Android Plugin Framework
This project is pre-mature and may be changed very frequently.
Android Plugin Framework (APF) aims to providing a flexible, extensible framework, for Android applications, like OSGi for Java applications. App developers can design their Android applications in a totally new way: declar the interface of a application component, put the actual implementations of the component on the remote server, use APF library to load the actual implementations at runtime. In this way, app developers can dynamically update application components, or add features to an already installed application, without requiring the application being updated throught Android System Framework. A typical usage scenario can be skin: designers design various skins for an application according to pre-defined format and then put those skin files online. App users can then find and use skins through
skin store, without having to installing a new version of the app.
Another using scenario is for game design: design the
hard level of a game in a different package that can be dynamically load into the game. When an user passes the
low level of the game, the app can load the
hard level of game code using APF dynamically. The user gets a seemlessly upgrade experience.
The project consists 3 major components:
The core library to find, verify and load plugin code from remote servers. Now, the architecture and the remote server is still pre-mature and is subject to change, so it is not open sourced yet. But it will be soon.
Plugin Build Scripts
The instructions to create your own plugins. Check [Creating Your APF Plugin] for details.
- Host application, Android Application Project.
- Plugin Interface, as an Android Library Project
- Plugin Implementation, as an Android Application Project
There is already an example plugin implementation signed by Umeng and hosted on Umeng's server side. If you want to try it out and have a different implementation, please contact xuxianming @ umeng.com
Creating Your APF Plugin
To create a effective APD plugin, you will need to design plugin interface first in an Android Library Project. Next, implement the declared interface in an Android Application Project.
- Create an Android Library Project.
android create lib-project -n com_example_plugin1_ifs -t android-17 -k com.example.plugin1.ifs -p com.example.plugin1.ifs
- Update ant.properties according to the template file
/apf-opensource/com.example.plugin1$ cat ../apf-plugin-build/ant.properties.example >> ant.properties
# This file is used to override default values used by the Ant build system. # # This file must be checked into Version Control Systems, as it is # integral to the build system of your project. # This file is only used by the Ant script. # You can use this to override default values such as # 'source.dir' for the location of your java source folder and # 'out.dir' for the location of your output folder. # You can also use it define how the release builds are signed by declaring # the following properties: # 'key.store' for the location of your keystore and # 'key.alias' for the name of the key to use. # The password will be asked during the build when you use the 'release' target. key.store=../apf-plugin-build/debug.keystore key.store.password=android key.alias=androiddebugkey key.alias.password=android
build.xmlaccording to the template file
apf-opensource/com.example.plugin1.ifs$ cp ../apf-plugin-build/build.xml.plugin.ifs.example build.xml
Design the interface to be used by the host application. Check:
- Create an Android Application Project.
android create project -n com_example_plugin1 -t android-17 -k com.example.plugin1 -p com.example.plugin1 -a PluginActivity cd com.example.plugin1 android update project -p ./ --library ../com.example.plugin1.ifs
Update ant.properties according to the template file
build.xmlaccording to the template file
apf-opensource/com.example.plugin1$ cp ../apf-plugin-build/build.xml.plugin.example build.xml
Design the interface to be used by the host application.
Plugin Implementationproject will be will packaged/exported as
Plugin Interfaceproject will be packaged to
com.umeng.analytics.apk for plugin, and
com.umeng.analytics.ifs.jar for interfaces declarations.
> ant deploy
The output will be at
Note: if the plugin implementation projec ifself is a android library project, for example, like com.umeng.common, you need a little "hack" to the ant build system. First change ant.properties, change
android.library=false. After successfully
ant deploy, change it back to
android.library=true, as is required by the upper stream application project.
See [com.example.host] and [com.example.plugin1].
To Run the example:
All plugins must be signed with private key. APF adopts similar mechanisms as Android app signing. See Signing Your Applications for help.
Sign the plugin apk
- Make sure that you can build your plugin interface and implementation with
antsuccessfully before preceeding.
ant.properties. Add the content of
ant.properties.exampleto your plugin implementation project's
ant deployto build the release apk package. This will build a release mode plugin apk called [project-name]-release.apk under bin/ directory.
When to release your plugin, remember to update the key and keystore. Do not use the example key store used here. Caution: Since APF is in very pre-mature state, it's architecture and server side design is subject to change very frequently. For now, APF provided by Umeng does not allow any plugin signed by third party. If you want to try this out and want to deploy your plugin on Umeng's platform, please develop your plugin first and contact us. After we check out that your plugin is secure, we can sign the plugin for you and host your plugin on Umeng's server. Please email to xuxianming at umeng.com. We will open source implementation of APF when it's architecture design is freezed.