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Plugins allow for an extension of easydb functionality. They are easily integratged into the Server through it’s YAML and defined by YAML files themselves.

Plugin functionality includes:

Inside Plugins, callbacks can be used to execute functions inside the server. An overview over the callbacks and the contexts in which they can be used, as well as Exceptions that can be used to display different Error types, can be found here.


You can find an example for each type of plugin in this repository

Plugin Definition

Configuration in YAML

Plugins are defined in a YAML configuration file. Because of a new naming convention and for future compatibility, this file must be named manifest.yml.

The naming convention includes the following rules:

The YAML configuration is used to define paths to frontend and server code, additional base configuration entries or elasticsearch mappings for custom datatype plugins. See the configuration of the public easydb-example-plugin as a reference.


Defines the necessary information about the plugin, like the name and the multilingual displayname and info, the version and a url to the plugin repository.

The webfrontend part of the plugin is defined under the plugin key. It defines the relative paths to the javascript file (url), the multilingual frontend translations (l10n) and the CSS stylesheets (css).

webhooks are also defined here.


This top level key defines the server part of the plugin which is written in Python. The relative path to the main python file is defined in file.


Custom Data Types are defined at this top level key. The configuration includes optional information for the Custom Data Type Updater.

Other top level keys


The Makefile is used to define the plugin name and path, the files that are installed, and how the frontend is built including the generating of language files. See the Makefile of the public easydb-example-plugin as a reference.

Including the easydb-library submodule

The submodule easydb-library should be included inside the plugin submodule. It proveds tools to generate build information about the plugin, and is needed to install the plugin on the server.

Web Front End

Frontend apps are Javascript applications that run client-side and can be integrated into the easydb Interface as top level apps in different parts of the web application, such as the sidebar, as popovers opened from within the user tray and more.

Plugin types

Available plugins


Server-Callbacks are Python scripts, that are run in specific situations in a standardized procedure. The plugin registers a function at the server. From then on everytime a certain event happens, the server calls this function.

The server calls the function with information to be processed and expects a response with altered content for further use. Alternatively, if the plugin is used to validate data, for example an EasydbException can be raised when data is invalid. This way a database transaction can be aborted so that no invalid data is saved in the database.

An api_db_pre_update callback for example receives the data entered by a user when a POST api/db call is made, alters the data if necessary, and passes it to the server. From here on the altered data is processed as it would have been without the plugin.

Server callbacks are able to throw easydb errors like “The user has insufficient rights for …” It is also possible to define custom error types, which will be displayed in the frontend properly and localized.

Server callbacks have access to many of easydb’s internal information and tools. They may for example alter an open database transaction of a frontend request, read the base configuration, or request open sessions (which user, what rights?).

Process Plugins

Register a Plugin as a process that runs inside the server.

The Plugin process is started when the server calls the run method, and stops with the server. The stop method is used to clean up before the server and the Plugin process stop. In the run method, threads can be started to repeatedly execute tasks parallel to the server runtime.


def easydb_server_start(easydb_context):
    easydb_context.register_callback('process', {'name': 'process_example'})

# define a funtion that is repeatedly executed while the server runs
def process_function(parameter1):
    # do something

# start a simple thread in the run method
def run(easydb_context):
    t = Thread(target = process_function, args = (parameter1,))

# use the stop method to clean up plugin resources before the server stops
def stop(easydb_context):
    # do some cleanup

API Callbacks

API Callbacks are used to extend the Server API. Registered Callbacks create new API Endpoints.

The URL of an added Endpoint depends on how the plugin is included in the server:


To create an API Endpoint (for a GET request), that returns information about the Server Instance as a JSON Object, register a callback:

def easydb_server_start(easydb_context):
    easydb_context.register_callback('api', { 'name': 'instance', 'callback': 'get_instance'})

This creates a new API Endpoint that is reachable at the URL <Server URL>/api/plugin/base/example-plugin/instance.

The method get_instance to be called would be:

def get_instance(easydb_context, parameters):
    return {
        "status_code": 200,
        "body": json.dumps(easydb_context.get_instance(), indent = 4),
        "headers": {
            "Content-Type": "application/json; charset=utf-8"

In this case, the instance information that is returned from easydb_context.get_instance() is already a JSON object (dict), so it can be returned directly.

It is important to wrap the response body inside a HTTP response.

Request Parameters

The Request Parameters are stored in the method parameter parameters.

