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Inspex is an advanced set of native VCL grid controls specifically
designed for inspecting objects and other data types in your programs.
From the light-weight TIxItemListEditor for editing lists of name-value
pairs to the advanced TIxObjectInspector for inspecting all published
properties of objects and components, there is an inspector control in
the Inspex collection that will meet your needs.
The TIxItemListEditor is a specialized grid control for editing a
collection of items using an object inspector style interface. Each
item in the collection represents a name with one or more values
along with various attributes that describe how the item appears
and functions in the grid. Individual items can also manage their
own collection of sub-items, thus allowing the creation of a
hierarchy with the ability to expand and collapse nested items.
The values are edited as strings, but for a given item, the
TIxItemListEditor can be configured to provide a drop-down list
of strings, or invoke a custom dialog box to be used to edit the
string value. In addition, the Strings property provides a simple
way of populating the Items collection with name-value pairs, where
the name portion may be a dotted path (e.g. Font.Name=Tahoma) to
create items and sub-items.
The TIxItemListInspector provides all of the same capabilities as the
TIxItemListEditor, but allows the individual items to be customized in more
ways. Most importantly, it is possible to associate a type with an item
(e.g. string, Integer, TDateTime, etc.). This allows the TIxItemListInspector
to enforce type safety when values are edited, and to map property presets
to individual items. A property preset is a built-in class that provides
additional services for displaying the item and for editing the item. For
example, the preset that maps to TDate values automatically supplies
necessary formatting and range checking, as well as displaying a calendar
to aid in selecting a date. There are several property presets available.
The TIxObjectInspector is essentially a specialized version of the
TIxItemListInspector with the ability to scan one or more objects and
automatically populate the control's Items collection from the properties
of the inspected objects. Property types are also automatically established
so that property presets are utilized to enhance the display and editing
capabilities of each item. The TIxObjectInspector even predefines a set of
common categories which can be used to arrange properties into category
groups. The TIxObjectInspector also offers additional services such as the
ability to display and edit string list and collection properties directly
in the grid, to add calculated properties to the collection, and to control
item visibility by setting up filters.
The TIxDBInspector is similar to the TIxObjectInspector, but instead of
inspecting objects, this control is designed for inspecting datasets. In
its simplest form, the TIxDBInspector is connected to a TDataSource and the
control automatically populates the Items collection with the fields from the
referenced dataset. Like the TIxItemListInspector, types can then be associated
with each item to provide more advanced display and editing behaviors. An item
can even reference a separate dataset to provide hierarchical data-access. The
TIxDBInspector also supports mixing non-data-aware and data-aware items,
filtering and categorizing fields, and inspecting multiple records.