Learning Center » Admin Panel » Manage » Packages & Plugins

Packages & Plugins

  • Only available for SocialEngine PHP self hosted.

    SocialEngine 4 includes a Package Manager that allows you to easily install your plugins straight from your SocialEngine admin panel. Packages are a group of files that can be modules, plugins, widgets, themes, or even language packs. Through the Package Manager, you will be able to install new packages without ever having to worry about which files go where. To install a new package, please follow the steps below. If you are looking to upgrade your plugins, please refer to the Performing Upgrades article.


    Installing Packages

    1. If you are installing SocialEngine plugins, log in to the client area (https://sehosted.socialengine.com/) and download any plugins you have purchased from the client area. If you are installing a third-party package, please ensure that the file you've been provided has the extension "tar".
    2. Log in to your SocialEngine admin panel and go to the "Packages and Plugins" option under the "Manage" menu item. Click the "Install New Packages" link.
    3. Click on the Add Packages link and upload the packages you downloaded in step one.
    4. Follow the on screen instructions to install your SocialEngine packages.

    Developer SDK

    The SDK, or Software Development Kit, helps SocialEngine developers by building skeleton packages and allowing them to package existing ones for distribution. You can also refer to sdk.html in the download for installation instructions. For a technical overview of SocialEngine and a sample plugin, refer to our Technical Overview article.

    Create a Package

    "Create a Package" will create a skeleton package for you, with the proper file system structure and manifest files. You can either install this using the Package Manager or extract it to your SocialEngine installation to start working on it.

    1. Click on "Create a Package" under SocialEngine SDK.
    2. Select the type of package you would like to create.

      Modules are used for full module features (such as Albums or Chat).
      Themes are CSS styles and image-sets for changing the site aesthetics. You would use packages instead of regular theme exports for versioning your theme.
      Widgets are more-abbreviated display items that do not need full Module features or complexity.
      Libraries are sets of classes that will be utilized by other widgets or modules. This is usually reserved for custom libraries that you did not write but want to utilize.
      Externals are things like CSS, Javascript, or Image sets that do not require any server-side processing.
    3. Enter a name, title, description, and author for your package.
    4. Enter a version number, (for example: 6.0.1)
    5. Click the 'version compare' link to view compatible formats.
    6. A build date will be automatically generated. You can change this manually. Click the onscreen link for compatible formats.

    Build Package

    "Build Package" will scan your system for packages that can be installed and distributed. You can select a package, and the SDK will re-build the package manifest and condense it into a TAR archive, which will show up under "Manage Package Files".

    Viewing More Information

    If you would like to view more information about the package before attempting to re-build the package, you can click on the "More info" link next to the package for more details such as where the package is currently located and its description.

    Building a Package

    1. To build a package, check the box next to the package you want to re-build.
    2. Note: Selecting the check box in the title bar will select all the packages listed on this page.
    3. When you have finished selecting which packages you want to build, click on Build Packages

    Manage Package Files

    "Manage Package Files" allows you to download package files you've built, combine packages into a single package for distribution, or delete ones you don't want.

    Downloading a Package

    You can download a package you have built for distribution by clicking on the name of the package.

    Combining Packages

    You can combine packages together into 1 file for distribution.

    1. Select the checkbox next to the packages you want to combine. Note: Checking the check box in the title bar will select all the packages on this page.
    2. After selecting the packages to combine, click on the "Combine" button.

    Deleting Packages from the Manage Package Files Page

    You can remove packages from this page by carrying out the same process as Combining Packages but instead of clicking "Combine" you would click on "Delete" to delete all the packages you have selected at one time.

    Import Tools

    If you are currently running a Social Engine version 3 site and would like to upgrade to version 4 (you can then upgrade to version 5 or 6), or have a phpFox or Ning site, there are some import tools built into the SocialEngine software to help assist you with the move.

    SocialEngine 3 Import: transfer your data from a SocialEngine 3 installation to a new SocialEngine 4 installation. For instructions on migrating from Social Engine 3 to Social Engine 4, please see our article on SocialEngine 3 Migration to SocialEngine 4. This will bring up the import instructions page.

    Ning Import: Transfer your data from a Ning Export to a new SocialEngine 4 installation. For instructions on performing a Ning Import, please see our article on the Ning Archive Importer.

    phpFox Import: Transfer your data from a phpFox site to a new SocialEngine 4 installation. For instructions on performing a phpFox Import, please see our article on the phpFox Importer.

    Other Tools

    To assist with error checking and the installation of packages, a few other helpful tools have been included in the Other Tools tab.

    Requirement and Dependency Check - Double check the requirements and dependencies of your installed packages.

    Search for Modified Files - Lists files that have been modified since installation. You can view a side-by-side diff of the files if you upload the original package. You have the options to upload package to diff and to flush diff cache.

    Upload Package to Diff will take you to the Install Packages page so you can try to upload a new package to see the line by line changes between the packages.

    Flush Diff Cache will remove all marked differences and will start keeping track of modified files from now on.

    PHP Info - Will show the same information as the Server Information page from the Admin Panel.

    Log Browser - Allows viewing of error logs which is the same as the Log Browser page from the Admin Panel.

    Logout - Logout of the Admin Panel.

    Great work! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need further tutorials. Visit our community to have more interactions with us and other clients or third party developers. We’d love to see you there!