Extension Manager

Use the Extension Manager to create custom extensions, load extensions automatically, and add custom documentation for defined features.

Support Features

  • Custom, user-defined extensions written in OML, C++ or Python.
  • Flexible User Interface to manage the extensions in the application.

  • Automatic loading of extensions along with a product or extension.
  • Addition or removal of extensions from user-defined locations.
  • Searching of extensions by name.

Extension Specification

  • Specify multiple profiles that you want to support.
  • Specify a minimum supported version.
  • Specifiy documentation using a local file or WEB link.
  • Preserve the loaded or unloaded status of extensions between sessions.

Create Extensions

Create extensions with .xml plugin files.

Extension Template

Create a basic description of the extension in .xml format, name it plugin, and save it to the extensions folder: <username>/Documents/Altair/extensions/plugin.xml. The .xml file contains the relevant information for the software to identify the plugin in the Extension Manager:

The plugin.xml is the essential and most basic structure to create an extension.

The following blocks can be added when the plugin uses an Altair software that has multiple sub-profiles, such as HyperMesh or HyperGraph. These blocks depend on the profiles supported by a product.

  • profile
    The profile of the Altair software.
  • ribbon
    The .xml file that holds the information about sprite action groups that should be added to the ribbon page.
  • resources
    The attribute that specifies the paths to the directories that contain icon files that are are used by the plugin/extension.
  • settings
    Paths of settings.xml.
  • script
    The script that is to be executed by the plugin.

As defined in the previous code example, if the HyperMesh profile in Hyperworks loads a certain extension, the Extension Manager executes, for example, HMInit.py. Also if the profile is switched to HyperGraph, the Extension Manager does not unload the given extension.

Location of Extensions

By default, the extensions are automatically detected when saved to <username>/Documents/Altair/extensions/, but you can also add other search paths.

If an extension is placed at this path, the software programatically recognizes it the next time the software is invoked:

Custom Help

You can create custom documentation and display it from your plugin:
  1. Select: Details > View Documentation.

  2. Create a Help page in HTML format, name it with the name given in the plugin.xml file and save it to this directory: <username>/Documents/Altair/extensions/.