RequireJS, JQuery Plugins and #Pentaho CDE

So, what seems like a year ago or so, but actually turns out to be 2015, Pedro Alves posted about this huge new change to CDF – Support for requireJS.  Great! Whats that then?

Well actually, one of the main advantages is embed-ability, and ability to communicate to other objects on the page.  This is great in theory, but in practice rarely used.  So it’s a shame that such a significant underlying change has to impact everyone.  It’s not a backwards compatible change.

However; Another advantage, although one that is forced upon us, is that all the modern components such as the templateComponent and possibly a few others now REQUIRE a requireJS dashboard. So we’ll all have to move eventually – So it’s not a question of choosing, it’s a migration job.  In reality, the way require handles the dependencies is much nicer, and does solve some headaches.  It’s interesting to see that sparkl (app builder) has not been modified to work in a requireJS paradigm yet.

One of the enormous benefits of CDF and a key point about the architecture is that it uses opensource libraries where possible – requirejs in fact being one of those!  So how do we use some of these additional libraries now?

Well the first thing, is that if your plugin is not available as an AMD module you have to create a shim, so here’s how this works, using jeditable as an example:

  1. Put jquery.jeditable.js into your solution, anywhere really, i put it in /public/dashboards/plugins
  2. Put this code in a resource section in your dashboard (no need to give it a name in this case)
var requireConfig = requireCfg.config;

if(!requireConfig['amd']) {
 requireConfig['amd'] = {};
}

if(!requireConfig['amd']['shim']) {
 requireConfig['amd']['shim'] = {};
}

requireConfig['amd']['shim']["cde/resources/public/dashboard/plugins/jquery.jeditable"] = {
 exports: "jQuery",
 deps: {
 "cdf/lib/jquery": "jQuery" 
 }
};
requirejs.config(requireCfg);

define([
 'cdf/lib/jquery',
 'amd!cde/resources/public/dashboard/plugins/jquery.jeditable'
], function($) {

});

Now there’s two things going on here.   You’re setting up your config first, then loading the shim.  The config is important because it defines that jeditable depends on jQuery, and it’s this that resolves issues with $ being uninitialised.

Note: I took the jquery.jeditable.js from CDF, rather than downloading the latest.  Seems to work, but like a lot of pentaho libraries it’s probably quite out of date.

Unfortunately this shim approach doesn’t always work – you just need to have a go. I found it didn’t work for bootstrap-editable for example.  This code appears to be exactly the same structure, but for now jeditable will do the job for me.

Anyway; How do you then use jeditable? Pretty simple. Create a Kettle transformation endpoint in your App Builder plugin, with 2 parameters – ID and value:

PDI

Then add some HTML in your dashboard:

Hello 
EDIT ME

Then add this into a dashboard_postinit function in the components section:

$('edit').editable('/pentaho/plugin/Bow/api/testpdiupdate',{
  name: 'paramvalue',
  id:   'paramid'
});

Note you must rename the parameters because CDA puts this ‘param’ onto them for you for some reason.  In my example above – Bow is the name of our app, and testpdiupdate is the transformation name.  Note: If you edit the transformation in-place don’t forget to click the refresh button on the endpoints screen otherwise the old endpoint code will run.

 

Thats it! Now run your dashboard. Click the field, change the value hit enter and watch your server logs.  Be sure when using this in production to apply a security check on any parameter values that are being submitted to be sure the user really does have permission to edit that field.  (This is bread and butter security stuff)

 

There is documentation on the old redmine site, but that’s gone now – I did find a version here, not sure for how long though.  There’s also a really good summary on the forums

 

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