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Creating Proxy Classes

This chapter covers the following topics:
See Using Wrapper Classes with .NET APIs for a description of the preferred method for importing third-party DLLs. See the Mapping Specification chapter for a detailed description of how .NET classes are mapped to Caché proxy classes.
Note:
The .NET Gateway cannot generate proxy classes for .NET generic classes. It similarly cannot import .NET classes with generic subclasses or subinterfaces.

Using the Studio .NET Gateway Wizard

The following steps summarize the procedure:
  1. Start a .NET Gateway server. The server must be running before the Wizard can be used.
  2. In Studio, select
    Tools > Add-ins > Add-ins...
    to display the list of available add-ins.
  3. Select
    .Net Gateway Wizard
    from the
    Add-ins
    dialog and click
    OK
    . The
    .Net Gateway Wizard
    Studio template is displayed:
    The .NET Gateway Wizard Studio Template
    images/bgnt_studiowiz_1.png
  4. Fill out the form. The following items can be defined:
    • Enter the path and name of a DLL assembly file:
      Required. DLL name.
    • .NET Gateway server name / IP address:
      Required. IP address or name of the machine where the .NET Gateway server executable is located. The default is
      "127.0.0.1"
      .
    • .NET Gateway server port:
      Required. Server port.
    • Additional paths\assemblies to be used in finding dependent classes:
      Optional. Specify a list of assembly .dll files or directories, separated by semicolons.
    • Exclude dependent classes matching the following prefixes:
      Optional. Specify a list of namespaces and class name prefixes, separated by semicolons.
  5. The Wizard displays a list of available classes:
    Selecting Classes to Import
    images/bgnt_studiowiz_2.png
    Check the classes that you want to use, then click
    Finish
    .

Generating Proxy Classes Programmatically

This section discusses the following methods of the %Net.Remote.Gateway class:
  • %Import() — imports .NET classes or assemblies from the .NET side and generates all the necessary proxy classes for the Caché side.
  • %GetAllClasses() — returns a list of all public classes available in the specified assembly DLL.
  • %ExpressImport() — combines calls to %Connect(), %Import(), and %Disconnect().
See the %Net.Remote.Gateway Caché class documentation for a complete listing of all Gateway methods.
The %Import() method of the Gateway class sets off the following chain of sequential events:
  1. The Caché session sends an import request.
  2. Upon receiving the request, the .NET Gateway worker thread introspects the indicated .NET assemblies and classes.
  3. The thread also loads dependent assemblies either from the local directory or from the Global Assembly Cache (GAC).
  4. If it finds any .NET classes that are new or changed, or that have no proxy classes on the Caché side, the .NET Gateway worker thread generates new proxy classes for them.

%Import() Method

The %Import() method imports the given class and all its dependencies by creating and compiling all the necessary proxy classes. The %Import() method returns (in the ByRef argument imported) a list of generated Caché proxy classes. For details of how .NET class definitions are mapped to Caché proxy classes, see the “Mapping Specification” chapter in this guide.
%Import() is a onetime, startup operation. It only needs to be called the first time you wish to generate the Caché proxy classes. It is necessary again only if you recompile your .NET code and wish to regenerate the proxies.
Import Arguments
Before you invoke %Import(), prepare the additionalClassPaths and exclusions arguments. That is, for each argument, create a new %ListOfDataTypes object and call its Insert() method to fill the list. The optional additionalClassPaths argument can be used to supply additional path arguments, such as the names of additional assembly DLLs that contain the classes you are importing via the .NET Gateway. List elements should correspond to individual additional assembly DLL entries, which require the following format:
" rootdir\...\mydll.dll "
You can try to load an assembly from a directory outside of where DotNetGatewaySS.exe is running, but you might experience a load error for your assembly when you try to use a class in the assembly. InterSystems recommends that you put all local assemblies in the same directory as DotNetGatewaySS.exe. You can also specify assemblies in the GAC by using partial names for them,
System.Data
, for example.
Import Dependencies and Exclusions
While mapping a .NET class into an Caché proxy class and importing it into Caché, the .NET Gateway loops over all class dependencies discovered in the given .NET class, including all classes referenced as properties and in argument lists. In other words, the .NET Gateway collects a list of all class dependencies needed for a successful import of the given class, then walks that dependency list and generates all necessary proxy classes.
You can control this process by specifying a list of assembly and class name prefixes to exclude from this process. While this situation would be rare, it does give you some flexibility to control what classes get imported. The .NET Gateway automatically excludes a small subset of assemblies such as Microsoft.* assemblies.

%GetAllClasses() Method

This method returns, in the ByRef argument allClasses, a list of all public classes available in the assembly DLL specified by the first argument, jarFileOrDirectoryName.

%ExpressImport() Method

%ExpressImport() is a one-step convenience class method that combines calls to %Connect(), %Import(), and %Disconnect(). It returns a list of generated proxies. It also logs that list, if the silent argument is set to 0. The name argument is a semicolon-delimited list of classes or assembly DLLs.
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