FlexDeploy Plugin SDK

Introduction

FlexDeploy provides dozens of out of the box plugins for building and deploying software using various technologies and middleware platforms.  The FlexDeploy Plugin SDK allows customers or Flexagon partners to develop their own plugins. This guide provides the documentation for creating and managing these plugin implementations.

FlexDeploy plugins are implemented in Java and are installed on the FlexDeploy server for use within workflows.  These plugins are automatically distributed to the endpoints where they are defined to execute.  A plugin consists of four components:

  • Java Implementation (See Plugin SDK API documentation)
  • XML metadata describing its operations, properties, and other behavior
  • Setup scripts (optional) to initialize the environment prior to execution
  • Required 4.5.0 FlexDeploy libraries (download here)

Reference Example 

A fully functional plugin example for Apache HTTP Server, including source code, is provided for reference throughout this documentation.  This plugin provides four operations

  • build - packages web server content into a zip file artifact
  • deploy - deploys the zip file artifact produced during build to an Apache HTTP Server
  • start - starts an Apache HTTP Server
  • stop - stops an Apache HTTP Server

Plugin Lifecycle

Each plugin operation (e.g. build, deploy, start, stop) is implemented by extending AbstractPluginProvider.  

Apache HTTP Server - AbstractPluginProvider implementation - build operation
public class Build
  extends AbstractPluginProvider
{
  private static final String CLZ_NAM = Build.class.getName();
  private static final FlexLogger LOG = FlexLogger.getLogger(CLZ_NAM);

  public Build()
  {
    super();
  }

  @Override
  public void validate()
    throws FlexCheckedException
  {
    //TODO
  }

  @Override
  public PluginResult execute()
    throws FlexCheckedException
  {
    //TODO
  }

  @Override
  public void cleanup()
  {
    //TODO
  }
}

Using the XML metadata which is packaged with the plugin, FlexDeploy will manage its lifecycle by invoking the methods implemented by the concrete class.

  • public abstract void validate() throws FlexCheckedException;
  • public abstract PluginResult execute() throws FlexCheckedException;

  • public void cleanup();

The validate method is responsible for validating that prerequisites are satisfied prior to performing the execution. As you will see later, the XML metadata identifies basic prerequisites (e.g. required fields) that will be enforced by the plugin framework.  However, there may be more advanced validation which can be implemented within this method.

Apache HTTP Server - build operation
  @Override
  public void validate()
    throws FlexCheckedException
  {
    String methodName = "validate";
    LOG.logInfoEntering(methodName);
    //Let's validate that if a relative path is given, it exists on the file system.
    String relativePath = getRelativePathToFiles();
    if (relativePath != "")
    {
      File file = new File(getWorkflowExecutionContext().getTempDirectory() + relativePath);
      if (!file.exists())
      {
        throw new FlexCheckedException(ApacheHttpProperties.FDAH_00001_INVALID_PATH, "The given relative path, [" + relativePath + "] was not found in the FD_TEMP_DIR, or was not a relative path.");
      }
    }
    LOG.logInfoExiting(methodName);
  }

The execute method is responsible for performing the actual execution of the plugin operation.

Apache HTTP Server - build operation
  @Override
  public PluginResult execute()
    throws FlexCheckedException
  {
    String methodName = "execute";
    LOG.logInfoEntering(methodName);
    String source = getWorkflowExecutionContext().getTempDirectory() + getRelativePathToFiles();
    String destination = getWorkflowExecutionContext().getArtifactsDirectory() + File.separator + ApacheHttpProperties.ARTIFACTS_ZIP;

    LOG.logInfo("Zipping {0} into an artifact at (1}.", source, destination);
    int zipped = new FlexZipUtils(source, new File(destination)).zipFolder();
    getWorkflowExecutionContext().getOutputMap().put(ApacheHttpProperties.FDAH_FILE_COUNT, new PropertyValue(zipped, PropertyValue.PropertyTypeEnum.Integer, false));
    LOG.logInfo(methodName, "Done!");

    LOG.logInfoExiting(methodName);
    return PluginResult.createPluginResult(getWorkflowExecutionContext());
}

After performing the execution, the execute method is responsible for setting any outputs into the WorkflowExecutionContext and returning the result using the following code fragment.

return PluginResult.createPluginResult(getWorkflowExecutionContext());

The cleanup method is responsible for freeing any resources utilized by the plugin operation.  Examples would be closing connections, deleting files, etc. Note that the cleanup method is provided as an empty implementation by the abstract class, and can be overridden by the concrete subclasses as needed.

Workflow Execution Context

The Workflow Execution Context provides information related to the current execution.  This includes properties, inputs, the endpoint working directory (and its sub-directories), and other execution related information.  The following table summarizes the working directory sub-directories and their purpose.

DirectoryWorkflowExecutionContext MethodPhysical Endpoint LocationDescription
Working DirectorygetWorkingDirectory()<EndPoint Base Directory>/work/<Project Id>/<Workflow Request Id>The temporary working area defined for the target endpoint.
Artifacts DirectorygetArtifactsDirectory()<Working Directory>/artifacts

Build operations which produce artifacts place those files here to have them automatically transferred back to the FlexDeploy server and version in the artifact repository. Deploy operations which consume artifacts will have those files delivered to this directory prior to execution on the endpoint.

