How to setup a development system

This guide will help you get started with Digital Assistant as quickly as possible. It'll start from the installation of Digital Assistant and by the end you'll have created your first card! Let's get started.

Installation of Digital Assistant

Digital Assistant comes with the free distribution of Microsoft SQL Server Compact (SQLCE) pre-installed, which means that you can get started creating cards, and using full features of Digital Assistant even without setting up a production server.

Before we begin, please make sure that your system matches the minimum system requirements.

  1. First of all, please download the latest version of Digital Assistant from here.

  2. Follow this guide, which gives a detailed walk-through of how to set up Digital Assistant. If you want to get up and running as quickly as possible - install Digital Assistant with Microsoft SQL Server Compact (SQLCE).

Afterwards you should be ready to start working with Digital Assistant.

Installation of optional tools

There's also a number of free tools you can use to improve your development experience.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a free text editor built for developing and debugging web applications. It has built-in debugging tools for Node.js, TypeScript, and JavaScript. It is also open source and released under the MIT license.

Git for Windows

Git for Windows provides a free tool of using Git on your machine including a graphical user interface, which can be helpful for both: experienced Git users and novices.

Enable Debug Mode

If you plan to develop Connectors with NodeJs the NodeJs Debug Mode should be enabled.

Creating your first card

To help you familiarize yourself with Digital Assistant and help you create a mock Card, please look at this guide.

Once you're more comfortable with using Digital Assistant, please have a look at this guide, which shows the creative process for a RSS feed news card, using real external services!

Deploying your card

If you created your card on a local development system, you might want to deploy it to a test or production server. Please read this guide, which explains the process of exporting and importing your card.

Uploading a custom theme

If you're setting up your local development system and your company uses a custom Digital Assistant theme in their production environment you can follow the same steps as in this guide to upload the custom theme to your development system.

Make sure that you overwrite the files and metadata, to ensure the custom theme in your development system is set up identically to the production environment.

Essentially, you simply need to navigate to Development → Manage Spaces → Global → Components in the production or staging environment, and select Download on the custom-theme folder.

Then, on your local development environment, navigate back to the same location, select Upload and add the custom-theme.zip that you just downloaded.

You may want to first Rename the existing custom-theme folder to e.g. custom-theme-save, to keep a back up of your current settings.

Some style settings (logos, splash screen) may also be defined in Development → Manage Spaces → Global → Views → adenin.GateKeeper in the App folder. Repeat the process above of downloading the folder from production, renaming or deleting it on your local development server, and then uploading the ZIP file, to apply these settings to your local theme.

After completing these steps, refresh the main Digital Assistant app page for your server in your browser, and you should now see the theme from production applied.