Plug-ins are essentially functional expansions for devices in the project, e.g. devices which bring their own parameter display or own download methods along with them.
•UI plug-ins (see the display further down)
•Download plug-ins (create/ manage the configuration data on their own for the download of devices by ETS)
•Data-Handler plug-ins (are called automatically during the export/ import of projects; edit/ manage device data when devices are copied, for example, or the project is exported)
•Context menu plug-ins (a sub-type of the UI plug-ins; an additional, device-specific function entry is offered in the context menu)
•Plug-ins are software which can be executed on the computer.
•Plug-ins must be installed before they can be used.
•UI plug-ins with their own parameter dialog are executed in a separate window and as long as you don’t close that window, you cannot work in ETS any longer.
•Plug-ins have their own versioning.
You can see whether a plug-in is installed by means of an additional (plug-in) column in the catalog, provided that the device has been taken from the catalog and inserted in the project so that it is even present there.
The most common examples of visible UI plug-ins are as a display parameter or an extra “context-menu" item.
ETS performs various checks before execution as to whether the UI plug-in can even be used in the current ETS context. This serves to ensure that the plug-in is actually available and installed for the display.
When setting the parameters in ETS, the ETS default parameters dialog is not shown, but instead, the device-specific, plug-in dialog is called, or a separate context menu is shown. The following conditions must be met for this to occur (ETS checks these individually and displays corresponding messages if they are not met).
•Device/ Application has a UI plug-in (parameters dialog/ context menu)?
•Project data plug-in available (in cache)?
•ETS in compatibility mode?