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Custom form designer

Mark van de Veerdonk
Posts: 12
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I'm going to write an application that can show "dashboards". A dashboard will contain custom made controls and some standard widgets that allow real-time telemetry data to be displayed in a logical and attractive manner. I'll also need an application to design these dashboards with, a 'dashboard creator', that will be used by normal users (not developers). How can I do this? What tools/libraries/beans are out there for me to use for this (preferably open source)?

I think that ideally this creator would be a form designer that allows only placement of controls that I've selected (during coding). It should be kind of like the Delphi form designer. It will have no support for event handling as it will be used by a normal user and no coding will be possible.

A created dashboard would ideally be saved in a file that can be read by a class that can recreate the Panel/Applet based on that file. The file would be the equivalent of a Delphi DFM file. So ideally the form designer doesn't create a java source file that needs to be compiled, once again because the user is not a developer.

I've seen the XUI framework is capable of writing a form to an XML file and recreate it from based on that file. Great! But I still have no idea how to create the dashboard creator. I can only find complete form designer applications that are designed for java developers. I need the tools to write a form designer with. Does anyone know any? Does anyone know if the form designer components of existing designers (like in NetBeans) can easily be reused to create your own designer?

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