IntelliJ Platform SDK DevGuide

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Publishing a Plugin to a Custom Plugin Repository

If you intend to use a plugin repository other than the JetBrains Plugin Repository, you will need to:

  • Create and maintain an updatePlugins.xml file on the HTTPS web server you are using for your custom repository. This file describes all the plugins available in your custom repository and each plugin’s download URL.
  • Upload your plugin JAR/ZIP file to an HTTPS web server. This can be the same web server you are using for the custom repository or a different HTTPS web server.
  • Add the URL for the custom repository to the JetBrains IDE Repository Settings/Preferences.

Describing Your Plugins in an updatePlugins File

Every custom plugin repository must have at least one updatePlugins.xml file to describe the latest available version for every hosted plugin. The description in updatePlugins.xml is used by JetBrains IDEs to locate plugins by attributes such as id, IDE version, and plugin version. These attributes are displayed by JetBrains IDEs to help users select or upgrade plugins. The description also tells the JetBrains IDE where to download the plugin itself.

A custom plugin repository’s updatePlugins.xml file is constructed and maintained by the administrator of the repository. More than one updatePlugins.xml file may be required if consumers of the custom repository are using more than one version of a JetBrains IDE. For example updatePlugins-182.xml, updatePlugins-183.xml for IntelliJ IDEA 2018.2 and 2018.3 respectively. Each updatePlugins-*.xml file will have a unique URL that is added to the JetBrains IDE Repository Settings/Preferences.

The Format of an updatePlugins File

The format of an updatePlugins.xml file is simply a list of sequential elements that describe each plugin:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!-- The <plugins> element contains the description of the plugins available at this repository. Required. --> <plugins> <!-- Each <plugin> element describes one plugin in the repository. Required. id - used by JetBrains IDEs to uniquely identify a plugin. Required. Must match <id> in plugin.xml url - path to download the plugin JAR/ZIP file. Required. Must be HTTPS version - version of this plugin. Required. Must match <version> in plugin.xml --> <plugin id="fully.qualified.id.of.this.plugin" url="https://www.mycompany.com/my_repository/mypluginname.jar" version="major.minor.update"> <!-- The <idea-version> element must match the same element in plugin.xml. Required. --> <idea-version since-build="181.3" until-build="191.*" /> </plugin> <plugin id="id.of.different.plugin" url="https://www.otherserver.com/other_repository/differentplugin.jar" version="major.minor"> <idea-version since-build="181.3" until-build="191.*" /> </plugin> <plugin> <!-- And so on for other plugins... --> </plugin> </plugins>


Note:

  • An updatePlugins.xml file must contain at least one set of <plugin></plugin> elements.
  • A plugin id may be listed only once in an updatePlugins.xml file.
  • Multiple plugins with the same id but different idea-version attributes must be split into separate updatePlugins-*.xml files.

Optional updatePlugin Elements

Can additional elements be added to updatePlugins.xml? Yes, but it’s advisable only if needed. The additional elements will have to be synchronized with each plugin’s plugin.xml file.

During plugin installation the JetBrains IDE reads the plugin JAR/ZIP file, and thereafter displays more information about the plugin. What additional information might help a user select a plugin when browsing the custom plugin repository before installation? The answer depends on the plugins and repository consumers. Here are the candidate elements:

Element Effects & Requirements
<name>
My Plugin Name
</name>
By default the name of the plugin JAR/ZIP file is displayed before installation.
Using the <name> element displays the name of the plugin.
Contents should match the <name> element contents in the plugins’s plugin.xml file to avoid confusion.
<description>
My plugin is awesome
</description>
By default no description for the plugin is displayed before installation.
Using the <description> element will cause a description to be displayed before installation.
Contents should match the <description> element contents in the plugins’s plugin.xml file to avoid confusion.
Optionally, an enclosing <![CDATA[ ]]> element can be used if the description needs to contain HTML tags.
<change-notes>
Added cool feature
</change-notes>
By default no change notes for the plugin are displayed before installation.
Using the <change-notes> element will cause a description of changes to be displayed before installation.
Contents should match the <change-notes> element contents in the plugin’s plugin.xml file to avoid confusion.
Optionally, an enclosing <![CDATA[ ]]> element can be used if the change notes need to contain HTML tags.
Last modified: 27 November 2018