Add Ons and Building the RMC Pro API

One of the major reasons for creating Responsive Mortgage Calculator Pro has been to fulfill the many requests I’ve had for specialized or unique features. Customizability is central to RMC Pro, but there are still limitations imposed by the basic purpose of the plugin. The plugin essentially takes input using an HTML form, runs the data through processors and calculators, then creates structured output in the form of text and HTML. While the interface, processing, and output are all very customizable, there are limits.

Of the feature requests I’ve received, there are a few that I just can’t include in the core plugin. Sliders, for example, is an add on for RMC Pro that turns the inputs into sliders to more easily adjust the input values. Because this is a specialized feature that isn’t actually about mortgage and loan calculations, it doesn’t make sense to include it in the core plugin. And because it’s an add on, I’ve been able to spend more time honing it’s functionality, creating an interface for designing sliders, and integrating it as an extension to the core plugin.

WordPress provides very useful APIs that have allowed me to add extensions, and I’ve coded in a significant number of custom API components that add on plugins can easily hook into. This allows access to modifying the plugin’s behavior with add ons.

On the administrative side, I’ve added the ability to register new preset calculators. Now, any add on can include a preset calculator to demonstrate it’s settings and behaviour. This also opens the door for easily creating custom preset calculators so that I can more easily support you in creating what you need.

I’ve also created APIs for the calculator editing process. Each editing section, each element, and each element setting is registered through a custom API. Sliders is integrated into RMC Pro by adding new settings to input elements so that you can set slider specific information. Another extension I’m working on, a contact form, adds a completely new section to the editing screen and general settings to govern the behaviour of the contact form as a whole. This is all done through the RMC Pro API, which, once again, makes use of the WordPress action and filter API.

On the front end, I’ve completely recreated the way that the interface is built and processors run. Every interface element is now registered through a custom API, allowing for infinite extendability. If you have an idea for a new input type or means of displaying the results, you can focus on creating the functionality for it to display, then register it using the API, and let RMC Pro handle the rest. Custom processors and calculators are also more feasibly to implement and simple to register through the API.

All this and more is included in the latest version of Responsive Mortgage Calculator Pro.

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