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Plugins Toolkit

To allow a safe way for extensions to interact with ckan a toolkit is provided. We aim to keep this toolkit stable across ckan versions so that extensions will work across diferent versions of ckan.


It is advised that when writing extensions that all interaction with ckan is done via the toolkit so that they do not break when new versions of ckan are released.

Over time we will be expanding the functionality available via this toolkit.

Example extension that registers a new helper function available to templates via h.example_helper()

import ckan.plugins as p

class ExampleExtension(p.SingletonPlugin):


    def update_config(self, config):
        # add template directory that contains our snippet
        p.toolkit.add_template_directory(config, 'templates')

    def example_helper(cls, data=None):
        # render our custom snippet
        return p.toolkit.render_snippet('custom_snippet.html', data)

    def get_helpers(self):
        # register our helper function
        return {'example_helper': self.example_helper}

The following functions, classes and exceptions are provided by the toolkit.

class CkanCommand
Base class for building paster functions.
exception CkanVersionException
Exception raised if required ckan version is not available.
exception NotAuthorized
Exception raised when an action is not permitted by a user.
exception ObjectNotFound
Exception raised when an object cannot be found.
exception ValidationError
Exception raised when supplied data is invalid. it contains details of the error that occurred.
_ (value)

Mark a string for translation. Returns the localized unicode string of value.

Mark a string to be localized as follows:

_('This should be in lots of languages')
add_public_directory (config, relative_path)
Function to aid adding extra public paths to the config. The path is relative to the file calling this function.
add_template_directory (config, relative_path)
Function to aid adding extra template paths to the config. The path is relative to the file calling this function.
asbool (obj)
part of paste.deploy.converters: convert strings like yes, no, true, false, 0, 1 to boolean
asint (obj)
part of paste.deploy.converters: convert stings to integers
aslist (obj, sep=None, strip=True)
part of paste.deploy.converters: convert string objects to a list
check_access (action, context, data_dict=None)
check that the named action with the included context and optional data dict is allowed raises NotAuthorized if the action is not permitted or True.
check_ckan_version (min_version=None, max_version=None)
Check that the ckan version is correct for the plugin.
get_action (action)
Get the requested action function.
class literal

Represents an HTML literal.

This subclass of unicode has a .__html__() method that is detected by the escape() function.

Also, if you add another string to this string, the other string will be quoted and you will get back another literal object. Also literal(...) % obj will quote any value(s) from obj. If you do something like literal(...) + literal(...), neither string will be changed because escape(literal(...)) doesn't change the original literal.

Changed in WebHelpers 1.2: the implementation is now now a subclass of markupsafe.Markup. This brings some new methods: .escape (class method), .unescape, and .striptags.

render (template_name, data=None)
Main template render function.
render_snippet (template_name, data=None)
helper for the render_snippet function similar to the render function.
render_text (template_name, data=None)
Render genshi text template.
requires_ckan_version (min_version, max_version=None)
Check that the ckan version is correct for the plugin.
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