In This Chapter
Servoy Developer is the RAD tool used to build software applications. It includes a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) graphical form builder, combined with sophisticated data modeling tools, a scripting engine, a runtime debugger, and robust APIs.
Servoy Developer is shipped as a plug-in with the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE).
Eclipse is an open-source, industry standard, praised for its rich feature set, productivity and extensibility, and is the most widely used IDE on the planet.
Developers who are familiar with Eclipse, should feel at home using Servoy.
A workspace is where all the developer's work is stored in Eclipse. It is a file location on the developer's machine and contains files for each project as well as metadata for Eclipse. The developer can have multiple workspace folders, but can only work with one at a time.
Eclipse organizes different code sets into projects. In Servoy Developer, there are the following projects
- Resource projects - these projects store information about databases, styles, users, and i18n data.
- Solution projects - all solutions are stored in separate projects in Servoy Developer
A perspective in Eclipse is a set of views for a particular purpose. In short, a perspective contains everything you see on the screen in Servoy Developer.
When you open Servoy Developer for the first time (after closing the Welcome Screen), the first perspective you will see is the Servoy Design perspective. This perspective contains views for working with Servoy solutions and all their parts. Other perspectives used when programming in Servoy include Debug, Resource, and Team Synchronizing, among others.
Perspectives can be customized to the taste of the developer. Views can be moved or removed, and the perspective can be saved with a different name so it is handy for the developer to switch
A view is a window within a perspective. Views can provide information to the developer, show objects or functions that can be used in the solution, or be used to edit the solution. Editor views are used to build forms or methods in Servoy; these are the views that are in the middle of the perspective.
Servoy Design Perspective
The Servoy Design perspective is where the average Servoy developer will spend most of their development time. This perspective contains many views that help the developer be productive and efficient. Some of more important views are listed below
The Solution Explorer
The Solution Explorer view is an hierarchal tree view of all the objects available in Servoy Developer. It is central to the Servoy development environment; everything you can do in Developer can be found in the Solution Explorer.
The Solution Explorer has two parts, the tree of objects (appears on top) and a contextual list (appears below). Depending on what is selected in the tree view, different objects will appear in the list view.
If you want more space to see the tree and the list in Solution Explorer, grabbing the right edge of the Solution Explorer view and dragging it to the right will expand the Solution Explorer and eventually place the list to the right side of the tree, giving them more room in the bottom of the view.
The Properties view (appears on the right side of Workbench by default) shows various design time properties that can be edited by the developer. The properties that appear depend on what is currently selected either in the Solution Explorer or the the Form Designer. All objects that appear on a form will have a set of properties that may be set by the developer. Solution properties are shown when the solution is selected in the Solution Explorer.
The Form Designer editor view (appears in the upper middle of Workbench by default) allows the developer to create the visual part of their solutions. Once the form is opened in Form Designer, various controls can be placed on the form. These controls can be modified by selecting and dragging (for both size and position), or the developer may use the toolbars available at the top of Workbench to perform tasks like alignment and grouping.
The Script Editor editor view (appears in same place as Form Designer by default) allows the developer to create and edit methods used in their solutions. The script pages that appear in the Script Editor are tied to either a form, the solution (as a globals file), or a table (calculations).
The Problems view (appears in the bottom center of Workbench by default) show errors and warning pertaining to the currently active solution and resources project. Some information about the error or warning is displayed in this view as well. Right clicking will show options, double clicking will open the error in the appropriate view.
Saving Your Work in Servoy Developer
When editing your solution in Servoy Developer, most editors and views are saved the same way. To save your work in Servoy Developer
- Select File > Save from the file menu
- Key combination Ctrl-s.
- Clicking on the disk icon in the Developer toolbar.
- Closing the editor view when changes have not been saved will throw a dialog asking if the file should be saved before closing.
There is no requirement to save the developer before closing. Items are saved individually. Once an item is saved, it is written to the workspace file.
Servoy periodically produces Technical Webinars targeted to developers covering a broad range of topics, from new features to new capabilities to best practices. In nearly all the webinars there is interaction with the Eclipse Development Environment to look at.