Temp DirectorygetTempDirectory()<Working Directory>/tempTemporary working area for a plugin operation execution.
Internal DirectorygetInternalDirectroy()<Working Directory>/internalInternal working area for a plugin operation execution, which is not to be acessed or written to by workflow developers.
Reports DirectorygetReportsDirectory()<Working Directory>/reportsRESERVED FOR FUTURE USE
Transfer DirectorygetTransferDirectory()<Working Directory>/transferFiles in the transer directory are automatically transferred back to the FlexDeploy server upon completion of execution, and likewise are transferred to the endpoint for the next workflow step. This provides a mechanism for sharing files between steps in a workflow.
Test Results DirectorygetTestResultsDirectory()<Working Directory>/test-resultsTesting framework plugin executions place an XML document representing the test results into this directory, and they will be automatically be transferred back to the FlexDeploy server.
Object Results DirectorygetObjectResultsDirectory()<Working Directory>/object-resultsBuild and Deployment plugin operations for partial deployment implementations place XML documents into this directory for identifying the objects included in the build, and their execution status at deployment time.

The AbstractPluginProvider base class has a number of methods for retrieving inputs/properties by type, based on scope, and returning a default if it is not defined.

AbstractPluginProvider input/property accessors
protected Boolean getBooleanInput(String pInputName)
protected Boolean getBooleanInputOrDefault(String pInputName, Boolean pDefault)
protected Double getDoubleInput(String pInputName)
protected Double getDoubleInputOrDefault(String pInputName, Double pDefault)
protected String getStringInput(String pInputName)
protected String getStringInputOrDefault(String pInputName, String pDefault)
protected Integer getIntegerInput(String pInputName)
protected Integer getIntegerInputOrDefault(String pInputName, Integer pDefault)
protected Long getLongInput(String pInputName)
protected Long getLongInputOrDefault(String pInputName, Long pDefault)
protected String getStringProjectPropertyValue(String pKey)
protected String getStringProjectPropertyValueOrDefault(String pKey, String pDefault)
protected String getStringInstancePropertyValue(String pInstanceCode, String pKey)
protected String getStringInstancePropertyValueOrDefault(String pInstanceCode, String pKey, String pDefault)
protected String getStringCurrentInstancePropertyValue(String pKey)
protected String getStringCurrentInstancePropertyValueOrDefault(String pKey, String pDefault)
protected Double getDoubleProjectPropertyValue(String pKey)
protected Double getDoubleProjectPropertyValueOrDefault(String pKey, Double pDefault)
protected Double getDoubleInstancePropertyValue(String pInstanceCode, String pKey)
protected Double getDoubleInstancePropertyValueOrDefault(String pInstanceCode, String pKey, Double pDefault)
protected Double getDoubleCurrentInstancePropertyValue(String pKey)
protected Double getDoubleCurrentInstancePropertyValueOrDefault(String pKey, Double pDefault)
protected Integer getIntegerProjectPropertyValue(String pKey)
protected Integer getIntegerProjectPropertyValueOrDefault(String pKey, Integer pDefault)
protected Integer getIntegerInstancePropertyValue(String pInstanceCode, String pKey)
protected Integer getIntegerInstancePropertyValueOrDefault(String pInstanceCode, String pKey, Integer pDefault)
protected Integer getIntegerCurrentInstancePropertyValue(String pKey)
protected Integer getIntegerCurrentInstancePropertyValueOrDefault(String pKey, Integer pDefault)
protected Boolean getBooleanProjectPropertyValue(String pKey)
protected Boolean getBooleanProjectPropertyValueOrDefault(String pKey, Boolean pDefault)
protected Boolean getBooleanInstancePropertyValue(String pInstanceCode, String pKey)
protected Boolean getBooleanInstancePropertyValueOrDefault(String pInstanceCode, String pKey, Boolean pDefault)
protected Boolean getBooleanCurrentInstancePropertyValue(String pKey)
protected Boolean getBooleanCurrentInstancePropertyValueOrDefault(String pKey, Boolean pDefault)
protected Long getLongProjectPropertyValue(String pKey)
protected Long getLongProjectPropertyValueOrDefault(String pKey, Long pDefault)
protected Long getLongInstancePropertyValue(String pInstanceCode, String pKey) 
protected Long getLongInstancePropertyValueOrDefault(String pInstanceCode, String pKey, Long pDefault)
protected Long getLongCurrentInstancePropertyValue(String pKey) 
protected Long getLongCurrentInstancePropertyValueOrDefault(String pKey, Long pDefault)

Logging

Logging can be performed in plugin implementations by using the FlexDeployLogger class.  The logger is statically initialized using the following two lines of code.  Note that in this example Build would be replaced by the actual class name of the current class.

FlexDeployLogger initialization
  private static final String CLZ_NAM = Build.class.getName();
  private static final FlexLogger LOG = FlexLogger.getLogger(CLZ_NAM);

Log messages can be added using any of the public methods available on FlexDeployLogger.

