Interface Asset - General Concepts

    Interface Assets (IA) are one of the major new features introduced in IntuiFace Version 4. An IA enables IntuiFace experiences to access

    • external data
    • external business logic
    • external devices

    For business logic and devices, the properties (e.g. variables and values), actions (e.g. methods and functions), and triggers (e.g.. events and signals) associated with them are exposed as well.

    These services can be public or private. Examples of public services include Twitter and Flickr. Examples of devices include bar code scanners, printers, or even gadgets in the connected home or amongst the Internet of Things.

    The following architecture diagram shows how IAs extend the IntuiFace platform. Note the Business Services element. In IntuiFace 4, the underlying protocols supported for Interface Assets are: REST Web Services, Excel, .NET DLLs and JavaScript. You can click on the diagram to zoom in:


    Marketecture.png

    Use of Interface Assets in Composer

    The following sections detail how to work with Interface Assets in your experience. The approach is the same for all supported protocols - i.e. for Excel, REST, .Net and JavaScript). It is also the same for off-the-shelf IAs delivered with IntuiFace and for the interfaces you create yourself.

    Accessing Interface Assets

    All available Interface Assets can be found by clicking the bottom-most button in the Quick Access toolbar to the left of Composer. The Select an Interface panel combines both off-the-shelf IAs shipped with IntuiFace and user-defined IAs you create for your own work.

    For a complete list of off-the-shelf interface assets - IAs pre-built by IntuiLab that ship with IntuiFace - see this page.

    IA-available.png

    The physical location of IntuiFace's out-of-the-box interfaces is different from the location in which custom interfaces are stored:

    • IntuiFace off-the-shelf IAs are located in C:\Program Files (x86)\IntuiLab\IntuiFace4\Composer\Resources\Interface Assets
      • This folder should not be used to add custom interfaces as it is overwritten upon each Composer update.
    • User defined IAs are located in C:\Users\{UserName}\Documents\IntuiFace\Interface Assets
      • Custom interface assets should be placed here to ensure they will not be affected by the installation of IntuiFace updates.

    Adding Interface Assets Into an Experience

    Note: Interface Assets are not space specific. Think of them as a global object you can access from anywhere at anytime in your experience.

    Click on on any interface in the Select an Interface panel to add an instance of it to your project. You can add multiple instances of the same IA into a project For example, you could insert two Clock interfaces, one for the EST timezone and the other for GMT.

    Once you have selected one or more IAs, you will see a new transparent panel appear in the top left of the scene. This list includes the various instances of the IAs you selected, meaning they can be referenced and used throughout your project.

    IA-project.png

    You can rename/copy/paste/delete them. In addition, if relevant to the interface, by selecting any IA instance in this panel you can:

    • change its properties
    • add a trigger
    • call an action for any trigger

    IMPORTANT

    • Once you have added an instance of a custom Interface Asset into your project, the files associated with that IA are copied into your project folder, in the subfolder Files\InterfaceAssets. As a result, changes to this custom IA in the folder C:\Users\{UserName}\Documents\IntuiFace\Interface Assets will NOT be detected in your project.
    • To update an IA already added into your project you must either
      1. modify the local version of the IA located in your project subfolder, or
      2. manually delete the IA subfolder and its reference(s) in your experience, modify the original IA located outside of your project, then readd that IA into your experience

    Visual Representation of Off-the-Shelf Interface Assets

    All off-the-shelf IAs come with a pre-designed visual representation. For example, there is a default clock design for the Clock interface asset. It is NOT necessary to add these visual representations to an experience; the properties, triggers and actions associated with an IA are available regardless. However, many IAs are intended to be visual so we've created a default design for you.

    To add this visual representation to an experience, drag & drop any IA instance from the Interface Asset panel into the scene, creating its default visual representation - aka data template. This visual representation is just a representative example and does not have to be used. You can also have several visual representations of the same Interface Asset in the same space or in different spaces.

    Feel free to break this representation and add/remove/rearrange at will. For example, for Weather IA, keep only the current day weather icon and temperature.

    If you want to create a visual representation for your custom Interface Asset, read this article.

    Off-the-Shelf Interface Assets


    See this article for a list of the pre-built interface assets that ship with IntuiFace.

    Create Your Own Interface Asset

    If you want to create your own Interface Assets, read this article.

    Don't forget you will have to put your IA in the following folder to make them available in Composer: C:\Users\{UserName}\Documents\IntuiFace\Interface Assets

    IMPORTANT NOTES

    • Even when deleted from within Composer, IAs are not cleaned up inside the project directory on your file system. They remain under Files/InterfaceAssets.
    • No default error management is available.