Add external actions

You can add custom actions to ALM Octane toolbars that launch external websites or applications. The external websites or applications can read information from the ALM Octane launching entity, and send commands back to ALM Octane.

Note: External actions is available as a technical preview.

Overview

The Shared Space admin can configure a custom action that will be added to the toolbar of a specified entity in ALM Octane. The button can be added to either the grid view or the details view of the specified entity.

Example:

In this case, we added a custom action with the tooltip General Details to the defects grid toolbar. When clicked, the action opens an external website that lists the defects selected in the grid.

To add custom actions, Shared Space Admin permissions are required.

Add a custom action

You add custom actions by configuring a JSON file in the External Action editor.

To add a custom action:

  1. Log in to ALM Octane as a Share Space admin.
  2. From the main ALM Octane user area, select Settings > Management > External action editor.

    The editor allows you to write or paste ready-made JSON code that represents the custom buttons you are adding to ALM Octane.

  3. Click Load Demo, to load JSON code with examples of various configuration options for the custom actions.

The JSON file can include code for one or more custom actions.

JSON Structure

Following is a code sample for a single custom action. We will describe its properties below.

[
	{
		"name": "defect-details",
		"title": "Defect Details",
		"entity_type": ["defect"],
		"views": ["list", "details"],
		"icon": "rss",
		"url": "https://server.domain.com/some-application?entity_ids={entity_ids}&entity_type={entity_type}&shared_space={shared_space}&workspace={workspace}&user_login={user_login}&email={user_email}&action=defect-details",
		"single_entity": true,
		"events": false,
		"dialog": "large"
	}
]

Custom button properties

Property Description
name Unique action name, used to identify the action in logs and errors.
title

For toolbars where the icon and label are displayed, this value will be used as the button label.

For toolbars where only the icon is displayed, this value will be used as the button tooltip.

entity_type

List of entity types to which the button will be applied.

The entity type names are same as in the REST API. For example: defect, test, release

You can use also aggregated types, such as work_item. The button will be applied to all subtypes of the aggregated type. For example: Define the type work_item to apply the button to user stories, defects.

views

List of view types in which this action should be visible.

Allowed values: list, details

icon The icon to be displayed for this button. See the list of possible Icons.
single_entity

Set to true, to determine that the button will be enabled only when a single item is selected in the grid and disabled when multiple items are selected.

Set to false, to determine that the button will be enabled both when a single or multiple items are selected.

dialog

By default, the referenced website or application opens in a new tab.

To embed an application inside an ALM Octane dialog box, rather than a new tab, define the dialog property.

Allowed values: small, medium, large

Caution: Embedding an action can pose security risks for ALM Octane users if the embedded application is not properly secured.

If dialog is defined, the url property (see below) needs to contain the source of an iframe that will oppen inside the dialog box.

The embedded application can trigger events that control its dialog box, via "messages". A message will be handled by ALM Octane only if the values of workspace, shared_space and dialog_id are indentical to those that were provided to the embedded application. Any other values will cause the message to be ignored.

For message examples, see Embedded application code examples.

url

The URL or URI to be activated when user clicks on the button.

url can be either of the following:

  • A website, using either the https: or http: protocol
  • A protocol handler URI, such as mailto: or any custom application that has a registered protocol handler on the user's machine.

    By default, URI is restricted to common web-based protocols such as https and mailto. To allow additional protocols, update the ENTITY_EXTERNAL_ACTIONS_SUPPORTED_PROTOCOLS site parameter. For details, see Configuration parameters.

URL tokens

In addition to the URL or URI of the target application, you can include also tokens. Tokens represent information regarding the selected entities. The tokens are replaced by ALM Octane by the actual values during runtime, and transferred to the target application.

The following example contains all the tokens that you can include in the url property:

https://server.domain.com/some-application?entity_ids={entity_ids}&entity_type={entity_type}&shared_space={shared_space}&workspace={workspace}&user_login={user_login}&email={user_email}&action=defect-details

You can include part or all of the supported tokens in the URL. It is best to include only the tokens that are required by the invoked application.

