Project settings for plugins

Since you are building your plugins using CMake most of the following settings are automatically set. However, this document gives some hints about properties, which can maybe be helpful in case of any problems.


For programming a plugin, you need at least the following things:

  • A C++-compatible IDE. On Windows-machines it is recommended to program with Visual Studio Professional 2010, since itom is developped with this IDE, too. On Linux-machines you can for instance use the QtCreator or Eclipse. It is difficult to develop with Visual Studio 2010 Express, since you should install the Qt AddIn for Visual Studio in order to have a good support of Qt within Visual Studio. In the case you don’t have the professional version of Visual Studio, better consider to use the QtCreator for Windows. You must have the Qt version installed, whose major and minor version number is equal than the version itom has been built with. Nevertheless the debugging of your plugin only is possible if you also have a debug-version of itom available on your computer, hence, you built it by yourself from the sources. Else, you only can test your plugin by extensively streaming debugging messages to the std::cerr or std::cout stream, which finally are displayed in the command line of itom.
  • For running itom, you need Python 3.2 installed on your machine.
  • If you want to support the itom-internal DataObject (matrix structures), it is highly recommended to install OpenCV2.3 or later on your machine.

Please consider to have all libraries, which you need, installed in the same version with respect to the processor type (32bit or 64bit).

General settings

  • compile your plugin as dynamic library (dll or a on linux).
  • for the code generation use as runtime library the setting Multithreaded-DLL (/Md) or Multithreaded-Debug-DLL (/MDd) respectively.
  • Don’t use any precompiled headers on Windows.
  • You can switch openMP on in order to support multi-processor calculations for parallelizable algorithms.
  • Call your DLL “[yourName].dll” for the release-version and “[yourName]d.dll” for the debug-version.

Qt-dependent settings

itom is written in C++ using the Qt-framework. Qt provides platform-independent modules and classes which extend the possibilities of native C++. For example, Qt gives the opportunity to build GUI-applications, have network and graphics support or to establish a platform-independent plugin system.

On the one hand, some functionalities of Qt can be used by the help of native Qt-applications, like the designer to build “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” user interfaces, the translator to create translations of the application..., on the other hand C++ is enlarged by Qt by writing specific pre-compiler commands in the code. In both cases, these features have to be translated into native C++-code during the pre-compiling process. Therefore the project files have to be adapted, such that the Qt-specific pre-steps will be triggered once the project’s compilation process is started. All this is done if you install the Qt-AddOn for Visual Studio (if developping with Visual Studio IDE).

Since the plugin, you will write, is based on Qt‘s plugin system, these steps also have to be added to the plugin’s pre-compiling steps. This can be realized by different ways:

  1. You use the QtCreator as IDE and everythings works fine (if the path to Qt is contained in the path variable and the environmental variable QTDIR)
  2. You can use the professional version of Visual Studio together with the installed add-in Qt Visual Studio Add-In
  3. You can use any other development environment and you have to add the necessary pre-compilation step by yourself in the appropriate project file.

The pre-processor-step contains the following steps:

  1. In a folder “generated-files” additional files will be created for each class, containing the macro Q_OBJECT (moc-process).
  2. Any user-interface file (*.ui) will be transformed into an additional C++-class file, that is also contained in the “generated-files” folder (uic-process).
  3. The translation tables will be created.
  4. The resource-files will be parsed and an appropriate C++-file is created (rcc-process).

Qt is shipped with a number of different libraries (lying in the folder $QTDIR$bin). You must link your application against the libraries, whose function you will need in your plugin. It is always necessary to link against the library QtCore and QtGui if your plugin contains any user interface functionality. Other importent libraries are QtOpenGL for OpenGL-support, QtSvg for Svg-support or QtXml, QtSql or QtNetwork. For each of these libraries you plugin must have an entry in the include-directories and the linker-commands.

The pre-processor-definitions must contain the following entries: * WIN32 or _WIN64 * QT_LARGEFILE_SUPPORT * QT_PLUGIN * QT_DLL * QDESIGNER_EXPORT_WIDGETS

and for every Qt-library you need (in capital letters) * QT_CORE_LIB * QT_GUI_LIB * ...

Include settings

Add the following include-directories ($(ITOM_QTDIR) is the path to the Qt-source directory - having subfolders like include or bin):

  • .GeneratedFiles
  • .GeneratedFilesDebug or Release
  • $(ITOM_QTDIR)include
  • $(ITOM_QTDIR)includeqtmain

and for every further Qt-library * $(ITOM_QTDIR)includeQtCore * $(ITOM_QTDIR)includeQtGui * ...

Additionally you should add the path to OpenCV’s include directory, if you are using or linking against the DataObject.

Linker settings

Add as linker directory:

  • The directory, where itom is saving the library to the dataObject.lib...
  • The library-path of OpenCV
  • The directory $(ITOM_QTDIR)bin

Your plugin should at least link agains the following libraries:


  • qtmaind.lib
  • QtCored4.lib
  • QtGuid4.lib
  • ...further Qt libraries
  • opencv_core$(ITOM_OPENCV_VER)d.lib
  • DataObjectd.lib
  • ...


  • qtmain.lib
  • QtCore4.lib
  • QtGui4.lib
  • ...further Qt libraries
  • opencv_core$(ITOM_OPENCV_VER).lib
  • DataObject.lib
  • ...


For more information about the deployment of plugins, including notes about the Qt-version compatibility, see link to Qt-documentation