Each folder in the Plugins SDK contains scripts for creating new plugins of that type. Here is the directory structure of the Plugins SDK:

  • liferay-plugins-<version>/ - Plugins SDK root directory.
    • clients/ - client applications directory.
    • dist/ - archived plugins for distribution and deployment.
    • ext/ - Ext plugins directory. See Chapter 8 on Ext plugins.
    • hooks/ - hook plugins directory. See Chapter 7 on hooks.
    • layouttpl/ - layout templates directory. See Chapter 6 on creating Liferay Layout Templates.
    • lib/ - commonly referenced libraries.
    • misc/ - development configuration files. Example, a source code formatting specification file.
    • portlets/ - portlet plugins directory. See Chapter 3 on portlet development.
    • themes/ - themes plugins directory. See Chapter 5 on creating Liferay themes.
    • tools/ - plugin templates and utilities.
    • webs/ - web plugins directory.
    • build.properties - default SDK properties.
    • build.<username>.properties - (optional) override SDK properties.
    • build.xml - contains targets to invoke in the SDK.
    • build-common.xml - contains common targets and properties referenced throughout the SDK.
    • build-common-plugin.xml - contains common targets and properties referenced by each plugin.
    • build-common-plugins.xml - contains common targets and properties referenced by each plugin type.

New plugins are placed in their own subdirectory of the appropriate plugin type. For instance, a new portlet called “greeting-portlet” would reside in liferay-plugins-[version]/portlets/greeting-portlet.

There’s an Ant build file (build.xml) in each of the plugins directories. Here are some Ant targets you’ll commonly use in developing your plugins:

  • build-service - builds the service layer for a plugin, using Liferay Service Builder.
  • clean - cleans the residual files created by the invocations of the compilation, archiving, and deployment targets.
  • compile - compiles the plugin source code.
  • deploy - builds and deploys the plugin to your application server.
  • format-source - formats the source code per Liferay’s source code guidelines, informing you of violations that must be addressed. See the Development Style community wiki page for details.
  • format-javadoc - formats the Javadoc per Liferay’s Javadoc guidelines. See the Javadoc Guidelines community wiki page for details.

Next, let’s consider some best practices for developing plugins using the SDK.

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