When you buy NiceLabel Portal you also get the new version of NiceLabel Suite (220.127.116.1120). This version includes NiceForm that besides Visual Basic Script now also supports Python as a scripting language. This gives NiceForm and NiceLabel Portal great opportunities to create very powerful and versatile solutions.
NiceForm uses Python 2.7 and PyWin32 extensions for Python that allow Python to be used in the same way VBScript is used. However these two components are not automatically installed when you install NiceLabel Suite as most users will not need them. You will have to manually install first Python 2.7 and then PyWin32 extensions. You can find them on the NiceLabel Portal CD or download them from the internet:
How to enable Python as scripting language in NiceForm?
You can now choose between VBScript or Python language as the scripting language that can be used in "Execute script" ("VB Script" action was renamed to "Execute script") action or as an expression for action condition. This is a new form property that you can change by double clicking the form and opening "Scripting" page in the “Form Properties” dialog box and it will be used for all actions on the form. Only one language can be used at a time.
Other changes in NiceForm 5.2.3 regarding Python scripting
Some other changes were also implemented in NiceForm in connection with Python scripting:
- “Action Properties [Execute Script]” dialog box is now resizable.
- Syntax highlighting for both VBScript and Python is supported.
- “Build script …” button is not available if you use Python as a scripting language.
Some of the differences between VBScript and Python
If you want to use variables in scripts you have to follow some rules regarding variable names:
- Name cannot contain spaces.
- Name can contain lowercase or uppercase letters and digits.
- Case is significant.
- The following reserved words cannot be used as variable names: and, as, assert, break, class, continue, def, del, elif, else, except, exec, finally, for, from, global, if, import, in, is, lambda, not, or, pass, print, raise, return, try, while, with, yield.
This means that if you were allowed to use variable with name “Last Name” in a VBScript you will no longer be able to do that and you will have to rename it to “LastName” to use it in Python script. Please also note that Python is case sensitive and that “variable” and “Variable” are no longer the same thing (as they were in VBScript). In your Python script you have to use exactly the same name for a variable you used when you defined it.
Getting and setting variable values
One of the differences between VBScript and Python is also the way NiceForm variables are set. This is best shown on a sample code. Below you can find a piece of code that does the same thing in both VBScript and Python.
error = "" if Len(keypress) <> 8 then keypress = keypress & 8 else error = "You can use max 8 digits" end if Display = keypress
error.Value = "" if len(keypress.Value) < 8: keypress.Value = keypress.Value + "8" else: error.Value = "You can use max 8 digits" Display.Value = keypress.Value
If you want to get or set variable value you can no longer just its name, but have to use its “Value” property.
Python scripts in NiceLabel Portal
Because NiceLabel Portal runs in the browser and Python as such cannot be used there we used IronPython for running scripts in forms that are used in NiceLabel Portal. Because of this there are some differences between scripts that run on the desktop (in NiceForm) and those that run in NiceLabel Portal. Syntax of the scripts is the same you just cannot use all of the modules Python provides.
How can I tell on which platform my Python script is running?
import sys if sys.platform == 'silverlight': # Form runs in NiceLabel Portal else: # Form runs in NiceForm on the desktop
I find the following resources very useful for learning Python:
www.python.org/ (Python Home)
diveintopython.org/ (Dive into Python)
openbookproject.net//thinkCSpy/ (How to Think Like a Computer Scientist)
ironpython.net/ (IronPython Home)
www.trypython.org/ (Excellent resource for trying out what can be done via scripting in NiceLabel Portal)