads an item from the PIE, they are presented with a download agreement. By default, PilotFish provides you with our standard PIE component download agreement. If you wish to update it with additional language that you want for your particular product, you can do so by using the Set Agreement button in the bottom right.
Extended Resource Details
This page is for setting additional resources for the package you plan to distribute. If you don’t set these, the PilotFish default values will be used.
Publishing the Product
Well, now that you’ve configured the component you wish to distribute through the PIE, it’s time to publish. Do so by selecting the Finish button at the bottom of the wizard. NOTE: If you missed any mandatory fields, a warning dialog will pop up informing you of what you missed.
When you go to publish a PIE component, you will be presented with our Data Privacy Checklist. You must confirm all three options to proceed. This is an important time to think about the product you are publishing and take these points seriously. They are provided to help you avoid accidentally compromising your own private data.
When you are sure everything is in order, select all three items and click OK to begin publishing your component.
When the process is finished, you will be presented with a confirmation dialog. If you go to the PIE website, you will find your product has been published there and is ready to be downloaded.
This concludes our tutorial on how to publish to the PIE.