Building a custom GUI to configure a template

Introduction

Good companies are always looking for new ways to try and streamline their internal operations and make things more efficient.

It’s possible that your organization may have reached the kind of scale where distinct regular patterns are emerging in the flavours of the different types of interfaces that you have to deal with.

For organizations like this there may be some attractiveness in building out a sophisticated back end template which is actually driven off a configuration file which is edited in a GUI.  This has the potential to streamline an implementation process so that much of the work could be performed by less technical staff while leaving the final tweaks to a more technical 1 or 2 people who act as expert resources to the larger team.

Personally I haven’t come across such as scenario but I am big believer that the people closest to the problem are the best people to judge the nature of the problem and whether it can be solved in this manner.  Our job as an integration engine vendor is to enable our customers to leverage their own creativity to solve problems as they best see fit.

So this section of the standard template section addresses how one could leverage the Translator to achieve this goal.  It makes a lot of sense to use the Translator itself to implement such a GUI for several reasons:

  1. Firstly it’s very easy to implement web applications using the Translator which makes it convenient to get access to this GUI across a team.
  2. The Translator is an exceptionally efficient environment to develop in compared to anything, internally we’ve started developing many web applications using it for our own needs and it really is a productive environment to work in.
  3. The GUI has easy access to the same underlying common Lua modules used in the template.
  4. It can be easily integrated into Iguana allowing a ‘one click’ to get under the hood and see how the data is being processed.

All in all, if you are going to build a custom GUI of this sort anyway this is the way to do it since it really will be possible to build an incredibly slick work flow.  It’s also in harmony with the direction of Iguana as we move to a model of allowing custom components to be programmed using Lua.

Interested?  Then read further to see how you would go about implementing this.

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