Skip to content
Branch: master
Find file Copy path
Find file Copy path
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
132 lines (95 sloc) 3.39 KB


CrateDB implements a plugin loading infrastructure making it possible to develop plugins for CrateDB.

A plugin must at least:

  • implement the io.crate.Plugin interface
  • register its implementation at META-INF/services/io.crate.Plugin so CrateDB plugin load can find it.

See our CrateDB example plugin for details about that.

Plugin CrateDB Dependency

In order to develop a plugin against a CrateDB release, a dependency to the CrateDB's server libraries must be set up.


Define bintray (jCenter) repository:

repositories {

Add CrateDB to compile dependencies:

dependencies {
    compile 'io.crate:crate:<VERSION>'


Add bintray (jCenter) as a repository to your maven settings.xml:



Add CrateDB as a dependency:


Plugin Loading

Loading of plugins is done by CrateDB for searching all class path element resources for a META-INF/services/io.crate.Plugin file.

Inside this file just one line is allowed defining the full qualified class name which is implementing the Plugin interface. This is almost the same like you may know from Java's ServiceLoader.

Constructor with Settings argument

CrateDB passes a Settings instance to the plugin implementation constructor if such a constructor exists. Otherwise an empty constructor is used. By using the Settings instance, a plugin can process existing settings and/or implement it's own custom setting entries.

The CrateDB example plugin makes use of that to implement a custom setting.

Plugin Interface

CrateDB uses Guice module binding concept and so does a plugin. As described at the io.crate.Plugin interface, a plugin can load serveral module types by implementing relevant methods:

  • lifecycle services
  • node level modules

This enables plugin developers to access a lot of functionality. But that comes at the price of the API stability: Most of the components in CrateDB are considered internal and may change with any version, including hotfix versions.

The main purpose for the Plugins right now is to add additional scalar functions or aggregation functions. An example of a plugin that does that is CrateDB example plugin.

Installing a Plugin

Installing a plugin is simply done by copying the plugin's JAR file(s) somewhere into the class path or to one of the following places:

  • <CRATE_HOME>/plugins/
  • <CRATE_HOME>/plugins/<SOME_PLUGIN_NAME>/lib/
You can’t perform that action at this time.