Ever since the release of OpenX Ad Server v2.8 in April 2009, developers have been able to make third party plugins to enhance the functionality of the software. The concept is simple, but we are not seeing a flow of plugins yet. We intend to break through that standstill by publishing free plugins that demonstrate the concept, and by developing plugins for paying customers. We also want to provide a platform for developers to promote their plugins (both free and commercial) by opening this website to them. In short, we want to kick start the OpenX Source plugin ecosystem.
It seems simple enough
The idea is simple: a developer can create a small piece of software called a plugin, that can be installed inside an existing installation of OpenX Source. Doing so adds new features to the core software, without the need to make any changes to the original program or software. Plugins can even have their own tables to store and retrieve data in the OpenX database. And when the core system is upgraded to a new version, the plugin will move along with it.
It just isn’t happening
An elegant concept, which has been very successful in other open source projects, like WordPress and SugarCRM, to name just two. So why haven’t we seen a constant flow of OpenX Source plugins yet?
There is some documentation about developing plugins for OpenX Source, but that’s mostly a list of ideas for plugins, and some links to very early prototypes. These are mostly about making it easier to integrate ads served by OpenX Source into other applications like blogging software. A plugin to support in-video and video overlay advertising has been announced several times but hasn’t been released yet.
It may be part of the problem that the developers at OpenX Source haven’t been promoting the plugin concept as much as they could have, except for a blog post announcing the plugin framework in May 2009, and another one in April 2009. Developers are not always aware that they can use it, and users are not always aware that they can extend their system by having a plugin developed. And it does take a little money, time and energy to develop a plugin, which can be hard if there is no outlook for a return on that investment.
Kick starting the plugin ecosystem
The team at AdServerPlugins.com wants to promote the development of new plugins for OpenX Source , by releasing plugins that demonstrate the capabilities of the OpenX Source plugin framework. We will develop free plugins, but we are also available for projects by paying customers to develop bespoke plugins. But we also want to offer the platform of our website www.adserverplugins.com to others, enabling them to promote and distribute their plugins.
In short, we would like to break through the chicken-and-egg situation of customers waiting for developers and developers waiting for customers. We would like to see the emergence of an ecosystem of providers and users of OpenX Source plugins.
Let us know what you think
We would love to hear what you think about this plan. Please contact us or post your comments below. Feel free to tell us about your ideas for plugins (either as a developer or a user).
Great idea Erik.
Congratulations on being the first to take the step ahead. While I haven’t looked into the 2.8 plugin framework in greater detail, this, hopefully will allow me to stay up-to-date and contribute to the system.
Thanks for your message. If you have ideas or suggestions for plugins, please let us know.
the video ads plugins and loads of examples of how to use them are available on http://openvideoads.org
Thanks for your message. I’d like to ask you to contact us so we can create a page here, describing your plugin with a link to your site.
I installed the plugin! Works fine. Is it possible to give the plugin more options, such as on campaign level?
Keep up the good work!
Thank you for your comment (this is referring to the plugin that’s mentioned in the Statistics as Graphs post). We’re going to be collecting all feedback and suggestions and use those to decide what to put in a future version of this plugin.
Good luck Erik. Really exciting to see you and the team working together on this. I’m sure we’re all watching on with interest.
I’m so glad that The Guru at http://www.OpenXTips.com posted about this site! I’m anxious for better functionality from OpenX to give Google a run for their money.
Here’s a plugin I’ve been waiting on for about 9 years (since PhpAdsNew): The ability for advertisers to signup, submit ads and have their ads/campaigns put into a queue for manager review. Gosh that would make my life easier!
Wishing you the best with this new site!
What a good idea!
I have an idea for a plugin (quite a big one) that integrates our directory software (you can see it in our site) with OpenX.
I am talking with OpenX directly at the moment. Would be great if you could get in touch.
Merry xmas and happy new year!
Hi, is there any news about this? I really need to develop some plugins for my company but it’s been really hard to understand anything about the system. Not even the PluginBuilder have any decent documentation. It’s all very very confuse.
We really need a good tutorial to help with the plugin development.
I agree that the plugin documentation is far from being good. I guess you have alread checked what is available on the OpenX wiki.
That said, if you wish, I could be available for consulting on plugin related matters. And of course the AdserverPlugins.com team is more than willing to discuss any interesting idea that could be tunred into a standard plugin.
I would love someone to build a plug in to solved the report issue I posted here:
I think this would make a great bounty/commercial paid plugin as an area lacking in OpenX capabilities.
You have a very good idea, but it’s almost 1 year since you published this post and the latest version of OpenX 2.8.7. I am not able to find good documentation of creating plugins, I would love to create plugins for OpenX but the information I’m getting is not enough for creating a plugin. I used the plugin development tool but I am simply not understanding how to build a package from the file created by plugin builder and use it.
It would be nice if you could guide me to any good documentation so that I can start building plugins.
I am sorry for replying to such an old post, but this seems to be one of the only informative post on the OpenX plugins. Me and my team are finishing our study in web development by creating an advertisement system. We are trying to incorporate OpenX into our system and since we need extra features, we wanted to build a plugin (or plugins). Sadly though there seems hardly any information available on this matter. Even though OpenX v2.8 is already 3 years old.
I am going through the developer toolbox now, I hope it is of any use. Does anyone know of more sources of information?