In addition, you can add other query parameters to the URL to send additional information to the target application. In the example above, we added action=defect-details as a query parameter. It allows the target application to recognize the custom action that was activated.

Supported tokens:

  • {entity_ids}. Comma delimited list of IDs of the entities selected by the user.
  • {entity_type}. Aggregated type of the selected entity. For example, for a defect, this will be replaced with work_item.
  • {shared_space}. ID of space in which the action was triggered.
  • {workspace}. ID of workspace in which the action was triggered.
  • {user_login}. Login name with which the user connected to ALM Octane.
  • {user_email}. Email address of user as recorded in ALM Octane.
  • {dialog_id}. Optional. In case of an action embedded in a dialog box, this value is required to post messages from the action back to ALM Octane. For more details, see Embedded application code examples.
  • {octane_url}. URL of the ALM Octane site from which the external action is invoked.

events

Optional. Indicate whether the action supports receiving events back from the target web application.

Allowed values: true / false

Default: false. This functionality poses a potential security risk.

Note: Not supported in Internet Explorer.

Supported events:

  • octane_refresh_entity. Instructs ALM Octane to refresh specified entities after they have been updated in the external application.
  • octane_display_entity. Instructs ALM Octane to display details of a specified entity.
  • octane_entity_was_added. Notifies ALM Octane that a new entity was created.

For implementation notes and code examples, see: Trigger ALM Octane events from external app.

workspaces

Optional. When present, designates the workspaces to which the action applies.

Syntax: Number array of workspace IDs. Example: "workspaces": [1002, 1004]

Note: workspaces can be supplied only if exclude_workspaces is not supplied.

exclude_workspaces

Optional. When present, designates the workspaces to which the action does not apply.

Syntax: Number array of workspace IDs. Example: "exclude_workspaces": [1002, 1004]

Note: exclude_workspaces can be supplied only if workspaces is not supplied.

Embedded application code examples

The following examples assume params holds parameters that were sent to the external application via the url parameter.

Example 1. Set the dialog box title

var message = {
	event_name: 'octane_set_dialog_title',
	shared_space: '1004',
	workspace: '1006',
	data: {
		dialog_id: params.dialog_id,
		title: 'Our custom dialog title',
	},
};
window.parent.postMessage(message, '*');

Example 2. Close the dialog box

var message = {
	event_name: 'octane_close_dialog',
	shared_space: '1004',
	workspace: '1006',
	data: {
		dialog_id: params.dialog_id,
		refresh: true,
	},
};
window.parent.postMessage(message, '*');

Set refresh: true in the message to instruct ALM Octane to refresh the displayed view. This can cause either the grid view or the details view to refresh, depending on the view from which the action was triggered.

In addition to the above events, that relate to embedded actions, you can trigger other events from the external application. For details, see Trigger ALM Octane events from external app.

Trigger ALM Octane events from external app

Following is a JavaScript code sample that triggers an event in ALM Octane. The code should be implemented in the target web application.

var message = {
	event_name: 'octane_refresh_entity',
	shared_space: '1004',
	workspace: '1006',
	data: {
		entity_type: 'work_item',
		entity_ids: ['1003', '4005'],
	},
};
window.opener.postMessage(message, '*');

Implementation notes

  • For actions opened in a new browser tab, messages should be posted using window.opener.
  • For actions embedded inside an ALM Octane dialog box, messages should be posted using window.parent.
  • If the code fails on "opener undefined", check that the action is configured with "events": true.
  • If a refresh event or a message is sent for an entity that is currently being edited by the user and has changes unsaved to the server, the UI will not refresh to prevent data loss.

Code examples of supported events

Icons

Choose an icon from the list below to use as a custom button.

Tip: To view in full detail, click to zoom in, then right-click the image and open in a new tab.