Logging methods
public void logInfo(String pMethodName, String pMessage)
public void logInfo(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Object... pParams)
public void logInfo(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Throwable pThrowable)
public void logSevere(String pMethodName, String pMessage)
public void logSevere(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Object... pParams)
public void logSevere(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Throwable pThrowable)
public void logWarning(String pMethodName, String pMessage)
public void logWarning(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Object... pParams)
public void logWarning(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Throwable pThrowable)
public void logConfig(String pMethodName, String pMessage)
public void logConfig(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Object... pParams)
public void logConfig(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Throwable pThrowable)
public void logFine(String pMethodName, String pMessage)
public void logFine(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Object... pParams)
public void logFine(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Throwable pThrowable)
public void logFiner(String pMethodName, String pMessage)
public void logFiner(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Object... pParams)
public void logFiner(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Throwable pThrowable)
public void logFinest(String pMethodName, String pMessage)
public void logFinest(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Object... pParams)
public void logFinest(String pMethodName, String pMessage, Throwable pThrowable)
public void logInfoEntering(String pMethodName)
public void logInfoExiting(String pMethodName)
public void logInfoEntering(String pMethodName, Object... pParams)
public void logInfoExiting(String pMethodName, Object pParam)
public void logFinerEntering(String pMethodName)
public void logFinerExiting(String pMethodName)
public void logFinerEntering(String pMethodName, Object... pParams)
public void logFinerExiting(String pMethodName, Object pParam)
public void logFineEntering(String pMethodName)
public void logFineExiting(String pMethodName)
public void logFineEntering(String pMethodName, Object... pParams)
public void logFineExiting(String pMethodName, Object pParam)
public void logFinestEntering(String pMethodName)
public void logFinestExiting(String pMethodName)
public void logFinestEntering(String pMethodName, Object... pParams)
public void logFinestExiting(String pMethodName, Object pParam)

Plugin XML Metadata

The plugin XML metadata (plugin.xml) defines information about the plugin, its operations, and its behavior.  This XML file is bundled with the plugin Java class files and is used to integrate into the FlexDeploy platform. 

plugin XML metadata schema (XSD)
<xsd:schema targetNamespace="http://flexagon.com/deploy/plugin" xmlns="http://flexagon.com/deploy/plugin" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" attributeFormDefault="unqualified"
            elementFormDefault="qualified">
  <xsd:element name="PluginDefinition">
    <xsd:complexType>
      <xsd:sequence>
        <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Name"/>
        <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="PluginDisplayName" minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1"/>
        <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Description"/>
        <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="TechnologyGroup"/>
        <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="SubTechnologyGroup"/>
        <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Vendor"/>
        <xsd:element type="xsd:int" name="MaxConcurrentThreads"/>
        <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Version"/>
        <xsd:element name="ResourceTypes" minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1">
          <xsd:complexType>
            <xsd:sequence>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Resource" maxOccurs="unbounded" minOccurs="1"/>
            </xsd:sequence>
          </xsd:complexType>
        </xsd:element>
        <xsd:element name="Operations">
          <xsd:complexType>
            <xsd:sequence>
              <xsd:element name="Operation" maxOccurs="unbounded" minOccurs="1">
                <xsd:complexType>
                  <xsd:sequence>
                    <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Name"/>
                    <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Description"/>
                    <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Target"/>
                    <xsd:element name="PropertyKeys">
                      <xsd:complexType>
                        <xsd:sequence>
                          <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="PropertyKey" maxOccurs="unbounded" minOccurs="0"/>
                        </xsd:sequence>
                      </xsd:complexType>
                    </xsd:element>
                    <xsd:element name="Inputs">
                      <xsd:complexType>
                        <xsd:sequence>
                          <xsd:element type="xsd:boolean" name="AllowsUserDefined" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
                          <xsd:element name="Input" maxOccurs="unbounded" minOccurs="0">
                            <xsd:complexType>
                              <xsd:sequence>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Name" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
                                <xsd:element type="InputDataTypeEnum" name="DataType" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Description" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="DisplayName" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="DefaultValue" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="IsDefaultValueExpression" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="SubDataType" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="IsRequired" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="IsEncrypted" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:long" name="MinValue" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:long" name="MaxValue" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="ListData" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:int" name="DisplayRows" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:int" name="DisplayColumns" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:int" name="LengthPrecision" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="ValidatorScript" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="IsMultiselect" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
                              </xsd:sequence>
                            </xsd:complexType>
                          </xsd:element>
                        </xsd:sequence>
                      </xsd:complexType>
                    </xsd:element>
                    <xsd:element name="Outputs">
                      <xsd:complexType>
                        <xsd:sequence>
                          <xsd:element type="xsd:boolean" name="AllowsUserDefined" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
                          <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Output" maxOccurs="unbounded" minOccurs="0"/>
                        </xsd:sequence>
                      </xsd:complexType>
                    </xsd:element>
                    <xsd:element name="EndPointSpecification">
                      <xsd:complexType>
                        <xsd:sequence>
                          <xsd:element name="Selection">
                            <xsd:complexType>
                              <xsd:choice>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="All"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Resource"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Delegated"/>
                              </xsd:choice>
                            </xsd:complexType>
                          </xsd:element>
                          <xsd:element name="Execution">
                            <xsd:complexType>
                              <xsd:choice>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Any"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="All"/>
                                <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Delegated"/>
                              </xsd:choice>
                            </xsd:complexType>
                          </xsd:element>
                        </xsd:sequence>
                      </xsd:complexType>
                    </xsd:element>
                    <xsd:element type="ConsumesArtifactsEnum" name="ConsumesArtifacts"/>
                    <xsd:element type="ProducesArtifactsEnum" name="ProducesArtifacts"/>
                  </xsd:sequence>
                </xsd:complexType>
              </xsd:element>
            </xsd:sequence>
          </xsd:complexType>
        </xsd:element>
      </xsd:sequence>
    </xsd:complexType>
  </xsd:element>
  <xsd:simpleType name="ConsumesArtifactsEnum">
    <xsd:restriction base="xsd:string">
      <xsd:enumeration value="true"/>
      <xsd:enumeration value="false"/>
      <xsd:enumeration value="DELEGATED"/>
    </xsd:restriction>
  </xsd:simpleType>
  <xsd:simpleType name="ProducesArtifactsEnum">
    <xsd:restriction base="xsd:string">
      <xsd:enumeration value="true"/>
      <xsd:enumeration value="false"/>
      <xsd:enumeration value="DELEGATED"/>
    </xsd:restriction>
  </xsd:simpleType>
  <xsd:simpleType name="InputDataTypeEnum">
    <xsd:restriction base="xsd:string">
      <xsd:enumeration value="Boolean"/>
      <xsd:enumeration value="Double"/>
      <xsd:enumeration value="Integer"/>
      <xsd:enumeration value="String"/>
    </xsd:restriction>
  </xsd:simpleType>
</xsd:schema>

