Getting to know 1.5: Templates
This is the second blog about new features in 1.5. In this series I will focus in different new parts. See what they do and how I think they are now and how I imagine they can be in the future. . If you’re looking for more in depth information; Karol already wrote an impressive amount of information that you can find here : Design Studio 1.5: What’s New in? A (technical) View
What can you now do with templates?
You now have the ability to create a template application. This template can be used by others as a starting point for their own applications.
In the Application menu you now have an option “export as template”. This menu item starts a wizard where you can create a template. Other users can set up a User defined template folder in the preferences menu where templates are stored. When creating a new application they can take the user defined template.
How does it work ?
Once you selected the menu option you get this screen :
Fig 1.1 collect files for templates
Using the “export referenced file” checkbox the wizard will look for files that are referenced by the application and add them to the template. Files that are referenced indirectly. (for example image files that are referenced by the custom css file) you have to manually add.
After NEXT you go to the second screen :
Fig 1.2 : Configure screen
In this screen you can define the properties of the template. This will help designers to understand what the template is and how they can use it. Additionally you can define categories such as “company layout”.
After Finish the template is ready. Other designers need to add that directory in the preferences screen under “Application Templates”. After they have done that they can create a new application and find the template.
Fig 1.3 template at new application creation.
So what do I think?
For larger organizations it is very important to have central templates. The focus with Design Studio is more and more about creating a lot of smaller applications that work together. A well built template that is easily accessible is an important first step for that goal.
That being said, I do think it can be further improved. I’d like to see those templates stored on the platform instead of a directory. Additionally I think that Applications could do with reusable parts that work like SDK components. If you upgrade the template, all the applications that use parts automatically receive the update.