Building Extensions #5: Configuration setup while building extensions - Part 1

Building Extensions #5: Configuration setup while building extensions - Part 1

This series aims to equip developers with all they need to build extensions for Zoho Desk in Zoho Sigma and publish them in Zoho Marketplace.
 
With our series of posts so far, we have introduced you to our development environment setup (Sigma) to build extensions and the steps needed to upload them in Zoho Marketplace. This post will brief you on the configuration settings that are necessary while building extensions for Zoho Desk.
 
Extensions can either add a new custom feature to Zoho Desk that suits your business needs or integrate a third-party application with Zoho Desk. You may also use the advanced features provided within Zoho Desk to weave and craft sophisticated apps for Zoho Desk.
 
Regardless of the type of extension you may build, configuration details play an important role in them. The information needed to set up the extension should be added as a part of the configuration while building an extension. The location to load the extension widget within Zoho Desk, the authorized communication between Zoho Desk and third-party applications, and all the other required information are configured in the plugin-manifest.json file that is stored in the extension project directory.

Plugin-manifest 

The plugin-manifest file is included in the extension project directory by default. It has various keys included in it, each serving a unique function for configuring the extension. Let's explore the purpose of the keys that are included in the plugin-manifest file.

{

  "locale": [

    "en"

  ],

  "service": "DESK",

  "storage": false,

  "type": "personal",

  "whiteListedDomains": [],

  "modules": {

    "widgets": [

      {

        "location": "desk.ticket.detail.rightpanel",

        "url": "/app/widget.html",

        "name": "Desk Extension",

        "logo": "/app/img/logo.png",

        "icon": "/app/img/icon.png"

      }

    ]

  },

  "zohoAuthorisation": {},

  "connectors": [],

  "config": [],

  "moduleSupport": false

      }

locale

The details regarding the languages supported by the extension have to be specified here. All translation files need to be stored in .json format inside the "translations" folder of the extension's project folder.

service

This key stores the name of the Zoho product for which the extension is created.

storage 

At times, there may be a need for you to store data and use it whenever needed in your extension. This can be accomplished by enabling data storage for your extension. Set the value to "true" to enable the feature. It is disabled by default.

whiteListedDomains 

When you build an extension that integrates Zoho Desk with a third-party application, you will be invoking APIs. The domain names of these APIs have to be authorized by Zoho Desk and whitelisted to ensure a secure data transfer between the two applications.
 
Only whitelisted domains can be used to make an API call. Requests for domains that are not included in this key will be blocked. If your extension does not include third-party service requests, this key is declared as an empty array.

widgets

The details regarding widgets created for the extension are added to this key. An extension can have multiple widgets and the details can be added here as an array of objects. The following are the parameters that construct a widget object:
 
  • location: The information about where to load a widget needs to be added here. All locations where the widget could be loaded are predefined.  
  • url: The path of the widget's html file can be added here, either as a relative path (for internally hosted extensions) or an absolute path (for externally hosted extensions).
  • name: Name of the extension (displayed in the extension header)
  • logo: Path of the extension's logo (displayed in the extension header)
  • icon: Path of the extension's icon (displayed only on the widget chat bar and subtab)
Our next post will continue with the authorization part of configuration.
 
Stay tuned!


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