|Step By Step From Visual Studio "Plugin Project" Template|
Developing a plugin from the ground up is as simple as using the "Plugin Project" template from the Alchemy4Tridion Developer Pack and ensuring you have some core classes.
This guide assumes you have already installed the developer pack.
Create a new "Plugin Project" project in Visual Studio. You should see this in the "A4T" category in the "Add New Project" dialog.
Select a unique name for your plugin in the "Plugin Name" dialog that appears next. This is the name that will be displayed in both the Webstore as well as the list of installed plugins when in Tridion. You can leave the checkbox checked if you wish to verify that the name has not yet been taken in the Webstore.
Although this step can verify that the name is not yet taken, it does not actually register your plugin within the Webstore yet. (This happens when you build the project.)
Add any Config classes that represent configuration elements of the traditional Editor.config file. (covered by another topic in this documentation).
You can use the item templates found in the "A4T/GUI" category when in the "Add New Item" dialog.
Build your project in Visual Studio.
If you want to upload your project to the Webstore, complete the dialog that pops up after supplying your Webstore credentials.
If you want to test your plugin directly without uploading to the Webstore, find the .a4t file in the /bin/Debug/ folder of your project (assuming you built under the Debug target). You can drag and drop this to the "Plugins" tab of the Alchemy UI.
Since this plugin has not been uploaded to the Webstore it is considered a development plugin. Be mindful of any other plugins that may already be installed; if your plugin doesn't have a unique name it will get an error saying it is already installed.
Plugins require a page reload to show up in the Tridion GUI. After installing (or uninstalling) a plugin, a reload icon will appear in the top bar of the Alchemy UI, near where your username is displayed. You can either click this or use your browser's refresh button.
Your plugin is now installed and any changes to the GUI should now be visible in the CME.
Now that you know how to build a plugin, continue reading this documentation to further master new areas of plugin development.