Ozri has kicked off early for 14 GIS professionals from around the country, having just finished the “Moving from VB to Python” pre-conference tutorial. Ebony Wickramanayake and I outlined a path for migrating unsupported legacy VBA-based customisations to more user-friendly, maintainable and future-proofed add-ins.
While VBA customisations still function under 10.1, they are no longer officially supported and require the installation of added components and licenses. Since version 10.0, add-ins have been the recommended way of building and distributing custom functionality. As of version 10.1, it’s possible to use the Python programming language to build these add-ins. The high-level nature of Python makes it an ideal language to develop in.
In the tutorial we covered the basics of add-ins, and how participants’ existing VBA customisations would fit in to the add-in framework. We then went on to building a basic add-in using Python, before going through a more advanced example covering modifying layer symbology, changing map extents, and interacting with layout elements. We then discussed the management and distribution of add-ins in an enterprise setting, focusing on the improvements over the VBA way.
The participants came out of the workshop with a clear idea of why they should migrate to the add-in archictecture, whether Python was the right tool for them, and how they would enact the transition. And with the Ozri 2012 program officially kicking off tomorrow, there’s still a lot to look forward to!
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