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Plugging in components into a view

This topic describes how to plug in components into a view in the Optimizely CMS user interface.

How it works

When you create a component definition, you can automatically plug the component definition into a view by defining plug-in paths to one or several containers. A plug-in path is a unique string that describes the plug-in area. Optimizely provides helper classes with string constants to plug-in to an area without having to type the plug-in area as a string. For example, you can add the following code to your component:

private readonly string[] _plugInPaths = new string[] { EPiServer.Web.PlugInAreas.DefaultAssetsGroup };
    
    public override string[] PlugInPaths
    {
        get { return _plugInPaths; }
    }

Plugging in component hierarchies

You can plug entire component hierarchies in by adding children to the top-level component that you create in the CreateComponent method. The following example shows how to plug in a new tab to the dashboard with two components:

public override IComponent CreateComponent()
    {
        var root = new ComponentContainer() { PlugInPath = "/samples/dashboard/mycustomtab" };
        root.Settings["numberOfColumns"] = 2;
        root.Settings["title"] = "My custom tab";
    
        var fileManager = new FileManagementComponent().CreateComponent();
        fileManager.Settings["column"] = 0;
        root.Add(fileManager);
    
        var pageTree = new PageTreeComponent().CreateComponent();
        pageTree.Settings["column"] = 1;
        root.Add(pageTree);
    
        return root;
    }

In this example, other plug-ins can plug into the new tab due to the definition of PlugInPath = "/samples/dashboard/mycustomtab". Use a special component definition class that creates a root component (that does not have a reference to the component definition of the hierarchy) because the CreateComponent method is called when creating new views and also when loading a personalized hierarchy.


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