CloudBees Extensibility API
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README.md

CloudBees Extensibility API

CloudBees uses Guice as a foundation for our tools and runtime services to reuse code between them and enable extensibility by 3rd parties.

This library adds basic idiom for defining an extension point and letting other plugins implement their extensions. (Note that if your extension point can only allow one implementation and not multiple implementations, then the standard Guice binding mechanism should be suffice.) Such idiom enables plugins to be developed by unrelated people and still work together at runtime.

For a demonstration of the features of ths library, see the demo repository

Defining Extension Point

An extension point is an interface/abstract class that represents a contract. I recommend abstract classes where you need to be able to evolve the contract without breaking implementations.

@ExtensionPoint
public abstract class Animal {
    public abstract String bark();
}

Mark your contract with @ExtensionPoint to signal that this is an extension point.

Defining An Extension

An extension is a concrete implementation of an extension point. It needs to extend/implement the extension point type, and it needs to have @Extension annotation.

@Extension
public class Cat extends Animal {
    @Override
    public String bark() {
        return "meow";
    }
}

Such a class can exist anywhere, and in fact often lives in separate Maven modules.

Discovering Extensions

An easiest way to discover extension implementations is to inject ExtensionList where it's needed.

public class AnimalTest {
    @Inject
    ExtensionList<Animal> animals;

    ...

    public void bark() {
       for (Animal a : animal)
           a.bark();
    }

}

Alternatively you can programmatically instantiate it and pass in an injector:

public void foo(Injector injector) {
    for (Animal a : new ExtensionList(Animal.class).list(injector))
        a.bark();
}

Wiring up

To let ExtensionList discover all the extension implementations, you need to add ExtensionFinder module when you create an Injector:

Injector i = Guice.createInjector(new ExtensionFinder(getClass().getClassLoader()));

This module takes a ClassLoader as an argument, and any extension implementations that belong to this classloader (and its ancestors) will participate.

Registering Guice Module from plugins

If a plugin needs to bring in its own Guice Module, it can do so by having a Module class that implements ExtensionModule:

@Extension
public class MyModule extends AbstractModule implements ExtensionModule {
    protected void configure() {
        install(new ModuleA());
        install(new ModuleB());
        bind(Foo.class).to(Bar.class);
        ...
    }
}