Sample Files, File Compatibility, and Design Patterns
There are over 300 Packet Tracer .pka files that exist embedded in the Discovery and Exploration courses. They are also packaged for instructor convenience in the Tools section for a given course in Academy Connection. Included with this version of Packet Tracer are two ways to open files: Open and Open Samples. The Open selection will access a local directory that you choose upon installation and can change through the Options > Preferences > Administrative tab. The Open Samples choice will access a directory within the Packet Tracer installation directory, and includes sample activities of some of the new protocols in this version of Packet Tracer.
There are also three ways to save files. The Save selection will access the directory you specified (in a Windows environment, in "My Documents" typically. The Save As selection allows you to choose different directories at the time of the save. Finally, Save As Pkz creates a zip-like collection of .pka files and associated graphics, templates, and other files to allow a more customized experience in an activity file. In the following sections, we suggest four design patterns – approaches or problem templates for authoring your own .pka files: concept builders, skill builders, design challenges, and troubleshooting. We encourage you to modify existing .pka files, share your own files, or write them from scratch using the extensive new Activity Wizard features, following one of the four main design patterns, described in more depth below.