Builders are distributed among developers and projects in ZIP files. The simplest way to create a ZIP file for builders is to use the Export Portlet Factory Archive functionality. The builder ZIP file must contain all the files needed by the builder - the BDEF and builder classes, along with any related files used by the builder such as HTML, XML, or JAR files. Ideally each builder will have an HTML help file for users of the builder.
Once you have a builder ZIP file, you can use it in two ways:
- You can import it into a project with the Import Portlet Factory Archive command.
- You can add it to the list of Feature Sets available from the WebSphere Portlet Factory / Feature Info tab of Project Properties. To do this, simply put your ZIP (or PKG) file into the "Packages" folder under where the Portlet Factory Designer is installed. For example, for Portlet Factory 6.1.2 this would be the \Designer\FeatureSets\Web-App_6.1.2\Packages folder. Then restart Designer and your package should be listed along with the Portlet Factory product feature sets.
To learn more about how to create a Feature Set see the Creating a Feature Set
The second approach above has a couple of benefits:
- You can easily include your builders when you create new projects, or add them to any number of projects.
- You can update a builder pack in the "Packages" folder, and then when you update a project you will be notified if any of the builder files in the project have been modified. To update a project after a Feature Set has been updated, go to the Feature Info panel of the Project Properties and select the "Refresh installed Feature Sets" checkbox. Then when you click OK or Apply, all the Feature Sets will be updated in that project.