Advanced Plugin Tutorial

Note: This is a work in progress and will be completed over the course of many weeks (or months if I can't find enough spare time). This task is made more difficult by the current lack of reference guides. Any and all help will be appreciated, as will be suggestions for improvement. Potion 17 December 2012

Acknowledgement: In this tutorial I will implement an invoicing system, and will use the business logic and table structure in Simple Invoices, with their permission. Potion 20 December 2012

This tutorial will explore more advanced features for development of Feng Office plugins. In addition to the basics covered in the Hello World Plugin Tutorial, the topics covered will include:

  • Object types and managing a list of objects in a tab panel
  • Enabling your plugin's objects to be categorized using Feng Office dimensions
  • Adding a component in the Administration Tab to control your plugin's settings
  • Adding a report component in the Reporting Tab
  • Providing Install and Uninstall scripts for your plugin

Setting Up

We will employ an Agile development approach so that after each stage (Scrum & Sprint ) we have a viable, usable system.

Initial setup:

  • Install a new instance of Feng Office
  • Install a new instance of Simple Invoices using the same database (and user and password) as the Feng Office installation.

Initially each application will run separately from the other, and the only integration at this point will be:

  • A shared database.
  • A new tab in Feng Office to hold the Simple Invoices view in an iframe.

Run both applications, each in its own browser tab, to make sure they both run.

Create the Basic Plugin

The first iteration in our agile development is to create a basic plugin that will run the Simple Invoice app in a Feng Office tab.


  • plugins
    • invoices
      • application
        • controllers
          • InvoicesController.class.php
        • views
          • invoices
            • manage.php
      • language
        • en_us (add languages as required)
          • lang.js
          • lang.php
      • info.php
<?php class InvoicesController extends ApplicationController {                
        var $plugin_name = "invoices"; //name of the plugin
        function __construct() {
                prepare_company_website_controller($this, 'website');              
        function manage() {
	/* for now, do nothing - the invoices app will load in the view */
<iframe src="" <? /* Link to Simple Invoices Doc Root */ ?>
        frameborder="0" >
<?php return array(
    "name" => "invoices",
    "version" => "0.1",
    "author" => "My Name",
    "website" => "",
    "description" => "Simple Invoices Plugin for Feng Office",
    "tabs" => array (
			"id" => "invoices-panel",
                        "ordering" => 2,
                        "title" => "invoices tab",
                        "icon_cls" => "ico-invoices",
                        "refresh_on_context_change" => true,
                        "default_controller" => "invoices",
                        "default_action" => "manage" , 
                        "initial_controller" => "" ,
                        "initial_action" => "" ,
                        "type" => "plugin",
                        "object_type_id" => 0
	locale = 'en_us';
	var langObj = {};
<?php $lang_array = include 'lang.php'; ?>
<?php foreach ($lang_array as $k => $v): ?>
	langObj["<?php echo $k ;?>"] = "<?php echo $v ;?>" ;	 
<?php endforeach ;?>
<?php return array(
	'invoices tab'=>'Invoices',

We'll use an icon for our tab from the default theme's sprites. Insert a line into the relevant CSS file, FENGOFFICE_ROOT/public/assets/themes/default/stylesheets/file/types.css

	background: transparent url(../../images/16x16/all_16_16_vertical.png) no-repeat scroll 0 -336px !important;

Ensure that the plugin manager is enabled by inserting the following line into FENGOFFICE_ROOT/config/config.php

  define('PLUGIN_MANAGER', true);

In Feng Office, navigate to Administration–>Plugins where you can Install and then Activate the invoices plugin. Now navigate to Administration–>Tabs, ensure that invoices-panel in enabled and hit save changes.

Our new tab Invoices should now appear. Click on it and log into Simple Invoices.

Remember that Simple Invoices is running as a separate application and therefore requires its own login. As per our Agile objective, we now have a usable invoicing system.

Work In Progress. To Be Continued…