App Builder is a plugin creator instrument that sits on two major cornerstones of the Pentaho ecosystem: CTools and PDI. Aiming to leverage as much as possible of our existing stack, anyone familiar with those tools will be able to build plugins.
Building plugins has been, so far, something only reachable by those who have development knowledge, leaving out of the picture lots of people with interesting ideas for new plugins, that could eventually help in a particular customer scenario.
These people usually lack the proper JAVA knowledge, but are commonly familiar with Pentaho implementations.
There are two sections when we edit a App Builder application: plugins metadata and elements definition.
The element group is basically composed by two types of elements: Dashboards, for the front-end side of the application, and Endpoints, for the back-end logic.
By filtering the Dashboard element types, we'll see how many screens our plugin has. The User Interfaces are generated through CDE, and we can jump from App Builder to CDE, if we want to edit our dashboard. Exactly like if we were creating a dashboard.
You can access the App Builder Documentation, where we communicate what are the application's Dashboards and Endpoints, their goals, logic, actions and how all these are wrapped up to build a consistent plugin.
01. Create a plugin with App Builder
02. Give it a name
03. Fill in the plugin info
04. Add an element
05. Add two dashboards
06. Edit the dashboards
07. Add a simple row
08. Preview it
09. Share it
If you're happy with the plugin, submit it to the Pentaho Marketplace and let everyone take advantage of it.