Extensions are software components that help developers add features that enhance the functionality of your Zoho product.
Bundling an extension is essentially wrapping and delivering the components of an extension as a whole package. The process of building an extension does not end with its development, but also extends to its publication in order to make it useful. Bundling and publishing an extension is therefore an important part of the process, as it wraps up the extension and makes it ready for installation and use.
An extension can be published either privately or publicly. Using Sigma, you can choose to publish your extension either as a private extension or as a public extension.
➤ Private Extension: The extensions that are built for personal or specific organizational purposes are private extensions. When you publish a private extension, a hashed URL link is made available, which can be used to install the extension. This URL can be either used personally, or shared with other users or members of your organization as needed.
➤ Public Extension: The extensions that are hosted in Zoho Marketplace are public extensions. When an extension is published, an installation URL is provided along with an option to list it in Zoho Marketplace. Choosing this option makes the extension available to all Zoho users for installation and use. Listing your extension in Zoho Marketplace gives other users the chance to use the extension you've made, and also allows you to gain monetary benefits.
In this post, we will take a look at the steps on how to create and publish a basic extension either privately or publicly.
How to Develop and Publish an Extension
- Log in to your Zoho Developer Console and choose Sigma platform.
- Click New Extension in the Extensions Gallery section to create a new extension for Zoho CRM.
- Click Save as Draft after providing the necessary extension details, and the new extension "TestExtension" will be created for Zoho CRM.
Note: Extensions for Zoho CRM are only supported in 'US DC' currently in the Zoho developer platform. You can create a trial account in Zoho One in US DC and begin developing your Zoho CRM extension.
- As a small example, let us create a button, "LeadsTestButton" for the Leads Module. The function of the button is to invoke a URL which leads to a new search tab, fetching details from Google about the lead's company.
- Provide the necessary details and click Save.
- Choose Publish from the left panel of the Zoho Developer console under Package, and then click Publish.
- The Publish prompt box appears displaying the features that are added to the extension. Provide the Extension release notes and click Confirm.
The extension is now published!
The installation URL provided can be used personally or can be shared with other users privately as needed. This falls under the category of a "Private" extension.
Checking the List this extension in the Zoho Marketplace checkbox allows you to publish your extension as a public extension. Once the checkbox is checked, you will be asked for some details about your extension, and your extension is submitted to the Marketplace team for further evaluation. For a detailed guide on listing in Marketplace, click here. After thorough evaluation and fulfilling the approval standards of the Marketplace team, the extension will be listed in Marketplace for customers to use.
Managing extension versions:
The concept of versioning goes hand in hand with publishing an extension. After an extension is published, a version number is automatically assigned to it.
If there are any changes that need to be updated or added to the extension, either in the case of adding new components or modifying its logical functionality, these changes can be done and the extension can be re-published to obtain a new installation URL. Every time the extension is re-published, a new version is assigned sequentially and the older version gets deprecated.
In our example, let's make a change to the placement of the LeadsTestButton.
Click Publish again, provide the Extension release notes, and click Confirm on making the necessary changes.
The new installation URL is provided. This URL with the modified extension features can be privately shared with other users or within the team for use.
In the case of public extensions (i.e. extensions listed in Marketplace), you can publish a new version of your extension to the Marketplace approval team. Once the approval standards have been met, the latest version is approved and updated in Marketplace. Customers who have previously installed this extension from Marketplace can update it from the "Updates" tab available from the Extensions Gallery.
Once the new version is created, the old version will be automatically deprecated.
We hope you found these detailed steps on how to publish an extension useful. Please follow this space for more information.