Stuart Harris Computing

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Building OutSystems React Plugins

When OutSystems released Reactive Web Apps, I figured a few quick tweaks would suffice to make a React version of my WebForms forge plugin.  It turns out there was a little more involved.

In this post, I will walk through the process of converting a WebForms OutSystems forge plugin to a Reactive Web plugin.

What is different in React?

Aside from being a SPA framework, there are many differences. The ones that affected the way the plugin is written are

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Outsystems Plugin Deep Dive

The outsystems platform allows users to create open source plugins and publish them to a community component registry called the forge.  The forge is described as

a repository of reusable, open code modules, connectors, and UI components to help speed up app delivery time.

This post will describe creating a the FilePondUpload user interface forge plugin for Web Applications.

This is relevant to people interested in building a user interface forge component for an outsystems web application.  We’ll cover configuration, integrating a javascript library, some sneaky tricks and cleaning up temporary files.

Plugins are essentially outsystems applications which contain modules.  These modules can include any OutSystems component such as web pages, webblocks, business processes, entities (tables), actions (functions) and extensions (.NET code/libraries).

The FilePondUpload plugin exposes two webblocks providing drag and drop file upload, with the actions, entities and structures to support them.  The plugin essentially integrates with outsystems the FilePond javascript library by Rik Schennink.

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The ‘EditorExtensionsPackage’ package did not load correctly Visual Studio

When you upgrade Visual Studio 2013 to Update 2, you may see this error; “The ‘EditorExtensionsPackage’ package did not load correctly Visual Studio”.

This is caused by WebEssentials (and possibly other extensions) as there are breaking changes in some of the Visual Studio APIs with Update 2.

Web Essentials 2013 for Update 2


So in Visual Studio 2013:

  • From the menu select Tools > Extensions and Updates … > Updates > Visual Studio Gallery
  • Select Web Essentials 2013 for Update 2
  • Click Update
  • Let it update, then click on Restart

Visual Studio 2013 should now load without the error.


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Use a Git Repository with Visual Studio Online

I have been using Visual Studio Online for my personal projects for the last few months.  I like having a build server and Kanban board without having to do much more than lift a finger.

I also like the Git support.  I am hosting Windows Phone, Windows Store and iOS software projects.  As a side note, you would think TFS is not an option for iOS projects, but you would be wrong. There is a command line utility called git-tf you can use on the Mac.  This doesn’t directly integrate with Xcode though, like a Git repo does.

Below I will go through the steps to create Git repository on Visual Studio Online and start using it in Visual Studio.

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PowerShell is here to stay

Jeffrey Snover is the inventor of Monad which later came to be known as PowerShell. His Monad Manifesto written in August 2002, describes the road map and value proposition for PowerShell.  PowerShell’s development has kept surprisingly true to this roadmap.

PowerShell is now a mandatory interface for all of Microsoft’s products.  If you work in a Windows environment, it is high time to embrace the new language and put it to work. Continue reading