The Plexus Interop project aims to define an open standard for desktop application interoperability and provides reference implementation of this standard. It formalizes connections between applications within a single user session on client desktop through a central broker.
The main goal is to enable development of extensible workflows connecting independent apps developed by different organizations in different technologies (.NET, Web, Java, Python, etc.) by passing relevant context (structured data objects) between those apps.
Although the industry is moving towards containerized desktop applications, Plexus Interop recognizes that much of the application landscape is not yet tied to containers and is architecturally agnostic of container implementation. Separating interoperability from the container provides notable advantages: different containers can be leveraged in the same workflow, and launched applications residing outside of containers can participate in interop activities.
Technically speaking, Plexus Interop is a metadata-centric language-agnostic desktop app-to-app interoperability framework with an extensible model for launching new instances of desktop applications on demand. Its extensibility is based on open standards which are essential parts of the project. The architecture is based around central broker providing hub-and-spoke connectivity between apps and brokering strongly-typed RPC-style calls between them. The broker has a connection to an Application Lifecycle Manager (or Launcher) which is capable of creating new instances of apps based on the their runtime-metadata (e.g. container type, launch command, command line parameters) defined in a registry.
Raising an Issue
- Please raise issues to the project mailing list email@example.com (Web Archive). Some people from project teams currently can't access build-in github issue tracker from corporate network.
- Please also tag the new issue with either "Bug" or "Enhancement".
Plexus Interop repository consist of the following main sections:
- desktop - Interop Broker, .NET Interop Client and sample apps implemented in C# using .NET Core 2.0.
- web - Web Interop Client and sample apps implemented in TypeScript.
- dsl - Protobuf and Plexus Interop grammar parsers, validators and code-generators implemented using Xtext framework.
- docs - documentation implemented in AsciiDoc format using Asciidoctor processor.
- protocol - definitions of Plexus Interop protocol messages in Protobuf format.
- samples - sample interop metadata.
Build and samples are currently tested on Windows environments; building and running on Linux/OSX environments is still experimental (see below).
Make sure that Java SDK is installed and JAVA_HOME variable is set.
All Plexus Interop components can be built using Gradle tool using the following single command:
./gradlew build --console plain
Build produces artifacts into folder "bin"; the first run can take 10 minutes or more, depending on your Internet connection speed.
Build in retricted environment
Build configuration should work fine on standard setup, with access to Internet. However it is quite often to have Dev setup behind corporate proxy. To run build successfully you'll need to adjust few configuration items shown below:
Gradle Proxy Settings
To adjust Gradle Proxy settings please update following lines in
%USERPROFILE%\.gradle\gradle.properties, using your Corporate Proxy's host and port instead of example values:
systemProp.proxySet="true" systemProp.http.proxyHost=proxy.host.acme.com systemProp.http.proxyPort=8080 systemProp.https.proxyHost=proxy.host.acme.com systemProp.https.proxyPort=8080 systemProp.http.nonProxyHosts=*.acme.com|localhost
Please adjust following Environment variables:
||Your corporate proxy host:port.|
||Your corporate proxy host:port.|
||List of Intranet hosts to exclude from accessing through proxy.|
||Host to download Electron binaries from, if different from default Github releases site.|
||Host to download Saas binaries from, if different from default Github releases site.|
There are also few recommended/optional variables to improve your build/development experience:
||Disable integration tests for .Net components to decrease build time.|
||Gradle stores cached packages in
||Nuget stores cached binaries in
||Can be used to replace default
If running on OSX, please update
desktop/src/Plexus.Interop.sln file and remove any code block that starts with
ProjectSection(ProjectDependencies) and ends with
EndSection; if you have already executed the
gradlew build once, you must cleanup your local checkout using
git clean -d -f -X (add
-n for a dry run).
After successful build samples binaries will be located in
Run .Net to Web interop example on Windows:
Launch Broker –
Launch (from a different terminal) Greeting Client – LaunchGreetingClient.cmd
- Choose “Discovery” option (5) and “Greeting from Electron Web app” from discovery response
- Enter name, e.g. “John” and hit enter – Web Greeting Server app will be launched by Broker, print Greeting Request:
- And send response back to .Net Greeting Client
- Then choose Discovery (5) and “Greeting from .Net app” from discovery response
- Enter another name, e.g. “Mike” and hit enter - .Net Greeting Server app will be launched and print greeting request:
To check out docs, visit https://finos-plexus.github.io/plexus-interop.
Documentation project is located in folder 'docs'. We build documentation using AsciiDoc.
To render diagrams during the build you need to have graphviz installed on the machine.
Invoke the following command to run the documentation build:
gradlew -p docs --console plain
After successful build documentation is available via:
Please refer to Contribution guidelines for this project.
Problem: Gradle fails to download dependencies, how to setup proxy configuration?
Solution: Pass proxy settings into Gradle via command-line parameters - e.g.
gradlew.bat -Dhttp.proxyHost=myproxy.com -Dhttp.proxyPort=8888 -Dhttps.proxyHost=myproxy.com -D https.proxyPort=4444 ...
Updating public documentation
As described above, public documentation is served using GitHub Pages and stored in
gh-pages branch. So to update it, you simply need to push updated documentation to this branch.
gh-pages branch structure is different from
master, so manual update requires few steps:
- Clone (if haven't cloned it yet) repository to
- Clone another copy of repository to separate
- Create branch for documentation update, e.g.
git checkout -b feature/gh-pages-update
- Return back to folder with main line branch, build documentation
gradlew build -p docs --console plain
- Copy documentation sources -
- Copy generated documentation -
- Go to
plexus-interop-docs, push the changes and raise PR against