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How to go about building a rich system configuration module like in RAD Studio?

How to go about building a rich system configuration module like in RAD Studio?

How to go about building a rich system configuration module like in RAD Studio?

I've always like the way that RAD Studio put together its setup screens. For example, Project > Options, or Tools > Options. I'm trying to re-create such a setup system in an application of its own for a legacy Delphi server/client system. The current setup is scattered into many different screens, and I'm re-creating the setup into one global module, containing all possible configuration scenarios.

I've already implemented a tree view to the left and an open content panel to the right. I intend to display a unique content form within this content panel. The content form will always be based on the same base form, which encapsulates loading / saving / invalidating data through the user's interaction. Many different forms will be inherited from this base form, including one global "property list" form -which displays property name / values side-by-side with various property types. Just like how it's handled in RAD Studio. I also understand some screens will have to be custom, so I inherit directly from this base form and design a custom UI to handle that category's specific required property values.

I haven't gone too far into it yet, but those are my plans so far. The idea is that a UI form should be inherited from this base content form for each menu item in the tree view to the left. When clicking on a menu item, it will display this unique form inside the content panel to the right. The common "property list" forms will consist of dynamically populating property names and values side-by-side which is already a common function in other places of our software.

My question is, what tips and pointers do you have for such a setup module? The thought of encapsulating each setup screen in a DLL crossed my mind, but that's way too much work and unnecessary. But I'm wondering what types of standard practice is out there for things like this. Surely someone's documented this type of rich configuration module before, and how to go about accomplishing it in the most universal way possible.

I'm assuming there's some terminology to this concept too - I just have no clue what it might be. Otherwise, I would do a simple Google search for how to do this using that term.

JD Solutions

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