Plugin XML Metadata Elements

ElementPathXSD Line NumberDescription
PluginDefinition/3The root element for this plugin definition.
Name/PluginDefinition6The name of the plugin, which appears on plugins page after upload.
PluginDisplayName/PluginDefinition7The display name of the plugin, which appears on workflow page under workflow operations.
Description/PluginDefinition8A description for this plugin, which is displayed on the plugins page after upload.
TechnologyGroup/PluginDefinition9The name of the technology that is plugin is for, which is displayed on the plugins page after upload.
SubTechnologyGroup/PluginDefinition10The name of the sub-technology that is plugin is for, which is displayed on the plugins page after upload.
Vendor/PluginDefinition11The name of the vendor which authored the plugin.
MaxConfurrentThreads/PluginDefinition12The number of concurrent threads which are allowed to execute plugin operations on any single endpoint. Default is -1, which means unlimited.
Version/PluginDefinition13The version of the plugin.
ResourceTypes/PluginDefinition14A list of server/component types which are applicable for the underlying technology. This helps identify the endpoint to run a particular operation on. (e.g. for WebLogic - NodeManager, AdminServer, ManagedServer).
Resource/PluginDefinition/ResourceTypes17A server/component types which is applicable for the underlying technology (e.g. NodeManager).
Operations/PluginDefinition/21A list of operations supported by this plugin.
Operation/PluginDefinition/Operations24An operation supported by this plugin.
Name/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation27The name of the plugin operation.
Description/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation28A description for the plugin operation.
Target/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation29The package qualified name of the Java class which implements PluginProvider or extends AbstractPluginProvider.
PropertyKeys/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation30The list of properties used by this plugin operation. See Property Definitions section for details.
PropertyKey/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/PropertyKeys33A reference to a property used by this plugin operation. See Property Definitions section for details.
Inputs/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation37A list of inputs used by this plugin operation.
AllowsUserDefined/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs40Whether or not this plugin operation allows user defined inputs. User defined inputs are useful for low-level technology plugins (e.g. shell) where the user is essentially providing the implementation via source or scripting code.
Input/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs41An input definition for this plugin operation.
Name/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input44The name of the input. Must be alpha-numeric, and be free of whitespace or special characters (except underscore). This name may be used in shell scripts or Groovy scripts and therefore must adhere to these variable naming standards.
DataType/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input45The data type of the input. Must be one of Boolean, Double, Integer, String.
Description/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input46The description of the plugin input, which is displayed on the plugin step editor of the workflow.
DisplayName/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input47The display name of the plugin input, which is displayed on the plugin step editor of the workflow.
DefaultValue/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input48The default value for the plugin input if no value is specified by the user. This value will also be displayed by default on the plugin step editor of the workflow.
IsDefaultValueExpression/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input49Identifies whether the default value for this input is an expression or a literal value, if specified.
SubDataType/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input50An optional sub-datatype for this input. Valid options are DIRECTORY, JDBCURL, and URL. Setting the SubDataType adds additional validation when user enters value.
IsRequired/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input51Indicates whether this input is required or not. Required inputs are enforced by the plugin step editor and at runtime.
IsEncrypted/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input52Indicates whether the input is encrypted or not. Encrypted values are masked on the editor, and their values are not displayed in log files.
MinValue/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input53Identifies the minimum required value for this input, and is enforced by the plugin step editor and at runtime. This value is only applicable for Integer and Double input types.
MaxValue/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input54Identifies the maximum required value for this input, and is enforced by the plugin step editor and at runtime. This value is only applicable for Integer and Double input types.
ListData/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input55Provides a list of values for this input which may be selected by the user on the plugin step editor. When ListData is provided the plugin step editor will render the value using a drop down component.
DisplayRows/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input56Defines the height of the input field on the plugin step editor.
DisplayColumns/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input57Defines the length of the input field on the plugin step editor.
LengthPrecision/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input58Defines the required input length. Only applies to String datatype.
ValidatorScript/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input59An optional Groovy script which is executed to determine whether this input's value is valid. The Value bind variable is set to the current value of this input, while every other input is available by it's name. The script must return true if validation passes, and false otherwise. When returning false, the variable ValidationMessage should be set to the message to display at runtime when validation fails.
IsMultiselect/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Inputs/Input60If the ListData attribute is provided, the IsMultiselect identifies whether the user can select more than one value. As such, the input component for this input on the plugin step editor behaves accordingly.
Outputs/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation67A list of outputs returned by this plugin operation's execution.
AllowsUserDefined/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Outputs70Whether or not this plugin operation allows user defined outputs. User defined outputs are useful for low-level technology plugins (e.g. shell) where the user is essentially providing the implementation via source or scripting code.
Output/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/Outputs71The name of the output returned from this plugin operation.
EndPointSpecification/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation75Defines the strategy used for determining the endpoint or endpoints on which a plugin operation will execute on.
Selection/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/EndPointSpecification78Defines which endpoints will be seleted as candidates to execute on.
All/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/EndPointSpecification/Selection81Indicates that all endpoints associated to the target environment instance should be selected as execution candidates.
Resource/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/EndPointSpecification/Selection82Indicates that only endpoints having the given resource name should be selected as execution candidates.
Delegated/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/EndPointSpecification/Selection83Indicates that the endpoint selection is delegated to the workflow developer (within the plugin step editor). In this case, the plugin step editor will present options of All and Resource.
Execution/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/EndPointSpecification87Of the selected endpoint candidates, determines which one(s) to execute on.
Any/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/EndPointSpecification/Execution90Indicates to execute on one of the selected endpoints (at random).
All/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/EndPointSpecification/Execution91Indicates to execute on all of the selected endpoints.
Delegated/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation/EndPointSpecification/Execution92Indicates that execution strategy is delegated to the workflow developer (within the plugin step editor). In this case, the plugin step editor will present options of Any and All.
ConsumesArtifacts/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation99Identifies whether this plugin operation consumes an artifact. Valid values are true, false, DELEGATED. In the case of DELEGATED, the plugin step editor will present a checkbox for the workflow developer to determine. When a plugin operation consumes artifacts, the associated artifacts from the artifact repository are copied to the artifact directory within the working directory on the endpoint prior to execution.
ProducesArtifacts/PluginDefinition/Operations/Operation100Identifies whether this plugin operation produces an artifact. Valid values are true, false, DELEGATED. In the case of DELEGATED, the plugin step editor will present a checkbox for the workflow developer to determine. When a plugin operation produces artifacts, the associated artifacts from the artifact directory on the endpoint are copied back to the server and stored in the artifact repository.

