The Minimum Customisation Requirements to use JXplorer

There aren't any. JXplorer should work quite happily against any LDAP directory out of the box. Directory structure modifications can be made with the tree view (cut/copy/paste/delete of entries and sub-trees), while individual entry attribute values can be edited using the table editor.

That said, bear in mind that unless the directory publishes its schema, (the equivalent of a data dictionary), the browser will be fairly limited in what it is able to do. Almost all modern directory servers do this, so it shouldn't generally be a problem.

So Why Should I Customize Anything?

Reasons for customisation fall into two general categories; tweaking the GUI, and modifying the behaviour of the browser to provide more advanced functionality.

Tweaking the GUI

There are a number of reasons you might want to change the GUI, including:

A lot of these changes can be made very simply in JXplorer. Custom icons can be easily dropped in, while Corporate/product specific graphics can easily be incorporated using a simple extended version of html.


Customised HTML View

If you were using JXplorer in a help desk or data entry environment, it is straight forward to build custom HTML forms that only allow data entry for a handful of attributes, and possibly restrict the allowed values, or provide more on screen help information.


Custom HTML Form

For more complex GUIs (such as configuration wizards, or complex data viewers), it is possible to write plug-in Java components. These require a programmer to write a Java class that conforms to a simple interface. An example is included in the 'plugins' subdirectory of JXplorer.

Changing Behaviour

Advanced applications may need to make fundamental changes to the operation of the browser. Possibilities include:

There are a number of ways to directly customise JXplorer with Java plugins. It is possible to write special editors that are called from the table editor when a particular data type is encountered (an image file might be sent to an editor, or a sound file to a audio player).

For more complete customisation, a pluggable entry editor can be used, which either replaces or accompanies the html and table editor views available in the browser right hand pane:

A Plug-in Entry Editor

Pluggable entry editors range from trivially straightforward to implement (a simple data display editor might only be a dozen lines of code) through to extensive editors that can configure and extend every aspect of JXplorer, while continuing to use the basic directory connection and JXplorer threading model.

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