This dict contains information about the query URL, the HTTP method and headers and the body of a POST / PUT request. The parameters object of a call to <Server URL>/api/plugin/base/<Plugin Name>/<Callback Name>?a=5&b=test would have the following content:

    "method": "GET",
    "path": "",
    "body": "",
    "query_string": "a=5&b=test",
    "query_string_parameters": {
        "a": [
        "b": [
    "headers": {
        "User-Agent": "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/63.0.3239.132 Safari/537.36",
        "Accept-Encoding": "gzip, deflate",

Export Callbacks

Callbacks for Exports. Allows plugins to define transport types and export extensions. After each export, the export callbacks are called, so each plugin has to check the export definition if the exported files should be manipulated.


The export_produce callback is used to manipulate the data or change the format of the exported files. This example reads the data that was exported in JSON format and converts it to YML format.

def easydb_server_start(easydb_context):
	easydb_context.register_callback('export_produce', {'callback': 'export_as_yml'})

def export_as_yml(easydb_context, parameters):

	# get the exporter definition
	exporter = easydb_context.get_exporter()

	# (1)
	# get the produce options
	produce_options = get_json_value(exporter.getExport(), "export.produce_options", False)

	# check if the export definition fits to this plugin
	if str(get_json_value(produce_options, "plugin", False)) != "example_export":
		# the export specified a different plugin, so nothing has to be done

	# (2)
	# load exported files
	files = exporter.getFiles()

	# get the export directory
	export_dir = exporter.getFilesPath()

	# iterate over the definitions of the exported files and parse the json content
	for f in files:
		if "path" in f:

			# check if this file is a json file
			file_path = f["path"]
			if file_path.lower().endswith(".json"):

				# format the filename of the new YML file, replace ".json" with ".yml"
				file_name = str(f["path"].split(".")[0] + ".yml")

				# parse the json file
				file = open(file_path, "r")
				content = json.loads('utf-8'))

				# (3)
				# convert the list of objects to YML
				objects = get_json_value(content, "objects", False)

				# save the YML file in the temporary folder
				tmp_filename = os.path.abspath("%s/../tmp/tmp_objects.yml" % export_dir)

				with open(tmp_filename, "w") as yml_file:
					# define the final dict that will be converted to YML
					object_output = {
						"objects": objects

					# dump the YML
					yaml.dump(object_output, yml_file, default_flow_style = False)

					# (4)
					# add the new YML file to the export so it can be opened or downloaded from the frontend
					exporter.addFile(tmp_filename, file_name)

					# remove the old JSON file


The produce options define the name of the plugin that is used to handle the exported data, and other information that can be set in the frontend. By default, the value "plugin" is "easydb" for all exports. A plugin should always check if this value, and stop at the beginning when the plugin name does not fit.

The export definition has this structure:

    "plugin": "example_export",
    "example_option_1": 123,
    "example_option_2": true


The exported files are defined in an array that is returned by easydb_context.get_exporter().getFiles(). The export file definition have the following structure:

        "eas_fileclass": null,
        "eas_version": null,
        "system_object_id": null,
        "date_created": null,
        "path": "2018-03-05 10_19 easydb FULL example_export_plugin/28919-28920@2f94d4fe-ec64-408e-8705-dd5f7da3e1a8.json",
        "eas_id": null,
        "size": 4612


The objects are inside the array "objects" in the JSON definition of the exported objects. A JSON export has the following structure:

    "aggregations": {},
    "format": "long",
    "type": "objects",
    "objecttypes": [
    "objects": [
    "language": "de-DE",
    "offset": 0,
    "limit": 1000,
    "count": 1,
    "took": 5,
    "request_time": {
        "elasticsearch": 5


To display new or renamed files in the export dialog in the frontend, the new filenames have to be added to the export, and files that are not used anymore have to be removed. To add a file, the path to the file and the relative filename that will be shown in the frontend have to be passed to the server.

The server copies the original file into the export folder. The relative filename has to fit to the export folder. For example, if an export was saved as plan-export-123, and the plugin created a file in the temporary folder tmp, then the path to the temporary file has to passed to the server, as well as the target name of the new file relative to the directory /home/.../plan-export-123/files/:


To remove a file, the path of the file relative to the files directory needs to be passed to the server:


Database Callbacks (Extension Points)

Callbacks that are called before and after database updates. The data can be validated and manipulated before it is saved in the database. Callback functions will be passed two arguments when invoked: An Object that represents the easydb context, providing direct access to the easydb server and a dictionary that contains the data that is being handled. The content of the dict depends on the the action associated with the callback: Pre update callbacks get passed the modified fields and post update callbacks get permission and display metadata.

Note that callbacks can be chained and always have to return something json serializeable.

