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Extending the Platform

Extending the Platform

Developers have full access to the Core Commerce source code to customize and extend all aspects to meet their needs. However, by making modifications directly in the source code, managing customizations can become difficult as Core Commerce evolves over time. Once you upgrade to a new version of Core Commerce, your customized code may conflict with upgraded source code and cause problems with your platform. Therefore, we recommend following the binary-based development process, so your customizations live in projects that are separate from the out-of-the-box Elastic Path source code projects.

To work in a binary-based development environment, Elastic Path provides extension projects for your customizations to live in. Having your customizations in these extension projects makes it easier for you to upgrade your Elastic Path source code.

We find binary-based development also:

  • Reduces the time and cost of upgrades - You do not need to merge changes at the source code level.
  • Accelerates development - You do not need to build the entire code base. You only need to build your customizations.
  • Improves the ability to leverage Maven features - such as dependency management and plugins.

This page explains how the extensions module is set up for binary based development while the child pages dive in to the details of how you can make different kinds of extensions.

Extensions modules

There are multiple extension submodules within the extensions module.

Each module extends a different component of Core Commerce. These modules depend on their equivalent out-of-the-box component. For example, the ext-core module depends on ep-core, and ext-search depends on ep-search. By depending on their equivalent out-of-the-box component, any customizations you put in these modules can import or inherit from that component's out-of-the-box classes, which enables you to add or change behavior.

Core extensions (core/ext-core)

The extension ext-core module depends on the out-of-the-box Core Engine library and contains the classes and resources that customize core functionality.

All other extension modules have a dependency on the extension core module, so any changes you make in extension core are available to these modules. Commerce Manager plugins also are dependent on extensions core and inherit changes made here.

For information on the structure of the extension core module, see Extension Core Module Structure. war overlay - sf and core.png

Webapp extensions (batch, search)

Each web application has two components: a JAR and a WAR. When you build the extension web application module, both the JAR and WAR components combine into a single web application that can be deployed to a server.

For information on the structure of the extension webapp modules, see Extension Webapp Module Structure.

Other extensions

Type of extension Module Notes
Assets assets See Managing Assets.
Database schema and catalog data database/ext-data See Modifying Schema and Catalog Data.
Import/Export functionality importexport/ext-importexport Extends ep-importexport
Data Sync Tool functionality sync/ext-sync Extends ep-sync
Data Population functionality data-population/ext-data-population-core Extends ep-data-population-core. See Data Population - Extensions Environment.