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Publishing Components With Visual Component Manager (VCM)

To make a component available for reuse through VCM, you must first publish that component in a VCM repository database.

To publish a component through VCM from within the current project, you should take some preliminary steps to prepare the component for publication and to invoke VCM, as discussed in Step by Step 12.1.

STEP BY STEP
12.1 Preparing to Publish a Component with Visual Component Manager

If you intend to publish the component's source code, make sure that you have saved the project before publishing it. Otherwise, VCM will give you the warning Project must be saved before it can be published when you attempt to publish the component.

  1. Click the VCM icon on the VB toolbar to invoke the VCM window (see Figure 12.10).

    The main window for VCM
    FIGURE 12.10 The main window for VCM

  2. Choose a folder within the VCM repository by doubleclicking one on the tree in the left-hand window.

  3. Invoke the VCM Publish wizard through one of three methods:

    • Drag a compiled component (*.DLL, *.OCX, or *.EXE) from Windows Explorer to a folder in the Visual Component Manager window.

    • Make sure that you have opened a folder in the repository (double-click it in the VCM window). Then, rightclick in the folder's contents (the upper center and right pane of the VCM window). Click New on the resulting Visual Component Manager shortcut menu.

    • Select the component's project window in Project Explorer and right-click the project name to invoke the project's shortcut menu (see Figure 12.11). Choose Publish on the project's shortcut menu. When you click Source Files, you will publish the project's source-code files; when you click Build Outputs, you will compile and publish its outputs. This third technique does not require you to have the VCM window open.

    Visual Component Manager's Publish menu. In this figure, the developer has accessed the menu by right-clicking the Project's name in the Project Explorer.
    FIGURE 12.11 Visual Component Manager's Publish menu. In this figure, the developer has accessed the menu by right-clicking the Project's name in the Project Explorer.

  4. Publish Wizard will display an introductory screen (not shown here). Click the Next button to proceed.

  5. On the next screen (Repository/Folder), you can choose a VCM repository database (see Figure 12.12) and then a folder within that database (see Figure 12.13).

    Initial view of VCM's Repository/Folder dialog box
    FIGURE 12.12 Initial view of VCM's Repository/Folder dialog box

    VCM's Repository/Folder dialog box, showing available folders
    FIGURE 12.13 VCM's Repository/Folder dialog box, showing available folders

  6. Complete the Repository/Folder dialog box by editing, if necessary, the name that you want to give to the component. (This name is for informational purposes only and will not affect project or Registry names.) The completed dialog box should look like Figure 12.14. Click the Next button to continue to the Title and Properties dialog box.

    VCM's Repository/Folder dialog box, showing a selected folder and the name of a component to add to VCM's repository database.
    FIGURE 12.14 VCM's Repository/Folder dialog box, showing a selected folder and the name of a component to add to VCM's repository database.

  7. You typically don't change anything on the Title and Properties dialog box, although of course you can (see Figure 12.15). Click Next to proceed to the More Properties screen.

    VCM's Title and Properties dialog box.
    FIGURE 12.15. VCM's Title and Properties dialog box.

  8. From the More Properties screen (Figure 12.16), you can add a component description and keywords. Other developers can use the description and keywords to find your component later.

    A second Properties screen in VCM enables you to add a component description and keywords.
    FIGURE 12.16 A second Properties screen in VCM enables you to add a component description and keywords.

  9. You can add a new keyword to the component by clicking the large plus button (+) on the More Properties screen and filling in the keyword text on the resulting dialog box (see Figure 12.17).

    Adding a new keyword to a component in VCM.
    FIGURE 12.17. Adding a new keyword to a component in VCM.

  10. Click the Next button to proceed to the next Publish Wizard screen. A list of files that will be published as part of the component appears, as shown in Figure 12.18. Depending on whether you chose to publish source code or the compiled component (see step 3), you will either see the source-code files for the project or the compiled file (and any known files that the compile file depends on to run). At this point, you can add or take away files. After you have finished, click the Next button to proceed to the next screen.

    You can add or delete files from a published component's source code with the VCM Select Additional File(s) dialog box.
    FIGURE 12.18 You can add or delete files from a published component's source code with the VCM Select Additional File(s) dialog box.

  11. On the next screen, you can indicate whether any of the files that you are publishing with the COM component require an entry in the Windows Registry (see Figure 12.19). Usually you need to do nothing on this screen, because VCM is pretty good at guessing which files need registration. In fact, if you try to check a file that obviously doesn't need registration (such as a source-code file), VCM will warn you that the file doesn't need registration and will refuse to check the box next to the file's name.

    You can indicate the files that belong to a published component and that must be registered in the Windows Registry.
    FIGURE 12.19 You can indicate the files that belong to a published component and that must be registered in the Windows Registry.

  12. After you have made any adjustments to your component's registration information, you can click the Next button. This brings up the Publish wizard's final screen (the Finish screen). Click the Finish button on this screen to finalize your component's entry in the VCM repository database.

  

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