Add-ins (also known as plug-ins) are separately compiled components that your application can find, load, and use dynamically. Often, an application is designed to use add-ins so that it can be enhanced in the future without needing to be modified, recompiled, and retested. Add-ins also give you the flexibility to customize separate instances of an application for a particular market or client. But the most common reason to use the add-in model is to allow third-party developers to extend the functionality of your application. For example, add-ins in Adobe Photoshop provide a wide range of picture-processing effects. Add-ins in Firefox provide enhanced web surfing features and entirely new functionality. In both cases, the add-ins are created by third-party developers.


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© Matthew MacDonald 2010

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