Also note that the info dict has to be unpacked.

import logging

def easydb_server_start(easydb_context):
    easydb_context.register_callback('db_post_update_one', {'callback': 'minimal_callback'})

    logging.basicConfig(filename="/var/tmp/plugin.log", level=logging.DEBUG)"Loaded plugin")

def minimal_callback(easydb_context, easydb_info):
        # unpack payload and do stuff:
        info = easydb_info['data']'Got info: ' + str(info))
    except Exception as exception:
        return info

User Callbacks

Transition Callbacks

Transition (or Workflow) actions defined by a plugin are realised using this callback. Transition actions that are defined by a plugin can be selected in the frontend. When the transition is processed and the action is performed, the plugin function which is registered at this callback is executed.

Configuring a transition callback

Register a callback in the server part of the plugin by defining it as a transition_action:

def easydb_server_start(easydb_context):
    easydb_context.register_callback('transition_action', {
        'action_type': 'example_transition_action',
        'callback': 'example_transition_action'

In the webfrontend part of the plugin, add the transition action by defining it in a coffeescript file:

class ExampleTransitionAction extends TransitionActionAction

	getListViewColumn: ->
		type: CUI.Output
		text: "Example Plugin Action: set timestamp in text field"

	getSaveData: ->
		sd =
			type: ExampleTransitionAction.getType()
			info: {}

	@getType: ->

	@getDisplayName: ->
		"Example Plugin Action"


Implementing a transition callback function

The function runs in the Base-Context. It can use functions that are defined in the context.

The function receives an array of objects. The data can be manipulated and must be returned by the function. The data is then saved in the database. The purpose of the transition callback is to manipulate or check objects, which have triggered a transition, before the data is inserted or updated.

The following example sets the current timestamp in a field in the object:

# write the current timestamp into a text field
# assume that the objects are of objecttype 'obj' and have a text field 'timestamp'
def example_transition_action(easydb_context, data):

    for i in range(len(data['data'])):
        data['data'][i]['obj']['timestamp'] = str(
    return data['data']

This action can be added to transitions on the objecttype obj by selecting “Example Plugin Action” in the action select menu of the transition.

Transition callbacks are useful for transitions that are triggered by an INSERT or an UPDATE operation on objects.

User IO Callbacks

Example (Server Callback)

Python Plugin Code

Plugins are realised in the form of a python script

# function called at server start
# register server callbacks
def easydb_server_start(easydb_context):
    easydb_context.register_callback('db_pre_update', {
      'callback': 'pre_update_function'})

def pre_update_function(easydb_context, easydb_info):
    logger = easydb_context.get_logger('loggername')
    data = easydb_info['data']
    data['name'] = "TEST-PLUGIN"
    return data

The Function easydb_server_start is called once at startup. In this function, callbacks are registered on the server. Depending on their type, the registered callbacks are then called when certain events occure.

In the sample code the function pre_update_function is registered to be called at ever db_pre_update event. Each time an object is created or changed, this function will be called and change the objects name field, setting it’s value to "TEST-PLUGIN".

YAML Configuration

In order for the Script to be executable by the server a YAML defining the plugin is necessary.

  name: example_plugin
  version: 1.0
      require: 1


  - name: example_plugin
    group: example_plugin
    require_system_right: plugin.example_plugin.allow_use_of_plugin
    unauthenticated_visible: false
        type: bool
        default: true
        position: 0
        type: select
        label: "select one of the following options"
        default: one
          - one
          - two
          - three
        type: table
          - name: street
            type: text
            position: 0
          - name: number
            type: int
            position: 1


In this case was assumed that the plugin is called example_plugin and it’s python script lies within the same directory as the YAML. The YAML configuration shown here contains the bare minimum of entries.

Defining custom events

A list of custom events that are defined by this plugin and extend the list of default server events.

Each entry in the list custom_events defines a key that can be used to identify a custom event that occured during the runtime of a process plugin.

To raise a custom event, the log_event method can be used to log an event in the event history in the server.

Defining base configuration

The plugin can define its own parameters for the Basic configuration .

Each entry in base_config defines a group of base configuration parameters:

Enabling the plugin in the server

Besides defining the plugin YAML it is necessary to alter the server YAML. It must be extended in the following way:

  name: beispiel-instanz
    - name: example_plugin
      file: plugins/example_plugin/example_plugin.yml

    - solution.beispiel-instanz.example_plugin

The entries "solution" as well as "" are by default already set.

The solution directory which contains the plugin files is structured like this in the example described:

│   solution.yml
└─── plugins
     └─── example_plugin
          │   example_plugin.yml