Friday, April 13, 2007

XPe tip #21: Dependecy Explorer vs Configuration Explorer

There was recently a bug found in the documentation of the Dependency Explorer component that led to some confusions I had to remove in the newsgroup.

So, what's the difference between Dependency Explorer and Configuration Explorer components.
The DependencyExplorer component is aimed to walk through components in the database. While the ConfigurationExplorer component serves the purpose of walking through components in the Configuration.

If you fire up Settings page of the DependencyExplorer component and type in a component name in the search edit box and hit Apply button you will see the following sections listed in order:
"Components:" section lists components that comply to the search criteria. Even if you typed in an exact component name, you will still likely see a few components listed here as there might have been a few revisions of the same component imported in the database and released.

"Component Dependencies:" section lists components that the component selected (clicked on) in the above section depends on.

"Component Chain:" section lists components in the inheritance chain of the component selected in the first section.
Note: the inheritance chain has nothing to do with the dependency chain.
Here you're supposed to see all the base prototypes of your components, if any, up to the very root one and the component itself.

"Custom Properties:" section lists advanced properties of the DependencyExplorer component (not relevant here).


Now about the ConfigurationExplorer Settings page:

"Configuration Components:" section lists components that comply to the search criteria and belong to the config. Here, if you typed in an exact component name, you will likely see one component listed as it is hard to add a few revisions of the same component to the same configuration (but not impossible!).

"Component Dependencies in Configuration:" section lists components that the component selected in the above section depends on. Only those dependencies listed here that are included in the configuration.

"Configuration Components depend on the selected component:" section lists components that depend on the component selected (clicked on) in the first section but only included in the config. This is similar to the result of the DEPTREE command of XPECMD tool released by Microsoft with FP2007 but not exactly the same. The difference is that the DEPTREE walks through the database while the ConfigurationExplorer also filters out components to list only those that belong to the same Config. If you need the DEPTREE functionality there, you just use ConfigurationExplorer component within a huge config like XPProEmulation project.

"Component Chain:" section lists components in the inheritance chain of the component selected in the first section. Here again you are supposed to see base prototypes of your components, if any. The prototype components are all listed here, regardless of if they all belong to the Config, and the component itself.

"Custom Properties:" section lists advanced properties of the ConfigurationExplorer component (not relevant here).

Now let me show you the results you actually get from if you explore XPProEmulation component within XPProEmulation project using both tools.

DependencyExplorer:
Search box: XPProEmulation

"Components:" section:
XPProEmulation [Version ...], [Visibility=1000]

"Component Dependencies:" section:
No component dependencies found.

"Component Chain:" section:
XPProEmulation [Version ...], [Visibility=1000]
Default Prototype Component [Version ...], [Visibility=1]


"Custom Properties:" section:
....


ConfigurationExplorer:
Search box: XPProEmulation

"Configuration Components:" section:
XPProEmulation [Version ...], [Visibility=1000]

"Component Dependencies in Configuration:" section:
No component dependencies found.

"Configuration Components depend on the selected component"
XPe Tools [Version ...], [Visibility=1000]

"Component Chain:" section:
XPProEmulation [Version ...], [Visibility=1000]
Default Prototype Component [Version ...], [Visibility=1]


"Custom Properties:" section:
....

Hope this clears things up.

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