A plugin is a customizable miniature application that runs from within another program. Usually, plugins exist to automate or enhance current features, or provide new functionality that did not previously exist.
What kinds of things can a SigmaNEST plugin do?
In SigmaNEST, a plugin is an excellent way to automate common actions. Virtually every function in the SigmaNEST program can be accessed from a plugin. Plugins also have access to the full range of SigmaNEST batch commands, meaning any batch command can be run from within a plugin.
You can trigger the actions of a plugin by tying it to specific events, or launching it manually from the ribbon toolbar.
Why use a plugin instead of a batch file?
A C# plugin adds the ability to use logical and iterative operations that would normally need to be completely mapped out in a batch file.
For example, if you wanted to import all files in a folder using batch, you would need to know the name of each file and write a line for each file you want to import. A plugin can be written so that all files are imported without having to know what they are named, or even how many exist. In this scenario, a batch file would need to be updated continuously, while a plugin would only need to be written once.
What are the limitations?
The primary limitation of a plugin is the knowledge required to create it. Plugins require some programming knowledge and experience (preferably with C#) to write them.
Additionally, a plugin can only be used inside SigmaNEST when the application is open, and if the plugin was designed for SigmaNEST. For example, you could not add a plugin designed for SOLIDWORKS to SigmaNEST, even if the plugin was written in C#.
Getting started with plugins
To learn how to create plugins, view the Plugins section.