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Version: v1.4.x

Creating application plug-ins

An application plug-in is an installable set of files that present resources in a web-based user interface, as a set of RESTful services, or in a web-based user interface and as a set of RESTful services.

Before you build an application plug-in, you must set the UNIX environment variables that support the plug-in environment.

Setting the environment variables for plug-in development#

To set up the environment, the node must be accessible on the PATH. To determine if the node is already on the PATH, issue the following command from the command line:

node --version

If the version is returned, the node is already on the PATH.

If nothing is returned from the command, you can set the PATH using the NODE_HOME variable. The NODE_HOME variable must be set to the directory of the node install. You can use the export command to set the directory. For example:

export NODE_HOME=node_installation_directory

Using this directory, the node will be included on the PATH in ( is located in zlux-app-server/bin).

Using the sample application plug-in#

You can experiment with the sample application plug-in called sample-app that is provided.

To build the sample application plug-in, node and npm must be included in the PATH. You can use the npm run build or npm start command to build the sample application plug-in. These commands are configured in package.json.


  • If you change the source code for the sample application, you must rebuild it.

  • If you want to modify sample-app, you must run npm install in the Zowe Desktop and the sample-app/webClient. Then, you can run npm run build in sample-app/webClient.

  • Ensure that you set the MVD_DESKTOP_DIR system variable to the Zowe Desktop plug-in location. For example: <ZLUX_CAP>/zlux-app-manager/virtual-desktop.

  1. Add an item to sample-app. The following figure shows an excerpt from app.component.ts:

    export class AppComponent {
    items = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd']
    title = 'app';
    helloText: string;
    serverResponseMessage: string;
  2. Save the changes to app.component.ts.

  3. Issue one of the following commands:

    • To rebuild the application plug-in, issue the following command:
    npm run build
    • To rebuild the application plug-in and wait for additional changes to app.component.ts, issue the following command:
    npm start
  4. Reload the web page.

  5. If you make changes to the sample application source code, follow these steps to rebuild the application:

    1. Navigate to the sample-app subdirectory where you made the source code changes.

    2. Issue the following command:

      npm run build
    3. Reload the web page.