Manifests deprecated

They tell the OX App Suite runtime which files to load when, so the code in it can take effect at the appropriate time. This document should be read by everyone that wants to either build a plugin or an app and contains a description of how to get OX App Suite to run your code.

Declaring a plugin

The minimal declaration for an app looks like this:

{
    "namespace": "core"
}

It consists of a namespace to define the timing when the plugin is to be loaded and the path to the plugins entry file, by convention always called register.js. This declaration is usually found in the file manifest.json right next to the app in question, but could theoretically be located anywhere. If the file is located in the same directory as the main entry file and the file is, as is the convention, called register.js you can leave out the path as it will be added automatically by the buildsystem, so the minimal definition then becomes:

{
    "namespace": "core"
}

The namespace attribute

The namespace contains the name of a frontend module for which the plugin is relevant. Declaring a plugin like this has the effect, that the plugin is loaded before the module named as the namespace is loaded, so it can affect what the core file is doing, commonly by extending an extension point. Besides a module name, there are special namespaces registered at certain points during runtime. One example is the core namespace (see above), which is being loaded after a successful login right before the launch process starts.

A plugin may be associated with more than one namespace, in that case, just use a list as the value for the namespace attribute:

{
    "namespace": [
        "io.ox/contacts/view-detail",
        "io.ox/contacts/edit/view-form"
    ]
}

Whichever module is loaded first will trigger the plugin to be loaded.

Capabilities

Sometimes a plugin or an app is only available if either the backend has a certain bundle installed or the user must have a certain permission. Both permissions and backend capabilities are rolled into the concept of a "capability". If your plugin, for example, is only relevant when the user has access to the calendar module, you can add a requires attribute to the declaration:

{
    "namespace": "io.ox/contacts/view-detail",
    "requires": "calendar"
}

In case you have to consider more than one capability use the same logial operators like you would do when calling capabilies.has directly:

    # logical conjunction
    "requires": "calendar && tasks"
    # logical disjunction
    "requires": "calendar || tasks"

Which capabilities are available can be checked by either reading through existing manifests or by running this in the javascript console once logged into OX App Suite:

_(ox.serverConfig.capabilities).pluck('id')

Device tests

If a plugin is designed only for specific devices, screen sizes or languages, then its loading can be disabling by specifying the criteria in a device attribute:

{
    "namespace": "io.ox/contacts/view-detail",
    "requires": "!smartphone"
}

The full list of available device tests is documented in the Device reference.

In case you have to consider more than one aspect use the same logial operators like you would do when calling _.device directly:

{
    "namespace": "io.ox/contacts/view-detail",
    "requires": "en_US || en_GB"
}

The full list of available device tests is documented in the Device reference.

Multiple declarations in one file

If you need more than declaration in a manifest.json file, you can include them in a list:

[
    {
        "namespace": "io.ox/contacts/view-detail",
        "path": "com.example/myapp/contacts/viewPlugin"
    },
    {
        "namespace": "io.ox/contacts/view-form",
        "path": "com.example/myapp/contacts/formPlugin"
    }
]

Processing of manifest files

During a build run the buildsystem picks up these manifest files and consolidates them into a single file build/manifests/[myapp].json. This file, either by creating a symlink to a locally run backend or by installing the app package on a remote backend, winds up in the manifests directory of the backend and is processed and sent to the frontend. You can see all manifest declarations, that have been sent by the backend by looking at

ox.serverConfig.manifests

in the javascript console.

Special namespaces

Special namespaces can be created on demand at runtime. To make sure all plugins are loaded for this namespace, ox.manifests.loadPluginsFor(namespace) can be called. This section provides you with an incomplete (but commonly used) list of such namespaces.

signin

Plugins that choose "signin" as (or amongst) their namespace, are loaded when the login page is shown. The code can be used to rearrange parts of the signin page or add custom behaviour to it.

login

Modules for this namespace are loaded very early in the boot process. This allows implementing a plugin providing a custom way to gain a session.

core

Core plugins are loaded as soon as the frontend starts up after successfully logging in or reauthenticating with the autologin. This is useful if you need to run code very early.