Apache HTTP Server Plugin XML Metadata

Sample plugin.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<PluginDefinition xmlns="http://flexagon.com/deploy/plugin">
  <Name>FlexagonApacheHttpPlugin</Name>
  <PluginDisplayName>Apache HTTP</PluginDisplayName>
  <Description>A plugin to manage Apache Http Servers and deployment.</Description>
  <TechnologyGroup>Web Servers</TechnologyGroup>
  <SubTechnologyGroup>Apache Http Server</SubTechnologyGroup>
  <Vendor>Flexagon</Vendor>
  <MaxConcurrentThreads>-1</MaxConcurrentThreads>
  <Version>0.7</Version>
  <Operations>
    <Operation>
      <Name>build</Name>
      <Description>Build an artifact to deploy to an Apache Http Server</Description>
      <Target>flexagon.fd.plugin.apache.http.operations.Build</Target>
      <PropertyKeys/>
      <Inputs>
        <AllowsUserDefined>false</AllowsUserDefined>
        <Input>
          <Name>FDAH_PATH_TO_FILES</Name>
          <DataType>String</DataType>
          <Description>Relative path to files inside the FD_TEMP_DIR to collect into a build artifact</Description>
          <DisplayName>Path to Files</DisplayName>
          <IsDefaultValueExpression>false</IsDefaultValueExpression>
          <IsRequired>false</IsRequired>
          <IsEncrypted>false</IsEncrypted>
          <DisplayRows>1</DisplayRows>
          <DisplayColumns>120</DisplayColumns>
        </Input>
      </Inputs>
      <Outputs>
        <AllowsUserDefined>false</AllowsUserDefined>
      </Outputs>
      <EndPointSpecification>
        <Selection>
          <All/>
        </Selection>
        <Execution>
          <Any/>
        </Execution>
      </EndPointSpecification>
      <ConsumesArtifacts>false</ConsumesArtifacts>
      <ProducesArtifacts>true</ProducesArtifacts>
    </Operation>
    <Operation>
      <Name>deploy</Name>
      <Description>Deploy to Apache Http Server artifact</Description>
      <Target>flexagon.fd.plugin.apache.http.operations.Deploy</Target>
      <PropertyKeys>
        <PropertyKey>FDAH_PATH_TO_DOCUMENT_ROOT</PropertyKey>
      </PropertyKeys>
      <Inputs>
        <AllowsUserDefined>false</AllowsUserDefined>
      </Inputs>
      <Outputs>
        <AllowsUserDefined>false</AllowsUserDefined>
      </Outputs>
      <EndPointSpecification>
        <Selection>
          <All/>
        </Selection>
        <Execution>
          <Any/>
        </Execution>
      </EndPointSpecification>
      <ConsumesArtifacts>true</ConsumesArtifacts>
      <ProducesArtifacts>false</ProducesArtifacts>
    </Operation>
    <Operation>
      <Name>stopServer</Name>
      <Description>Stop an Apache Http Server</Description>
      <Target>flexagon.fd.plugin.apache.http.operations.Stop</Target>
      <PropertyKeys/>
      <Inputs>
        <AllowsUserDefined>false</AllowsUserDefined>
      </Inputs>
      <Outputs>
        <AllowsUserDefined>false</AllowsUserDefined>
      </Outputs>
      <EndPointSpecification>
        <Selection>
          <All/>
        </Selection>
        <Execution>
          <Any/>
        </Execution>
      </EndPointSpecification>
      <ConsumesArtifacts>false</ConsumesArtifacts>
      <ProducesArtifacts>true</ProducesArtifacts>
    </Operation>
    <Operation>
      <Name>startServer</Name>
      <Description>Start an Apache Http Server</Description>
      <Target>flexagon.fd.plugin.apache.http.operations.Start</Target>
      <PropertyKeys>
        <PropertyKey>FDAH_START_TIMEOUT</PropertyKey>
      </PropertyKeys>
      <Inputs>
        <AllowsUserDefined>false</AllowsUserDefined>
      </Inputs>
      <Outputs>
        <AllowsUserDefined>false</AllowsUserDefined>
      </Outputs>
      <EndPointSpecification>
        <Selection>
          <All/>
        </Selection>
        <Execution>
          <Any/>
        </Execution>
      </EndPointSpecification>
      <ConsumesArtifacts>false</ConsumesArtifacts>
      <ProducesArtifacts>true</ProducesArtifacts>
    </Operation>
  </Operations>
</PluginDefinition>

