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.