Integration with Visual Studio

Starting from release 9.0.0 Nitisa framework can be installed as common Visual Studio extension and Form Builder can be used directly in Visual Studio as integrated editor. To install Nitisa as extension do following simple steps.

  • Open Visual Studio.
  • Go to Tools->Extensions and updates menu.
  • Click on Online at the left of Extensions and Updates window to browse extensions available online.
  • Type Nitisa in search input at the right of Extensions and Updates window.
  • Find Nitisa for Visual Studio in search result in the middle of Extensions and Updates window.
  • Click on it and check Created by information at the right of Extensions and Updates window to ensure you look at correct extension. It should be Nitisa.
  • Click on Download button to install.

Nitisa extension is available for Visual Studio 2022 and newer (Nitisa extension 14.0.0 is also available for Visual Studio 2017 & 2019 but that extension is not getting updates anymore).

After the installation you will find several available projects(for different platforms) in the Visual Studio's New Project dialog in the Visual C++ option.

You don't have to build Nitisa as in standalone installation. It will be built automatically when you compile any Nitisa project created from installed templates first time (and first time only).

Standalone installation

If you don't want to use Visual Studio as development environment or want to omit using Nitisa integration into Visual Studio for some reason, you may proceed with the following simple steps to start using Nitisa framework.

  • First of all you should download the Nitisa framework. You can do it at Downloads page.
  • Unpack all the files in any folder. We call this folder an installation path. Please note that this folder should be accessible for your compiler.
  • [OPTIONAL] Open the solution file, select target configuration and platform, and build entire solution to produce static libraries and Form Builder executables. We assume in all articles you have chosen "Debug"("ReleaseRT" for Form Builder) configuration and "x86" platform. You also can use Batch build from Visual Studio Build menu to build all available configurations. If you are going to create only Windows applications, build only Windows folder of the solution.
  • [OPTIONAL] If you, for some reason, want to use only Form Builder on separate machine which has no Visual Studio 2017(or later) installed, you will also need Visual C++ 2017 x86/x64 redistributable package.

Standalone installation vs Visual Studio extension

You might wonder about differences between using framework alone and using it as Visual Studio extension and which is better option for you. Well, we are going to explain the difference right now.

Using Nitisa extension for Visual Studio simplify framework preparation, project creation, and Nitisa update. It also allows to work with Nitisa as a part of Visual Studio, so you don't have to worry of anything except for extension installation itself. But in this case Form Builder is built somewhere else and placed in the place you usually don't bother about. It results in some restrictions. Form Builder as a part of Visual Studio can not load external packages, it only uses integrated standard ones. You also cannot modify it as the source code is not available.

On contrary, standalone installation is provided with a complete source code and allows to build Form Builder in *RT configurations which can load packages in form of dynamically loaded libraries.

So, if you just create applications using the power of Nitisa framework, the extension for Visual Studio is the right chose for you. But, if you develop your own widgets and packages of widgets, which you want to be available in the Form Builder, better choice is using standalone installation.

Can you use both standalone version and extension for Visual Studio? Yes, you can. You even can use many version of standalone installations. Just be careful in specifying paths for include and library files in your applications.

Linux only development

Installation process is very simple:

  • You may need to install some libraries which are listed in previous article.
  • Download the Nitisa framework. You can do it at Downloads page.
  • Unpack all the files in any folder. For example, you may unpack it into your home folder.
  • To produce static libraries you need to build framework's source code. In the folder with the framework there are several *.sh scripts which may help you to do it. First of all open terminal in the folder with those scripts. For instance, if you downloaded 9.0.0 release and unpacked it into your home folder, you need to open terminal in ~/Nitisa-9.0.0 folder.
  • The file can be used to build both Debug and Release static libraries. Scripts and can be used to build only debug or release libraries. To build all type ./ in the terminal. It will take some time but you don't have to worry as it is required only once.

Build configurations

The solution of the downloaded framework has four supported platforms: ARM and x86 for 32-bit builds, ARM64 and x64 for 64-bit builds. Where ARM and ARM64 platforms are used for Android projects only. It also has several configurations. They are Debug, DebugRT, Release, ReleaseRT. Configurations without RT produce static libraries with static runtime library linking. Configurations with RT produce static libraries with linking runtime library in form of DLL. We recommend using RT configurations to build Form Builder and for building your own packages. When developing applications non-RT configurations are usually used.

For the Linux projects you will also need to setup connection to your Linux for remote building.

Anyway you are free to add your own configuration for your applications. Just don't forget the framework and packages configuration should be compatible with build configuration of your application (pay attention on using runtime libraries, platform toolset, and SDK version).

There are some simple recommendation we can give to facilitate you to chose which platform and configuration to use. If you plan to run your application on 32-bit platform only, you have no choice but to use x86 platform. If you plan to run your application on 64-bit platform only, you may use either x86 platform option (which produces 32-bit binaries) or x64 one. Until your application doesn't operate with a huge amount of data (>2Gb), the best choice is x86 platform option as it produce smaller and a little faster binaries. Otherwise use x64 one.

As for the configurations, you can use Debug and DebugRT ones for development and Release and ReleaseRT ones for production binaries. Use *RT when you are developing widgets and packages of widgets which are supposed to be manageable by Form Builder. In other cases use configurations without *RT.

Form Builder

This paragraph is applied to standalone installation only.

Build solution in DebugRT or ReleaseRT to produce Form Builder executable files which dynamically load packages. This is the recommended option.

Build solution in Debug or Release to produce Form Builder executable files which do not load packages but rather link with them. In this case only packages available by default are integrated into Form Builder and to add another packages you will need to change Form Builder's source code and rebuild it.

Removing framework

If you installed Nitisa via Visual Studio you may remove it in standard way as common extension: go to Tools->Extensions and updates menu, find Nitisa there and click Uninstall.

Additionally, you need to delete compiled files which are located at all users application data folder (which is usually C:\ProgramData). The subfolder there to be deleted is called Nitisa.

If you downloaded and unpacked Nitisa in some folder you may just remove the folder where you unpacked it previously.

If you work on Linux only, all you need is to delete folder in which you previously unpacked Nitisa framework.