How to Upload and Update a Plugin to Your Developer Portal Account
In this article we’ll go over how to upload and update a plugin that you’ve created to your Developer Portal account. First we’ll go over how to Upload your plugin.
How to Upload a Plugin
After you have developed your plugin, you should double check that all of this information is correct before uploading it:
- The Author Name - This is what displays as the developer name for your plugin
- The Plugin Name - This is what displays as the name for your plugin
- The Plugin Description - This is what displays as the description for your plugin
- The Support Email - This is the email that you want users of your plugin to use if they have any questions about your plugin
- The Plugin Settings - This refers to what you have set up in the “Control”, “Widget”, “Features”, “Webpack”, and “Languages sections of your plugin file
- Any Additional Features You Need - This refers to any additional functionalities that have been set up in the plugin such as Bluetooth functionality
You should also check the resources folder and make sure that the Plugin Icon and Image Icon are the correct ones before you submit your plugin. Once you have done that follow these steps to upload your plugin.
Step 1: Compress your plugin files into a .zip file
If you are using the React or Webpack templates, use the following command in your plugin's directory:
npm run-script build
After doing this, a “plugin.zip” file will be created in the plugin’s directory.
If you aren’t using those templates, go to the folder of the Plugin you'd like to upload, right-click on it and compress it into the standard .zip file format.
Step 2: Log-in to dev.buildfire.com and Click On the Plugin Manager
Once you have compressed your plugin into a .zip file, go to dev.buildfire.com and click on the “Plugin Manager” tab.
Step 3: Click On “Upload Plugin”
Now that you’re on the “Plugin Manager” tab click on the “Upload Plugin” button.
This will open up the file manager on your computer. Navigate to where you have the zipped plugin file housed on your computer and upload it.
Your Plugin should now appear in your list of Plugins under Plugin Manager. In the Plugin Manager your plugins list alphabetically, so if you have multiple plugins uploaded and you don’t see it show up at the top, you should find it by navigating through the pages of the Plugin Manager.
Now let’s go over how to update a previously uploaded plugin.
How to Update a Plugin
Once you’ve uploaded a plugin you now have the ability to update it through the Plugin Manager. Here’s how you update your plugin:
Step 1: Go to the Plugin Manager Tab and click “Update” next to the Plugin that you want to update
Once you’re ready to update one of your plugins, go to the “Plugin Manager” tab and click “Update” next to the plugin that you’d like to update.
You will be prompted to answer a couple of questions. This is to ensure that the updated plugin file that you upload doesn’t accidentally break your app. We want to make sure everything is 100% before you upload the updated file.
Let’s go over the questions that you’ll be asked:
Is this backwards compatible?
This is in reference to if your updated plugin file is backwards compatible with previous versions. You will need to make sure that your updated file is backwards compatible, otherwise it will break everybody’s app that’s using your plugin currently.
If you select Yes to this question: Then you can move on ahead!
If you select No to this question: This will break everyone’s app that’s using your plugin currently. Please create a second version of your plugin that is backwards compatible, then come back and update the pre-existing plugin OR upload your update as a new plugin.
Have you added new required features to your plugin.json file?
This is in reference to if you’ve added any additional features, such as access to push notifications or Bluetooth in the updated version of your plugin. If you have, then the apps that use it will need a hard rebuild. If not you can go ahead and update your plugin.
If you select Yes to this question: Then the apps that use it will need a hard rebuild.
If you select No to this question: Then you can go ahead and update your plugin without requiring a hard rebuild.
Will the plugin continue to work without it?
This is a follow-up to the previous question, and is asking you if your plugin will still function if the new required features aren’t present. Will your plugin crash or have issues if the user doesn’t have those new features yet. If yes, then you can update your plugin, but it will need a hard rebuild, if no then you will need to address this in your code before uploading the update.
If you select Yes to this question: Then you can go ahead and update your plugin! Just be aware that it will require a hard rebuild of your plugin.
If you select No to this question: This means that your plugin is not backwards compatible. Please create a second version that is backwards compatible, then come back to update it OR upload it as a new plugin.
Once you have addressed any issues brought up by these questions and you’ve answered them correctly, then go ahead and click the “Upload” button.
This will open up the file manager on your computer. Navigate to where you have the zipped plugin file housed on your computer and upload the updated plugin .zip file. This will update the plugin in our system.
In addition to this article, we recommend checking out the following related articles so that you have a better insight into how to use the system to its fullest advantage:
- BuildFire Plugin: Creating Your First Plugin
- How to Submit Your Plugin to the Marketplace
- Marketplace Guidelines
Still have questions? No problem! Reach out to us and we’d be happy to help :)