Edit

Create an Add-On for a Custom Operation


This tutorial will help you package a custom operation into a Composer package, so that you (or other people) can use it in multiple Laravel projects. If you haven't already, please create your custom operation first, and make sure it's working well, before you move it to a pacakge. It's just easier that way.

Part A. Create The Package

Step 1. Generate the package folder

Install this excellent package that will create the boilerplate code for you:

composer require jeroen-g/laravel-packager --dev

Ask the package to generate the boilerplate code for your new package:

php artisan packager:new MyName SomeCustomOperation --i

Keep in mind:

  • the MyName should be your Github handle (or organisation), in studly case (CompanyName);
  • the SomeCustomOperation should be the package name you want, in studly case (ModerateOperation);
  • the website should be a valid URL, so include the protocol too: http://example.com;
  • the description should be pretty short;
  • the license is just the license name, if it's a common one (ex: MIT, GPLv2);

This will create a /packages/MyName/SomeCustomOperation folder in your root directory, which will hold all the code for your package. It has pulled a basic package template, that we need to customize.

It will also modify your project's composer.json file to point to this new folder.

Step 2. Define dependencies

Inside your /packages/MyName/SomeCustomOperation/composer.json file, make sure you require the version of Backpack your package will support. If unsure, copy-paste the requirement from your project's composer.json file.

    "require": {
+        "backpack/crud": "^4.0.0"
-        "illuminate/support": "~5|~6"
    },

Note:

  • you can also remove the illuminate/support requirement in most cases - if Backpack is installed, so is that;
  • feel free to add any other requirements your package might have;

Notice that this composer.json will also:

  • define your package namespace (in autoload/psr-4);
  • set up Laravel package autoloading (in extra/laravel/providers);

Step 3. Instruct your Laravel Project to use your package

composer require myname/somecustomoperation

Congratulations! Now you have a basic package, installed in packages/MyName/SomeCustomOperation, that is loaded in your current Laravel project. Note that:

  • The command above added a requirement to your project's composer.json file, to require the package; Because previously Packager has pointed to the packages folder, it will pick it up from there, instead of the Internet;
  • Then your package's composer.json file will point to the ServiceProvider inside your package's src folder;
  • The ServiceProvider is the class that ties your package to Laravel's inner workings.

If you want to test that your package is being loaded, you can do a dd('got here') inside your package's ServiceProvider::boot method. If you refresh the page, you should see that dd() statement executed.

Step 4. Move the files needed for the operation

You can choose whatever folder structure you want for your package. But within Backpack add-ons, we follow the convention that the package folder should look as much as possible like a Laravel project folder. That way, when someone looks at the addon's source code, they instantly understand where everything is.

Operation Trait

Notice a file has already been created, with the operation name, inside your package's src folder. You can move your operation trait code from app/Http/Controllers/Admin/Operations to this src/SomeCustomOperation file, but make sure:

  • you use the proper namespace (MyName\SomeCustomOperation);
  • you define it as a Trait, not a Class;

Views

If your operation has a user interface, consider moving all the views this operation needs inside your package folder, inside a resources/views folder.

Then in your package's ServiceProvider, make sure inside boot() that you load the views:

        $this->loadViewsFrom(__DIR__.'/../resources/views', 'somecustomoperation');

Config

For most custom Operations, there's really no need to define your own config file. You can just instruct people to use the config/backpack/crud.php file, and define stuff inside operations, inside an array with your operation's name. If this works for you, then:

  • delete the config folder entirely;
  • inside your ServiceProvider's register() method, delete the line with mergeConfigFrom();
  • inside your ServiceProvider's bootForConsole() method, delete the line that publishes the config file;
  • inside your ServiceProvider's bootFromConsole() method, include:
        $this->publishes([
            __DIR__.'/../resources/views' => base_path('resources/views/vendor/backpack'),
        ], 'somecustomoperation.views');

That way, developers define config values for your custom operation the same way they define them for a default Backpack operation.

Translations

If your Operation has an inteface, it most likely also needs a translation file, so that strings are translatable. To add a translation file:

  • inside your ServiceProvider's boot() method, include:
    $this->loadTranslationsFrom(__DIR__.'/../resources/lang', 'backpack');
  • inside your ServiceProvider's bootFromConsole() method, include:
        $this->publishes([
            __DIR__.'/../resources/lang' => resource_path('lang/vendor/backpack'),
        ], 'somecustomoperation');
  • create the resources/lang/en folder;
  • create a PHP file with a shorter representative name inside that folder, for example somecustom.php, with the translation lines there;
  • you'll be able to use trans('somecustomoperation::somecustom.line_key') throughout your operation's controller/views;

Step 5. Delete the package files you don't need

  • in most cases you won't need a Facade for the operation, so you can delete the src/Facades folder; if you do that, also remove the alias to that Facade, at the bottom of your package's composer.json file;
  • in most cases you won't need the register(), provides() methods in your ServiceProvider; it's best to remove them;

Step 6. Customize Markdown Files

Inside your package folder, go through all markdown files and make them your own. At the very least, go through:

  • LICENSE.md - use the MIT license if unsure;
  • README.md - write a clear description and instructions for how to use your operation; if you include clear documentation and screenshots, more people will use your package, guaranteed;

Step 7. Make your first git commit

Inside your package folder, run:

cd packages/myname/somecustomoperation
git init
git add .
git commit -m "first commit"

Part B. Put The Package Online

Put it on Github

First, create a new Github Repository for it. Remember to use the same name you defined in your package's composer.json. If in doubt, double-check.

Second, add that new Github Repo as a remote, and push your code to your new Github repo.

git remote add origin [email protected]:yourusername/yourrepository.git
git push -u origin master
git tag -a 1.0.0 -m ‘First version’
git push --tags

The tags are the way you will version your package, so it’s important you do it.

Put it on Packagist

In order for people to be able to install your package using composer, your package needs to be registerd with Packagist, Composer's free package registry.

On Packagist.org, submit a new package. Enter you package’s GitHub URL and click Check. If any errors occur, follow the onscreen instructions. When you’re done, you’re taken to your package’s packagist page.

Congrats, you have a working package online, you can now install it using Composer.

Note: On the package page, you might get a notice like this: This package is not auto-updated. Please set up the GitHub Service Hook for Packagist so that it gets updated whenever you push! Let’s take care of that. Click that link, get your API token and go to your package’s GitHub page, in Settings / Webhooks & Services / Add a new service. Search for Packagist. Enter your username and the token and hit Submit. Your error in Packagist should dissapear in 5–10 minutes.

Feedback and Promotion

Congratulations on your new Backpack addon!

To get feedback, ask people to try it on:

Make sure you write something nice, so people are interested to click.

After you've got some feedback, and a few users have installed your package and everything seems fine, time to promote it big time:

Ready to go live?

You don't need a license code on localhost. But in production, you do.