Building my first Plug-In
Welcome to Arcadier's Plug-In Developer Ecosystem! On this page, you will find an overview of the entire process of creating a plug-in for Arcadier Marketplaces. Listed below are the 7 basic sections:
- Understand the Arcadier Platform
- Learning and Setting Up
- Build and Configure Your Plug-in
- Uploading Plug-in on Dashboard
- Submit For Approval
- Plug-in Goes Live
- Earn Money Per Download!
Each section will have additional links to take you through the specific actions required.
Arcadier is a marketplace Software-as-a-Service that allows anyone to create their own marketplace platform within minutes. Since the software is templatized, there are certain features which may be desired by some users but are not available within the existing software. Hence, we introduced the concept of a Plug-In Marketplace, where users can download plug-ins—useful installable applications and integrations—to add to and customise their marketplaces. These plug-ins are developed by Arcadier experts as well as freelance developers and development companies.
As a developer, there are many plug-ins which can potentially be created. A good platform to check out is our Feature Requests Page, where you can find plug-in ideas. Posts made by our users on the page can be sorted by different metrics, as seen below in Image 1.1.
Image 1.1: Our Feature Requests Page
Now, you can explore Arcadier from a developer’s perspective.
- Register to be a Plug-in Developer
- Fill up our registration form: https://form.jotform.me/arcadier/plugin-developer
- Once approved, you will be emailed the login credentials to your account for the Developer Dashboard, where you can manage your plug-ins.
- Create a Sandbox Marketplace
- The Sandbox is a free resource which allows you to call and test APIs on the marketplace platform. You can create one within 5 minutes.
- You will use it later to test your own plug-in.
- Read our Documentation:
- Front-End Documentation: https://api.arcadier.com/intro-front-end
- Full List of APIs and categories: https://apiv2.arcadier.com
- Refer to our GitHub resources for the following:
- Demo Plug-ins: https://github.com/Arcadier/Plug-In-Demos
- Developer Community & Support: https://github.com/Arcadier/Developer-Community-Support
- Guides & Tutorials for basic Plug-In functions: https://github.com/Arcadier/Tutorials
- Video Guides: https://api.arcadier.com/how-to-guides
Now that you have all the necessary knowledge, you can build your own plug-in! Do note that your plug-in file should be in the format of 3 folders: CSS, HTML, and JS.
To charge users for your Plug-In, you will have to employ Arcadier’s Plug-In Billing Engine.
Steps to do so include:
- Create a Stripe account
- Choose between charging a one-time fee or on a subscription basis
- Merge your plug-in code within the Billing Engine code
Make sure to follow all of the instructions here carefully to be able to collect your payments seamlessly: https://github.com/Arcadier/Plug-In-Billing-Engine.
Access your Developer Dashboard - you should have received your login details from Section 2.
Upload your plug-in on to the Developer Dashboard (Image 4.1), which you can then test by downloading it onto your Sandbox Marketplace as a user.
Refer to the detailed instructions here: https://github.com/Arcadier/Tutorials#creating-your-first-plug-in-on-sandbox
Image 4.1: Upload your Plug-In on the Developer Dashboard
Image 4.2: Downloading your Plug-In on Sandbox Marketplace
- Login to dashboard.sandbox.arcadier.io using your developer account
- Click on "Add Plugin" button on the top right
Fill in the name and description fields (the other fields are optional). If you want to make your plugin private, toggle "is this a private plug-in?" to YES, put the marketplace URL inside the “List of marketplace this plug-in available to” and press enter. It is recommended to fill in the version too, so you can track for any changes done. Click Save and it will bring you back to the plugin list page.
Do make sure that the name of the plugin is unique as you might not be able to save if the plug-in name is duplicated.
- Find your plugin and click on edit
- You will see 3 new sections show up on the right side. Upload your zip under the file management section. You do not need to put any custom table and custom fields unless your plugin needs it.
- Make sure you can see your zip there. The name of the zip file can be anything and it doesn't have to be the same as the plugin id.
- Click save at the bottom and make sure you see the success pop up on the top right and it will bring you back to the plugin list page. If you get stuck in saving, it might be that your zip file is not in the correct format for the plugin. Please check back on the plugin boilerplate (link somewhere)
- When you are back on the plugin list, tick the verified box and click on "disable" under "For All Users" to change to enable.
- You can now go to your sandbox marketplace and find your plugin under the Available tab or Private Plug-ins tab for private plugin
When your plug-in is fully tested and ready for public live release, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
- Sandbox Marketplace URL
- Plug-in Name & Code
- 30-word pitch for Plug-In Marketplace Catalogue
- Description of Plug-in
- Relevant screenshots or videos
- How-To-Use Article (optional)
The plug-in will be listed on the plug-in marketplace within the Administrator Dashboard of our users (identical to your Sandbox Marketplace), as well as on our Catalogue, as seen in Image 5.1.
Image 5.1: Plug-In Marketplace Catalogue
Once the plug-in is approved, the submitted plug-in will go live. Hence, ensure that every component is in the right place before submitting it!
After the release, you will be able to debug your plug-ins and release updates.
After your plug-in goes live, it will be visible to all users on their marketplaces, the same way you are able to see it on Sandbox. Here’s how they will download it:
Image 6.1: Directions to Download Plug-ins
- After a plug-in goes live, users will be able to find it on the “Plug-ins” page from their own admin portals.
- Plug-ins which they can download are found under the “Available” tab.
- Users simply click “Install” to download the plug-in and use it on their marketplace.
Once users download your plug-in, you will receive payments automatically, through your connected Stripe account (set up in Stage 3)!
Payment from each transaction will be reflected in your Stripe account, similar to Image 7.1 and 7.2 below:
Image 7.1: Payments through Stripe (Subscription Basis)
Image 7.2: Payments through Stripe (One-time Fee)
That’s all the information you need to create your plug-in! If you run into any problems in the process, here’s a refresher of the resources you may need:
- API v2.0 Library
- Our GitHub Page
- Dev Community & Forum
- Technical Support: email us at email@example.com
Good luck on your plug-in journey and welcome to the Arcadier development family!