Extension builder

JIPipe allows the creation of extensions that contain additional algorithms without the need for writing Java code. We recommend starting from a functional pipeline project and export the whole pipeline or a part of it into a JSON Extension. Alternatively, you can create custom algorithms from scratch within the extension builder.

If you want a step-by-step guideline on how to create a custom algorithm, please check out our tutorial.

Exporting from an existing pipeline

Within the JIPipe interface, you can find contextual menu items and buttons that allow to generate an exported algorithm.

This will open a tab showing a preview of the pipeline. Select Export to extension to copy the custom algorithm into a new or existing extension.

To open a new extension builder or load a JSON extension, you can use Plugins > New JSON extension ...

The extension builder

The extension builder opens three tabs:

Extension settings

All extension metadata can be changed from within this tab. There are only three fields that are mandatory and one where you have to put special care in deciding about the value:

You can write anything you want into the other metadata fields or leave them out.

Extension settings

Extension contents

This interface allows you to manage the list of algorithms that are contained within the extension. If you want, you can also create algorithms from scratch (although we do not recommend this as you cannot test pipelines within the extension builder). On selecting an algorithm, you can edit its metadata.

You can edit the graph that defines the algorithm’s workload by clicking Edit algorithm. Use this to modify the pipeline to your needs and change parameters. Please note that you cannot test the pipeline.

We recommend to check if you have some parameters that are invalid or dangerous (e.g. file paths that were copied when exportiong from a project). You algorithms should always have sane defaults.

Extension contents

Exporting parameters

By default (this excludes exporting from a Group algorithm) your algorithm will not have any parameters aside of the default ones (name, description, pass-though, and enabled). The extension builder comes with a powerful editor to reference parameters within the algorithm’s graph.

Exported parameters are organized in Groups with each group having a title and optional description. Each group holds a collection of parameter references that can be assigned a custom name and description. Click Add group to create a new empty group or use the Auto add algorithm button to import parameters from a node and automatically create groups.

In a group, you can use the Add parameter button to create a reference.

Hover over the blue wrench icon to display information about the referenced parameter.

Each parameter can only be referenced once. You will get a warning if you have duplicate references. If you ignore the warning, JIPipe will just skip them when creating the parameter UI.

The parameter editor UI implements a sub-set of the parameter reference standard to prevent overloading the UI. You always can change the JSON file to control additional properties like a manual order of the parameter items.

Parameter editor