Plugin XML Properties Definition

The PropertyKeys in the plugin.xml file reference properties that are defined externally to the file itself.  This is done so that multiple plugin operations, and even multiple plugins, are allow to share properties.  The properties are defined in another XML file, conforming to a different schema, and are bundled with the plugin.  The schema, a description of its elements, and a sample XML file are provided below.

Plugin XML Properties Schema (XSD)
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="windows-1252" ?>
<xsd:schema targetNamespace="http://flexagon.com/deploy/propertylist" xmlns="http://flexagon.com/deploy/propertylist" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" attributeFormDefault="unqualified"
            elementFormDefault="qualified">
  <xsd:element name="PropertyList">
    <xsd:complexType>
      <xsd:sequence>
        <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Name"/>
        <xsd:element name="Property" maxOccurs="unbounded" minOccurs="1">
          <xsd:complexType>
            <xsd:sequence>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Name" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Description" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Scope" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="DataType" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="SubDataType" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="IsRequired" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="IsEncrypted" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:long" name="MinValue" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:long" name="MaxValue" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="ListData" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:int" name="DisplayRows" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:int" name="DisplayColumns" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element name="Validators" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0">
                <xsd:complexType>
                  <xsd:sequence>
                    <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="Validator" maxOccurs="5" minOccurs="0"/>
                  </xsd:sequence>
                </xsd:complexType>
              </xsd:element>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="DisplayName" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="DefaultValue" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="IsDefaultValueExpression" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="IsAllowsVariant" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:int" name="LengthPrecision" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
              <xsd:element type="xsd:string" name="IsMultiselect" maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"/>
            </xsd:sequence>
          </xsd:complexType>
        </xsd:element>
      </xsd:sequence>
    </xsd:complexType>
  </xsd:element>
</xsd:schema>

Plugin Properties XML Elements

ElementPathXSD Line NumberDescription
PropertyList/4The root element for this properties definition.
Name/PropertyList7The name of the properties definition.
Property/PropertyList8A plugin property definition.
Name/PropertyList/Property11The name of the property. Must be alpha-numeric, and be free of whitespace or special characters (except underscore). This name may be used in shell scripts or Groovy scripts and therefore must adhere to these variable naming standards.
Description/PropertyList/Property12A description for the property.
Scope/PropertyList/Property13The scope of the property. Must be one of PROJECT, ENVINST (Environment Instance).
DataType/PropertyList/Property14The data type of the property. Must be one of Boolean, Double, Integer, String.
SubDataType/PropertyList/Property15An optional sub-datatype for this property. Valid options are DIRECTORY, JDBCURL, and URL. Setting the SubDataType adds additional validation when user enters value.
IsRequired/PropertyList/Property16Indicates whether this property is required or not. Required properties are enforced at runtime.
IsEncrypted/PropertyList/Property17Indicates whether the property is encrypted or not. Encrypted values are masked when entered by the user, and their values are not displayed in log files.
MinValue/PropertyList/Property18Identifies the minimum required value for this property, and is enforced at runtime. This value is only applicable for Integer and Double input types.
MaxValue/PropertyList/Property19Identifies the maximum required value for this property, and is enforced at runtime. This value is only applicable for Integer and Double input types.
ListData/PropertyList/Property20Provides a list of values for this property which may be selected by the user on the various properties pages. When ListData is provided the editor will render the value using a drop down component.
DisplayRows/PropertyList/Property21Defines the height of the property field on the editor.
DisplayColumns/PropertyList/Property22Defines the length of the property field on the editor.
Validators/PropertyList/Property23RESERVED FOR FUTURE USE
Validator/PropertyList/Property/Validators26RESERVED FOR FUTURE USE
DisplayName/PropertyList/Property30The display name of the plugin property, which is displayed on the editor where property values are entered.
DefaultValue/PropertyList/Property31The default value for the plugin property if no value is specified by the user. This value will also be displayed by default on the editor where values are entered.
IsDefaultValueExpression/PropertyList/Property32Identifies whether the default value for this property is an expression or a literal value, if specified.
IsAllowsVariant/PropertyList/Property33RESERVED FOR FUTURE USE
LengthPrecision/PropertyList/Property34Defines the required property length. Only applies to String datatype.
IsMultiselect/PropertyList/Property35If the ListData attribute is provided, the IsMultiselect identifies whether the user can select more than one value. As such, the input component for this property on the various editors behave accordingly.

