Getting Started with .Net
For many people the easiest way to work with MPXJ is via NuGet. The .Net assemblies and their dependencies can also be found in the zip file distribution from GitHub or SourceForge.
You'll find a general introduction to MPXJ's functionality here.
MPXJ ships with a set of .Net Framework and .Net Core assemblies, which are
managed for you by NuGet or can be found in the
src.net\lib\netcoreapp3.1 folders of the distribution respectively.
There are actually three different .Net DLLs shipped with MPXJ - you only need one of these:
- mpxj.dll - this is the default .Net version, the API is identical to the Java version
- mpxj-for-csharp.dll - in this version the API has been modified to make it less like Java and more like C#: there are properties rather than getter and setter methods and the method names follow the same uppercase initial letter convention used by C#.
- mpxj-for-vb.dll - this version also transforms getters and setters into properties, but the method names are unchanged. VB is case insensitive and can't cope with the seeing two methods whose name differs only by case
As noted above, in the "for C#" and "for VB" versions of the MPXJ DLL, getters and setters have been replaced by properties. For example, where you would have previously written code like this:
String text = task.getText(); task.setText(text);
Now when you work with the "for C#" and "for VB" versions of the MPXJ DLL, you'll be able to write code in a more familiar style:
String text = task.Text task.Text = text;
Also noted above, in the case of the "for C#" MPXJ DLL, method names have been modified to begin with an initial capital, so the code will again have a more familiar style. For example, using the original Java method names you'd write something like this:
Task task = projectFile.addTask();
Using the "for C#" DLL your code will look like this:
Task task = projectFile.AddTask();
Once you have selected the version of the MPXJ DLL most suitable for your
project, you will need to add its dependencies. If you are using NuGet to
manage your dependencies, this is done for you automatically. If you are
managing the dependencies manually, the files you need will all be in the
relevant sub folder with the
src.net\lib folder of the MPXJ distribution.
MPXJ ships with some sample files which can be found in the
folder of the distribution. These files illustrate how the MPXJ API can be
used to manipulate project data. In particular the
shows how various elements which make up the project data can be queried.
Two versions of this utility are present in
src.net\samples, one written in C#,
and the other written in Visual Basic (VB) to illustrate the basics of using
MPXJ in either language. Even if you are developing software in a .Net
language you may still find it useful to refer to the Java examples, and
indeed the original Java source of MPXJ, to give you an insight into how the
API can be used.
.Net and Java types
The .Net version of MPXJ has been generated directly from the Java
version using a tool called IKVM. One of the side effects of using IKVM to
perform this conversion is that the MPXJ exposes .Net versions of the
original Java data types, so for example you will find that the API returns
a type called
Date rather than a .Net
DateTime, and collections which
don't expose the familiar
To simplify the translation between Java and .Net types, a set of extension
methods have been provided. These are included n the NuGet package, and the
source can be found in the
src.net\utilities folder, in a project called
MpxjUtilities. This project contains extension methods which enhance both
Java and .Net classes to make it easier to pass data to and from the API. For
example the extension method
ToIEnumerable is added to Java collection data
types which allows them to be iterated using the familiar
To use these extension methods, simply add a reference to the
assembly in your own project. The methods themselves are documented in the
source, and examples of their use can be seen in the samples provided in the
MPXJ and the GAC
For your convenience two batch files are provided in the
mpxj-gac-uninstall.bat. These batch
files install the MPXJ assemblies into the GAC and uninstall the MPXJ
assemblies from the GAC using the
assembly cache tool. Note that these batch files assume that
available on the path.