Scense offers a variety of functionality ‘out-of-the-box’, and most implementation challenges can be handled with the built-in actions, conditions and other objects. But sometimes you need this special action or variable or this special condition that simply isn’t there. In these cases the Scense Runtime Extensions will be your friend.
What are ‘Scense Runtime Extensions’?
Runtime extensions are methods in which Scense allows you to extend the out-of-the-box functionality and they come in these types:
- Function Variables
- Action Templates
- Custom Criteria (new in Scense 8)
Scense has always supported a rich collection of variables. The variables come in 2 types: fixed variables and dynamic variables. A Function variable is a dynamic variable that is able to call a scripted function that will return a value based on the script contents. This results in a very powerful functionality that allows you to create your own new variables the get information from whatever data source or process you might specify. Function variables can be used anywhere in Scense just like ‘normal’ variables.
If you want to extend the built-in actions with some of your own, you can use the Action Templates. Action Templates are in fact scripting actions with added user interface. The user interface is built using an XML markup language in the header of a scripting action. Double clicking such an action will show you the user interface instead of the script code, which makes it look like any other action. Action Templates are placed in the special ‘script container’ taskset and are directly available from the right-click context menu whenever you want to add an action to a session event. In this way special new actions can be added to Scense and are available to everyone.
Scense 8 introduces the new scopes and criteria. Criteria are used as conditions and they will produce either true or false. Multiple criteria can be combined in a single scope. Although Scense 8 has extended the diversity of available conditions it’s possible that you need this one special criterion that you need for a specific situation. Scense 8 allows you to create your own custom criteria using the criteria builder. In this builder you can specify which conditions and parameter the criterion supports and, of course, how the criterion will determine its result. For the logic you can use the well documented collection of built-in functions or you can create your own script (or make a combination…). The newly created criterion will immediately show up in the criteria selector of the scope property page and can be used as if it were a built-in criterion.
So, even though Scense comes with built-in functionality that will be sufficient for most, there’s always a way of extending it with you own ideas.