Apache HTTP Server Properties XML

Apache HTTP Server - AHS_PROPERTY_LISTING.xml (filename is irrelevant)
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<PropertyList xmlns="http://flexagon.com/deploy/propertylist">
  <Name>FDAH_PLUGIN</Name>
  <Property>
    <Name>FDAH_PATH_TO_DOCUMENT_ROOT</Name>
    <Description>Path to the document root of the server, such as htdocs.</Description>
    <Scope>ENVINST</Scope>
    <DataType>String</DataType>
	<SubDataType>DIRECTORY</SubDataType>
    <IsEncrypted>false</IsEncrypted>
    <IsRequired>true</IsRequired>
    <Validators/>
  </Property>
    <Property>
    <Name>FDAH_START_TIMEOUT</Name>
    <Description>How many milliseconds to wait for the server to start before failing the workflow step. Defaults to 300000 (5 minutes)</Description>
    <Scope>ENVINST</Scope>
    <DataType>Integer</DataType>
    <IsEncrypted>false</IsEncrypted>
    <IsRequired>true</IsRequired>
    <Validators/>
  </Property>
</PropertyList>

Plugin Setup Scripts

A plugin is executed on an endpoint by a wrapper java program, which is launched by a wrapper shell script.  This wrapper shell script optionally sources in a setup script which is provided by the plugin.  This setup script may perform initialization activities for the plugin.  The following are examples of useful activities.

  • Append to the classpath by exporting the FLEXAGON_FD_PLUGIN_CLASSPATH variable.
  • Append additional JVM arguments to the Java invocation by exporting the FLEXAGON_FD_JAVA_ARGS variable.
  • Override the JAVA_HOME used to invoke Java by exporting JAVA_HOME variable (do not include bin folder).

The setup scripts have the following variables available to them:

  • JAVA_HOME (as defined by enpoint defintion's JDK Home)
  • FD_BASE_WORKING_DIR (as defined by endpoint definition's Base Working Directory)
  • FD_WORKING_DIR
  • FD_ARTIFACTS_DIR
  • FD_TEMP_DIR
  • FD_INTERNAL_DIR
  • FD_TEST_RESULTS_DIR
  • FD_OBJECT_RESULTS_DIR
  • FD_TRANSFER_DIR
  • FD_ENVIRONMENT_CODE
  • FD_ENVIRONMENT_NAME
  • FD_INSTANCE_CODE
  • FD_INSTANCE_NAME
  • FD_PROJECT_NAME
  • FD_PLUGIN_INSTALL_DIR
  • FD_ENDPOINT_NAME
  • FD_ENDPOINT_ADDRESS
  • FD_PLUGIN
  • FD_PLUGIN_OPERATION
  • All properties (by Name from metadata) for current project and environment instance

The unix setup.sh setup script is used when executing on an endpoint using an SSH connection.  And this is true on Winodws platforms as well, since cygwin is used in that case.  The setup.bat setup script is used only when executing on an endpoint using a localhost connection (and only in the event that the FlexDeploy server is running on Windows).

Plugin Unit Testing

To fully test your plugin you will ultimately need to upload it to a FlexDeploy Server.  However, for unit testing purposes, it will be useful to test it a standalone testcase (e.g. using JUnit).  To help provide the setup which is required to test your plugin, the MockWorkflowExecutionContext class is provided.  This class manages manages some of the conext attributes that are otherwise handled by the FlexDeploy framwork.  You will first need to satisfy the following prerequisites to test your plugin:

  • Add the FlexDeploy and 3rd party libaries to your classpath (i.e. adflibFlexFndCommonCore.jar, adflibFlexDeployCore.jar, commons-io-2.4.jar)
  • Add the following JVM arguments to your run configuration
    • flexagon.fd.install.root=<FlexDeploy working directory> (can be any directory on yoru local computer)
    • flexagon.fd.repository.root=<Directory to host FlexDeploy artifact repository> (can be any directory on yoru local computer)

The following setup must be performed using the JUnit @BeforeClass annotated methed, which will create the necessary FlexDeploy folders:

JUnit - @BeforeClass
  @BeforeClass
  public static void prepTests()
    throws IOException
  {
    WorkflowExecutionContext context = new MockWorkflowExecutionContext();
    File file = new File(context.getTempDirectory() + File.separator + subFolder + File.separator + fileName1);
    file.getParentFile().mkdir();
    file.createNewFile();
  }

Next is the implementation of a test case.

