The Integrator


E

Explorador

XAML represents a bridge between the designer and developer teams.
A new role has emerged as the result of this fusion, that Paul
Alexander, a technical program manager with IdentityMine, calls the
integrator:

“The Integrator understands the needs of the developer while also
supporting the needs of the designer to assure that the app’s UI is as
compelling as it was designed, while also validating that the concepts
can be realized in code from the developer.”

The integrator deals mostly with XAML code and provides an interface
between the developer and designer, by structuring and modularizing
the XAML.

Therefore, the ideal integrator must posess strong design skills and a
thorough understanding of XAML and Windows Presentation Foundation
(WPF) concepts such as inheritance, styles, and resource lookup.

The Designer<->Integrator<->Developer Model allows the design team to
leave the XAML unattended and focus on having their assets effectively
integrated into the project.
Designers can work with tools such as Expression Design, Inkscape or
Adobe Illustrator and output the results as XAML.
The integrator then integrates the XAML into the project and passes it
on to the developers, who need not to be concerned with design issues.
Obviously, this model also works perfectly well the other way around,
and in some cases it is advisable to have the developer team establish
the foundations of the project.
Expression Blend, by Microsoft, makes this transition even easier, by
accepting and generating XAML code that can be directly imported/
exported from/to Visual Studio.
 
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T

Tom Dacon

XAML represents a bridge between the designer and developer teams.
A new role has emerged as the result of this fusion, that Paul
Alexander, a technical program manager with IdentityMine, calls the
integrator:

This is a good description of an integrator's role in web site development,
but is not actually a new concept. At a software services company I worked
for in 2001-2002, we formed multi-disciplinary teams for web site
development that involved some eight roles, one of which was the team's
Integrator. At the time this was primarily ASP development, but during that
time I also led the technical teams for a couple of ASP.Net projects, as
..Net was just coming online.

The integrator's role in an ASP or ASP.Net project was to take the graphical
designer's image representation of a web site page and turn it into HTML in
an ASP or ASPX page (similar to Mr. Alexander's Integrator, who works with
XAML). She would do such things as coding style sheets, cutting up the
graphics into elements and assembling them into an HTML representation of
the graphical designer's image, and for instance populating the html with
sample tables where the developer's job would be to later populate the HTML
dynamically with data read from a database, etc. Because integration would
normally occur episodically - a few days here, a few days there, as the
graphical designers rolled out new page images - an Integrator might support
multiple project development teams at the same time.

So I applaud Mr. Alexander for recognizing this role as an important one,
but I would like to merely note that it has already been recognized and put
to work effectively for quite some time in the industry.

Regards,
Tom Dacon
Dacon Software Consulting
 

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