Reply to: Customization of XMetalFebruary 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm
1. XMetaL uses standard W3C CSS not FOSI.
2. Yes, you can customize any of these functions you list. I have not tried to use XUI with XMetaL so don't know how easy it is do that. Our own form format is similar to VB forms (though it really is different, and to people really familiar with VB it can seem a little odd) and has the extension .XFT (XMetaL Forms Toolkit). This is a compiled (binary) format and so requires a specific editor to create. The editor is included with XMetaL Developer.
If you prefer you could also create your own forms using another language and then launch whatever you build there from an XMetaL macro (examples include VB, C#, C++, Java, etc). In this case the easiest thing to build is a stand-alone binary (EXE or DLL) that returns some value when it exits or that communicates with XMetaL's APIs to set a value in memory before exiting.
3. Java is supported but not directly within “macros”. Macros are essentially scripts loaded by XMetaL at startup or when a specific document type is loaded and either run when certain events are triggered or when a user specifically directs them to run. Any scripting language can be used in a macro provided you have an engine installed on your machine. All versions of Windows include JScript and VBScript engines but we have clients that prefer Perl and Python (which means they must install an engine for these such as those from ActiveState). Scripts are also supported from within our forms (XFT).
4. You must contact our partner manager for information on creating a “connector”. This type of work is typically done by our CMS partners, however, I believe IBM has no interest in creating a connector for XMetaL and ClearCase. We do have some clients that work with ClearCase and they perform all of their check-in/outs using the standard ClearCase tools for that (outside of XMetaL's UI). A connector is likely most useful when you have a lot of people working with the product and you wish to avoid having to train them on two different tools so you'd need to weigh the amount of work it takes to build a connector against that as building a connector is not a trivial undertaking.
You should probably obtain a copy of XMetaL Developer if you will be customizing XMetaL Author. The documentation it contains will probably answer most of your questions. You can read the same documentation here as well: http://na.justsystems.com/content-support-technical-info (see “User Guides” and “Tutorials”).
You may also be interested in discussing the difference between XMetaL Author Enterprise and XMetaL Author Essential with our sales people. There are differences in functionality and pricing and you may wish to go with the less expensive XMetaL Author Essential depending on your exact needs.