JUnit - @Test
  @Test
  public void test()
    throws FlexCheckedException
  {
    WorkflowExecutionContext context = new MockWorkflowExecutionContext();
    clearFolders(context);
    AbstractPluginProvider plugin = new Build();
    plugin.setWorkflowExecutionContext(context);
    File file = new File(context.getTempDirectory() + File.separator + "TestFile1.txt");
    try
    {
      file.createNewFile();
    }
    catch (Exception e)
    {
      Assert.fail(e.getLocalizedMessage());
      e.printStackTrace();
    }
    plugin.validate();
    plugin.execute();
    Assert.assertEquals("The wrong number of files were in the zip file.", 2, plugin.getWorkflowExecutionContext().getOutputMap().get(ApacheHttpProperties.FDAH_FILE_COUNT).getValue());
    String outputPath = context.getWorkingDirectory() + File.separator + "unZipped";
    doDeploy(outputPath);
    //System.exit(6);
    File deployedFile = new File(outputPath + File.separator + fileName1);
    Assert.assertEquals("Deployed file in root folder is missing.", true, deployedFile.exists());
    deployedFile = new File(outputPath + File.separator + subFolder);
    Assert.assertEquals("subFolder is missing.", true, deployedFile.exists());
    deployedFile = new File(outputPath + File.separator + subFolder + File.separator + fileName1);
    Assert.assertEquals("File in subFolder is missing.", true, deployedFile.exists());
  }



  public void doDeploy(String outputPath)
    throws FlexCheckedException
  {
    Deploy plugin = new Deploy();
    MockWorkflowExecutionContext context = new MockWorkflowExecutionContext();

    context.addProperty(ApacheHttpProperties.FDAH_PATH_TO_DOCUMENT_ROOT, outputPath, PropertyValue.PropertyTypeEnum.String, false);
    plugin.setWorkflowExecutionContext(context);
    plugin.validate();
    plugin.execute();
  }

A full example is provided with the source code for the Apache Http Server plugin.

Packaging a Plugin Version for Delivery

After you have finished developing and unit testing your plugin, you are ready to package it up into a JAR file in preparation for loading onto a FlexDeploy server.

To do that, cd to the folder that contains the files, and execute the following command: jar cvfM0 plugin.jar *

This will make "plugin.jar" which will contain the files and folders around it.

 The JAR file has the following structure:

Plugin JAR Structure
<Plugin Name>-<PluginVersion>.jar
     properties
          <properties file name>.xml  (Plugin XML Properties Definition)
     lib
           adflibFlexFndCommonCore.jar (FlexDeploy library)
           adflibFlexDeployCore.jar   (FlexDeploy library)
           commons-io-2.4.jar   (Apache Commons IO library)
           <your plugin>.jar   (your plugin classes packaged into a JAR - containing full package structure)
     bin
           setup.sh   (optional)
           setup.bat   (optional)
     plugin.xml   (Plugin XML Metatdata)

Reminder

Remember to update the plugin Version in the plugin.xml file when packaging.

You can download the sample jar file for the Apache HTTP Server Plugin here.

Installing a Plugin Version

Once you have packaged your plugin into a JAR file, go to FlexDeploy and navigate to Administration → Plugins.  Upload your JAR file, and activate the new version.

Best Practices

Use the following best practices when defining the Plugin XML Metadata/Properties for your plugin:

  • Prefix plugin Name with vendor/customer name (e.g. AcmeApacheHttpPlugin)
  • Set the Vendor to your vendor/customer name (e.g. Acme)
  • Give some thought to how users may want to sort/filter plugin operations when you set the TechnologyGroup (e.g. Web Servers) and SubTechnologyGroup (e.g. Apache Http Server) .  Review Flexagon plugins for reference.
  • Prefix the Version of the plugin with the version of FlexDeploy it is compatible with (e.g. 4.0.12).  The minor version has be updated everytime a new jar is built and available to be loaded onto a server (whether internally or externally).  The version must be unique for every plugin.
  • Name plugin operations as <verb><noun> (e.g. stopServer, deployContent).
  • Name plugin inputs and plugin properties using <Vendor Prefix><Technology Prefiex>_<Some name>, and use all uppercase.  (e.g. FDAH_START_TIMEOUT).  In this example, FD is what Flexagon/FlexDeploy uses, and AH is the technology prefix for Apache Http Server.  This will help ensure names are consistent and greatly reduce the risk of duplicate names across vendors/plugins.
  • Give careful consideration to the scope of your inputs/properties.  If an attribute is likely to be fixed for every project and environment instance, then it makes sense to be an input such that it is set once in the workflow.  On the other hand, is the property likely to be environment specific?  Is it likely to be project specific?

Plugin coding best practices:

  • Be sure not to log secure properties!

Limitations

The Plugin SDK has the following limitations:

  • Partial Deployment plugins are not supported.
  • Test Plugins utilizing the Testing Framework integrated into FlexDeploy are not supported.
  • SCM plugins can be created, however, they will not have integration with the Configuration tab of the FlexDeploy Project.