Introduction to Plug-Ins
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.
Plug-Ins are additional features or functionalities that a developer can create and implement on Arcadier’s Marketplaces, enabling Marketplace Administrators to add more features or functionalities to their marketplace. These plug-ins can be developed by either Arcadier experts, freelance developers or 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.
Image1.1: Our Feature Requests Page
A plug-in is recommended when you're dealing with huge, extremely segmented code, which might include calls done in PHP (secure code/information). Any customisation created via a plug-in cannot be altered or damaged because the Marketplace Administrator does not have access to plug-in codes.
Each plug-in is an application on its own - you can create a simple plug-in for user interface edits, to more complex features such as discount coupons or report generators. You can find public plug-ins that have been created on the Arcadier Platform available on Arcadier’s Plug-In Marketplace. Plug-Ins can only be installed and enabled by Marketplace Administrators on the Admin dashboard, but the features they implement can be used by all the users on a marketplace. They are essentially add-on applications that enhance very specific aspects, customizable by the Marketplace Administrator.
Image: Plug-In installation page on the Admin Dashboard
Before trying to produce your own plug-in, you can take a look at some of Arcadier’s actively working plug-ins to understand the user to developer flow, input implementation processes, and front to back-end connections. Once you are familiar with how plug-ins are incorporated, then you can test various limits by browsing our modern APIs.You can find sample codes and coding tutorials on Arcadier’s GitHub page.
Difference between Public and Private Plug-Ins
Public Plug-Ins, the default setting, are plug-ins available for any Arcadier Marketplace to implement. A developer can develop a plug-in, test it, and submit the plug-in to Arcadier for approval. Once the plug-in approved, it will be available for any Marketplace Administrator to download, install and utilise, regardless of their marketplace type.
Private Plug-Ins, however, can be specifically determined by the developer creating it on the Developer Dashboard. Any developer can create a Private Plug-In where they can define which specific marketplaces can adopt the plug-in they created. Once the developer makes their own plug-in private, that plug-in will only be available to specific marketplaces, and other Marketplaces will not have access to it unless the developer makes it publicly accessible thereafter.
Image: Private Plug-ins tab on the Admin Dashboard
Developers of Public and Private Plug-Ins
Public Plug-Ins are normally created by Plug-In Developer partners who intend for the applications to be published on the Arcadier Plug-In Marketplace for any Marketplace to install. Quite often, creators of public plug-ins generate income from the sale of these plug-ins when they are installed and utilised.
Private Plug-Ins are normally created by Arcadier Expert Partners or other third-party software companies who are hired by a client to build custom features of a specific marketplace. Usually, plug-ins in this category are more complex and specific than public plug-ins and require a much larger budget to create. Check out Arcadier’s growing list of global Expert Partners.
A developer can make any of their plug-ins public or private depending on their intention. Developers need to understand that certain plug-ins could work better on specific marketplaces and may be incompatible with others, therefore it is important for the developer to understand their own plug-in’s limitations.
- In order to create a plug-in on the Arcadier Platform, you will be required to obtain a developer’s account in order to upload your codes and publish your plug-ins.
- Next, refer to on step-by-step instructions on how to build your first plug-in.
- While Arcadier offers flexibility to customise through APIs and plug-ins, to ensure your customisations run smoothly through every release, you will have to include a test script together with your plug-ins to run through automated testing. This will ensure that your custom plug-ins are testing for any issues before release to prevent any unwelcome surprises from happening. Also after 1st January 2021, Arcadier will no longer support custom plug-ins that do not come with automated testing. Refer to Automated Testing guide on how to create automated test scripts.