Monday, January 17, 2011

You're unique, Just like everyone else

So how do go about making your application unique, just like every other application that your company makes?

I reckon the NetBeans Platform in combination with Pinkmatter NetBeans Ribbon Library works a treat.

You work for a company called 'Motoring Madness', who have strived over the years to create a reputation as reliable vehicle retailers (an understandably difficult and unenviable task). They have recently been appointed sole resellers for Alfa Romeo and Lotus in the greater Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein metropolitan area.

Separate applications need to be created to meet the unique demands of these vehicle manufacturers whilst still retaining the corporate identity that Motoring Madness have worked so diligently to create.

Firstly I'm going to download the Pinkmatter NetBeans Ribbon Library, it comes with a very convenient test application that I'm going to corrupt (Sorry Chris…).

Here's how it looks in stock standard form.

Specifically, this is the area that we are interested in.

Now as cool as the NetBeans Logo is, it just doesn't fit with our Motoring Madness corporate Identity. So let’s dig into the source of the Ribbon Library and see if
we can change that.

Open the Flamingo Integration module and navigate to com.pinkmatter.modules.flamingo. In there you will see an image called app-button-icon24.png I wonder what happens if we swap that image out with our much vaunted Motoring Madness Logo

Note: If you’re still seeing the NetBeans logo, do a search in the test-ribbon project for app-button.png and delete it.

Now the brand manager is happy, his logo will be at the forefront of all the Motoring Madness applications

Everybody is yawning at the sheer excitement of applications all looking exactly the same, until some smart-aleck decides to try and brand his application.

And in the task-bar we get this

Which is decidedly cool.

Smart Aleck #2 decides that he wants to brand his applications, using the Alfa app as a reference.
Whilst switching between the Lotus and Alfa applications he discovers another cool trick.

The Lotus and Alfa Apps have different Icons whilst switching, ensuring that nobody will ever mistakenly receive a Lotus when they actually want an Alfa Romeo.

Now if I could only figure out a simple way to brand the netbeans.exe launcher my manager would leave me alone and I could figure out how to get past the easy levels on Sudoku.

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