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Browse Prior Art Database

Architecture for Seamless Third Party Software Add-ons

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114950D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 4 page(s) / 91K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Davis, RA: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed herein is the architecture for Seamless Third Party Software Add-ons that provides the ability for third party developers to add functionality to an application. The interaction between the main application and the add-on is transparent to the end user.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Architecture for Seamless Third Party Software Add-ons

      Disclosed herein is the architecture for Seamless Third Party
Software Add-ons that provides the ability for third party developers
to add functionality to an application.  The interaction between the
main application and the add-on is transparent to the end user.

      In prior art, other implementations allowed third party add-ons
but did not seemingly tie them to the main application.

      Customers within the manufacturing arena have expressed the
need for a common interface to various manufacturing process and test
instrumentation setups.  Using OS/2* and Presentation Manager, the
Seamless Third Party Software Add-on (STPSA) architecture allows for
other software to seem part of the main application.

      The Seamless Third Party Software Add-on (STPSA) Architecture
is based on four important requirements:
  o  Add-ons are Dynamic Link Library (DLL)
  o  Add-on functions must be installed
  o  Add-on functions have message procedures
  o  Message procedures must be exported as the first function in the
      DLL

      Add-ons are DLLs - Requiring the add-on to be a DLL allows the
main program to directly call a function within it.  A message
procedure is established as the first ordinal function within each
add-on DLL.  The main program passes message information by calling
the first function in the add-on DLL.

      Add-on functions must be installed - During installation of the
add-on, the main application can obtain information about the add-on:
the name associated with the add-on; text describing the function;
and the DLL name.  The main application uses the ad...