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Building a CAE Plugin

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For these instructions to be valid, you must have followed the steps in Create a Plugin Project.

Building on Microsoft Windows Using Visual Studio

Pointwise is compiled using Visual Studio 2015. To avoid compatability issues, plugins should also be compiled with the same version of Visual Studio. Using other compilers is untested and unsupported.

Building on Unix and Mac OSX Using gmake

In the commands above, M represents one of the supported platforms. At this time, M is one of:

If you want, gmake will use environment variables to control the build. Run gmake BUILD=help to see build usage information.

Building on Mac OSX Using XCode

At this time, there is no "quick" way to build the plugins on OSX using xcode. If you want to use XCode, you will need to manually create a project to build the plugins.

General Build Information

On all platforms, the binary files generated during a build are created in the locations listed below. These folders are emptied by the "clean" build targets.

To facilitate the development of plugins, the SDK build system supports two environment variables.

The PW_RUNTIME_ROOT environment variable

If your user account has write permissions in the Pointwise installation that you will use for testing your plugin, you should define the PW_RUNTIME_ROOT environment variable.

PW_RUNTIME_ROOT identifies the root path to your Pointwise installation. Defining PW_RUNTIME_ROOT allows the build system to automatically copy your new plugins to the Pointwise installation for testing. The plugin is only copied if the build is successful.

The PW_RUNTIME_ROOT path should refer to the folder that contains the Pointwise installation's plugins folder. Typical PW_RUNTIME_ROOT paths would be similar to the following examples.

On linux_x86_64 and macosx platforms, you can use make install_validate to test the PW_RUNTIME_ROOT setting.

The PWI_PLUGINS_SEARCH_PATH environment variable

If you cannot use the PW_RUNTIME_ROOT environment variable, you can set the PWI_PLUGINS_SEARCH_PATH environment variable. PWI_PLUGINS_SEARCH_PATH controls the locations that Pointwise uses to load plugins.

PWI_PLUGINS_SEARCH_PATH is a delimited list of folder ids and paths. At startup, these paths are searched in the order specified. Any plugins found are loaded. If there are any loading conflicts, the first plugin found will be loaded. Any subsequent, conflicting plugins will be ignored.


Example plugin search path settings (win64):

Example plugin search path settings (linux_x86_64, macosx):

By default, Pointwise only loads plugins from the AppPlugins folder (equivalent to PWI_PLUGINS_SEARCH_PATH=@).

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