Frame Developer’s Kit

The Adobe Frame Developer’s Kit (FDK) brings value-added resellers, independent software vendors, and end-users alike the opportunity to extend, customize, and create value-added applications around FrameMaker®, FrameViewer®, and FrameMaker+SGML. FDK-based extensions can be as simple as adding a new menu item, or as complex as building a totally new application around the Frame formatting engine.

Sample Applications

With its power and flexibility, the FDK offers virtually limitless customization for Frame developers. Using the FDK, you can implement creative, extensible applications that adapt to your specific needs and business environments. For example, you can:

  • Ensure adherence to corporate standards by restricting access to certain formatting features, or checking documents for style overrides.
  • Automate tasks such as paragraph or table sorting.
  • Identify the characteristics of Frame documents easily by generating custom document reports.
  • Create your own set of specialized filters to filter formats not supported by Frame’s standard filters.
  • Create multimedia documents or slide show presentations by tightly integrating Frame products with audio and video graphics applications.
  • Automate the database publishing process by linking FrameMaker with a database system.
  • Better manage your document resources by integrating FrameMaker into the workflow of a document management system.

FDK Components

The Frame Developer’s Kit consists of a set of cross-platform development tools including:

  • Frame Application Program Interface (API)
  • Frame Development Environment (FDE)

Frame API

The Frame API is a set of libraries, header files, and makefiles. It allows you to develop applications that communicate with a Frame product session directly. Developers can use C or any programming language with compatible calling conventions.

The Frame API offers:

  • The ability to manipulate any Frame object directly in your API application. Frame treats the components of a document such as paragraphs and tables as objects. Each object has a unique identifier and a set of associated properties. For example, pen color and fill patterns are properties of a rectangular object. With the Frame API, external programs can get, set, or check virtually all parameters of a Frame document including its contents, formats, and structure. Moreover, developers can create, delete or re-arrange Frame objects easily by making simple API calls
  • A set of standard dialog boxes. Applications that require interactive user input can bring up a file browser, a scroll list or other types of dialog boxes to prompt for input data. Your applications can also display warnings and error messages in different types of alert boxes.
  • Configurable user interface. Your API program can add its own menu items and keyboard shortcuts to the standard Frame menus, or respond to a particular user-initiated event.
  • A variety of debugging and error checking routines. These resources help developers in building reliable and optimized software.
  • Sample applications These API programs illustrate the essence of Frame API programming and demonstrate the power of integration. For example, the source code for the FrameMaker word count feature, which was implemented as an API application, is included with the FDK installation. You can learn more about at our HomePage.

Frame Development Environment

In most heterogeneous environments, it is essential to port applications across different platforms. FDE can help you make your Frame API applications portable to other platforms supported by Frame products. It provides platform-independent alternatives to platform-specific I/O, string, memory allocation schemes and libraries. Using this interface software developers can write one set of code and port it to other platforms with minimal effort. In most cases, your API program can be ported to a different platform after a simple recompilation.

Applications based on the Frame API use different mechanisms to work with Adobe Frame products on different platforms. On UNIX, API applications are separate processes that use the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) mechanism to communicate with the Frame product. On Windows, API clients are dynamic link libraries (DLLs) that provide entry points or call back functions that an Adobe Frame product can invoke. On Macintosh, FDK clients are dynamically loaded modules with a specific code resource type. Despite these various system specifics FDK developers only need to program at the Frame API level and the resulting code will work across different platforms.

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