This article introduces Kintone plug-in development by focusing on the differences and advantages as compared with standalone customizations, and will help developers understand when to develop standalone customizations versus plug-ins in the future.
For information on how to develop a Kintone plug-in, see the Steps for Plug-in Development.
Advantages of Kintone plug-ins
This section will introduce some of the advantages of plug-in development with concrete examples.
2: Changes can easily be made in the settings
The settings page that is created for each Kintone plug-in allows changes to be made easily to the customization. This is convenient when a plug-in is applied to multiple Apps or multiple domains because it allows the settings to be tailored to each individual App. The following example looks at the Conditional Format Plug-in to explain the advantages of using the settings page of plug-ins to make design changes.
This plug-in applies text and background styling to fields that meet requirements that have been specified in the plug-in settings as shown below.
Using the settings page of the Conditional Format plug-in, the field designs can be changed simply by selecting the conditions from drop-down and text input fields, and then choosing the styling to be applied when those conditions are true. If the same customization was applied using a standalone customization file, the code in the file would need to be changed each time a design change was made. This has obvious problems such as requiring the time and energy to change each customization file, as well as the fact that only those who understand the code, such as a developer, will be able to confidently make the change.
On the other hand, by using a plug-in, the specifications of the customization can be made with a GUI settings page, and even non-developer users will be able to change the design.
Therefore, it is also recommended to use plug-ins when there is a high possibility that changes will be made repeatedly, or if it is important that users other than developers will be able to make changes.
3: Batch application to multiple apps and bulk upgrading is possible
4: Sensitive information can be concealed
As shown above, by using the Google Chrome developer console, the code that is currently running on Kintone is easily accessed.
Therefore, using a Kintone plug-in would be better than a standalone customization in the following cases:
- Linking with external services
- Handling important information that should not be shown to others
There are a number of advantages of using plug-ins over standalone customizations, as described above. Kintone plug-ins also have features that are unavailable with standalone customizations, so if the situation calls for a plug-in, try making one.
This article has been checked with the November 2018 edition of Kintone.