This document provides answers to some of the most common questions regarding the newly released Trimble Macro Language capabilities in Trimble Business Center (TBC) v5.00 releasing in November, 2018.
Q: What TBC license do I need to write or execute Macros?
A: Authors and users of macros will need the TBC Survey Advanced edition.
Q: Will I have access to the source code to native TBC commands?
A: No, existing commands source code will not be made available. A few Trimble-made commands doing a variety of tasks have been included with TBC. These can be used as a sample working with all data types.
Q: What programming language is being used and what do I need to compile the code?
A: Macros are written using the Iron Python language. Because Iron Python is hosted in the .NET environment, it gets compiled in memory when run and that compiled version can be saved as a *.pydll.
Q: Is the new TML same as the Terramodel Macro Language? Can I reuse my Terramodel scripts in TBC v5.xx?
A: No, these use completely different programming languages and interfaces. There are no converters that would enable converting Terramodel scripts into TBC ready scripts.
Q: Will I be able to modify existing commands?
A: No, the source code for native TBC commands will not be distributed. You can however recreate the functionality of most commands and modify them to suit your needs.
Q: Can I string together existing commands to automate workflows?
A: Yes, but you will still be required to manually populate fields as required by the commands you call.
Q: Can I automate repetitive tasks, like the internet download process?
A: Yes, but you will need to create the commands required to do so.
Q: Is the macro module similar to the “action recorder” function for AutoCAD?
A: No, the TBC macro module are designed for developing custom commands, not as an automation tool.
Q: As a dealer/reseller, will I be required to share my macros?
A: You will be able to sell/distribute your macros as you see fit.
Q: Do I have to pay for MS Visual Studio?
A: No, IronPython is well supported in the free Visual Studio Community software.
Q: Will Trimble offer a macro service?
A: Trimble will not directly provide a macro service, but Trimble's knowledgeable dealer network and private software developers can provide custom and personalized macro development services.
Q: As a macro developer, can I resell macros? How do I secure my macros?
A: Distribution and reselling of macros is approved as long as it doesn’t violate existing TBC business models and compete with existing Trimble software solutions as per the TBC EULA (End User License Agreement). Because Iron Python is run in the .NET framework, when your macros are run they are compiled in memory and can be saved.
Q: If there is a popular macro, can Trimble convert it into a regular command without the author's consent?
A: As per the TBC EULA, Trimble can leverage existing idea of a macro and write a TBC “native” command. Trimble cannot take existing Python code and convert it into a TBC command.
Q: Where can I find help with developing and using macros?
A: We have a great community page with extensive documentation on how macros work and can be made.
Access that page here: https://community.trimble.com/groups/trimble-business-center-hce
For more information contact your local Trimble Distribution Partner.