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Create Your Own Interface Asset

Table of Contents

    Before proceeding, be sure to review Interface Asset general concepts.

    NOTE: You must use Composer Premier or Composer Enterprise to incorporate custom-built interface assets (IAs). Composer Free and Composer Essential can open, run and edit experiences containing custom-built interface assets but cannot save any changes to those experiences unless the custom interface assets are removed. The ability to add custom IAs and save changes to those experiences is a feature exclusive to Composer Premier and Composer Enterprise.

    Basic Concepts

    Interface Assets (IA) are used to create a bridge between the user experience in IntuiFace and any external data source, business logic or device (both local or among the Internet of Things). IntuiFace users can create their own IAs using REST (for Web APIs), .Net DLLs, or JavaScript; IntuiFace automatically creates interfaces for any Excel worksheet.

    This article is about custom-built interface assets. For more about working with IntuiFace's out-of-the-box support for Excel, see this article.

    Each Interface Asset using REST, .NET or JavaScript is represented by a descriptor file. The IA descriptor identifies which services and service parameters of an API will be exposed in IntuiFace Composer. Specifically, the descriptor answers the questions:

    • What resources (methods, events, …) are available?
    • What kind of objects (schemas) can be accessed?

    The Interface Asset descriptor has the form of a JSON file with the IntuiFace-specific extension .ifd. This file syntax is based on the Google Discovery Service with some extensions specific to IntuiFace. See the screenshot below. Click the image to zoom.



    • The descriptor for a REST-based Web Service can be generated automatically through the use of API Explorer. There is no reason to hand-craft a descriptor for REST-based Web Services.
    • To be visible in the Interface Asset panel of Composer, all hand-crafted .ifd descriptors must be saved here: [Drive]:\Users\[UserName]\Documents\IntuiFace\Interface Assets. This ensures all projects created on your PC will have access to these custom interfaces.
    • Never edit any .ifd file while Composer is running, even if the associated interface is not being used in the experience you have opened in Composer. If you wish to make changes to a .ifd file, exit out of Composer first.
    • If your new interface does not appear in Composer's Select an interface panel, check Composer's log file in C:\ProgramData\IntuiLab\IntuiFace\Composer\Logs\Trace.log
      If using IntuiFace Version 5: C:\ProgramData\IntuiLab\IntuiFace5\Composer\Logs\Trace.log
      This file contains useful information that may help you troubleshoot the formatting of your ifd file.

    Specifics of Interface Assets descriptors

    The following articles will teach you the specifics of IA descriptor creation: