By placing plugin hooks in a discoverable plugin directory Connect will automatically register them. A plugin hook can be used for custom event processing, actions and location plugins.
In this article we will learn about the structure of a plugin and some best practices that will help you on your way to become an ftrack Connect ninja.
A plugin’s structure is easy to grasp and relies on a simple directory structure. The plugin itself is made up of a directory, my_custom_plugin, and inside that a hook directory:
<ftrack-connect-plugin-directory>/ my_custom_plugin/ hook/ my_action.py
When Connect starts it will go over the hook directories in the plugin directory and call register on each of the python scripts in the hook directory. The my_action.py may look something like this:
import ftrack_api ... def register(session, **kw): '''Register plugin.''' # Validate that session is an instance of ftrack_api.Session. If not, # assume that register is being called from an incompatible API # and return without doing anything. if not isinstance(session, ftrack_api.Session): # Exit to avoid registering this plugin again. return # Register plugin event listener. ...
This example is using the ftrack-python-api but the concept is valid for the legacy api as well.
Although possible we recommend keeping the hook directory as clean as possible and have any shared modules or other data in a separate directory. This is not something you have to do but it will make things easier down the line.
Now let’s say that you have a few different actions that share the same modules. You want to keep things DRY and therefore place them in a resource directory, resource:
<ftrack-connect-plugin-directory>/ my_custom_plugin/ hook/ my_action.py another_action.py resource/ my_module/ __init__.py
To access the module in the resource/ folder we need to do some manual work to allow us to import it. In my_action.py we will add it to the `sys.path:
import os import sys RESOURCE_DIRECTORY = os.path.abspath( os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__), '..', 'resource', 'my_module') ) if RESOURCE_DIRECTORY not in sys.path: sys.path.append(RESOURCE_DIRECTORY) import my_module # Define register and rest of action. ...
Separating locations and actions¶
We’ve now learned how to add our own actions in Connect and how to share code between them. Another type of plugin that we may want to use is a location plugin. Registering it is easy since we only have to put it into our hook directory.
A location plugin you will typically want to have accessible inside an integration as well. This can be done by adding the path to the environment when an application is launched, see ftrack.connect.application.launch.
But if we just add it to the hook directory and add the hook directory to the environment, other Actions may be registered from inside the integration. This could lead to situations where the My action action is registered twice, one from Connect and one from the integration you’ve started.
To solve this we recommend separating actions and locations into separate sub-directories:
<ftrack-connect-plugin-directory>/ my_custom_plugin/ hook/ action/ my_action.py another_action.py location/ custom_location_plugin.py resource/ my_module/ __init__.py
When Connect starts it will traverse the directory structure in the hook directory and register each plugin. This separation will allow us to only add the <ftrack-connect-plugin-directory>/my_custom_plugin/hook/location/ directory when launching our integrations.
Location plugin example to learn how to use it with application launch hook.