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Redux Actions for Web App Plugins

When building web app plugins, it’s common to perform actions or access the state that web and mobile apps already support. The majority of these actions exist in mattermost-redux, which is our library of shared code between Mattermost JavaScript clients. The mattermost-redux library exports types and functions that are imported by the web application. These functions can be imported by plugins and used the same way. There are a few different kinds of functions exported by the library:

  • actions: Actions perform API requests and can change the state of Mattermost.
  • client: The client package can be used to instantiate a Client4 object to interact with the Mattermost API directly. This is useful in plugins as well as JavaScript server applications communicating with Mattermost.
  • constants: An assortment of constants within Mattermost’s data model.
  • selectors: Selectors return certain data from the Redux store, such as getPost which allows you get a post by id.
  • store: Functions related to the Redux store itself.
  • types: Various types of objects in Mattermost’s data model. These are useful for plugins written in Typescript.
  • utils: Various utility functions shared across the web application.

Prerequisites 

It’s assumed you have already set up your plugin development environment for web app plugins to match mattermost-plugin-starter-template. If not, follow the README instructions of that repository first, or see the Hello, World! guide.

Basic example 

Here’s an example of a web app plugin making use of mattermost-redux’s functions:

import {connect} from 'react-redux';
import {bindActionCreators} from 'redux';

import {getPost} from 'mattermost-redux/selectors/entities/posts';
import {getCurrentTeam} from 'mattermost-redux/selectors/entities/teams';

import {closeCreateModal, createIssue, fetchJiraIssueMetadataForProjects, redirectConnect} from 'actions';
import {isCreateModalVisible, getCreateModal} from 'selectors';

import CreateIssue from './create_issue_modal';

const mapStateToProps = (state) => {
    const {postId, description, channelId} = getCreateModal(state);
    const post = (postId) ? getPost(state, postId) : null;
    const currentTeam = getCurrentTeam(state);

    return {
        visible: isCreateModalVisible(state),
        post,
        description,
        channelId,
        currentTeam,
    };
};

const mapDispatchToProps = (dispatch) => bindActionCreators({
    close: closeCreateModal,
    create: createIssue,
    fetchJiraIssueMetadataForProjects,
    redirectConnect,
}, dispatch);

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(CreateIssue);

Some common actions 

We’ve listed out some of the commonly-used actions that you can use in your web app plugin. You can find all the actions are available for your plugin to import in the source code for mattermost-redux.

Dispatch this action to create a new channel.

Dispatch this action to fetch a specific emoji associated with the emojiId provided.

Dispatch this action to create a new post.

Dispatch this action to fetch all the team types associated with the current user.

Dispatch this action to create a new user profile.

Some common selectors 

We’ve listed out some of the commonly-used selectors you can use in your web app plugin. You can find all the selectors that are available for your plugin to import in the source code for mattermost-redux.

Retrieves the userId of the current user from the Redux store.

Retrieves the user profile of the current user from the Redux store.

Retrieves all user profiles from the Redux store.

Retrieves a channel as it exists in the store without filling in any additional details such as the display_name for Direct Messages/Group Messages.

Retrieves the channel ID of the current channel from the Redux store.

Retrieves the complete channel info of the current channel from the Redux store.

Retrieves the specific post associated with the supplied postID from the Redux store.

Retrieves the teamId of the current team from the Redux store.

Retrieves the team info of the current team from the Redux store.

Retrieves the the specific emoji associated with the supplied customEmojiName from the Redux store.

Some common client functions 

We’ve listed out some of the commonly-used client functions you can use in your web app plugin. You can find all the client functions that are available for your plugin to import in the source code for mattermost-redux.

Routes to the user profile of the specified userId from the Mattermost Server.

Routes to the user profile of the specified username from the Mattermost Server.

Routes to the channel of the specified channelId from the Mattermost Server.

Routes to the channel of the specified channelName from the Mattermost Server.

Routes to the team of the specified teamId from the Mattermost Server.

Routes to the team of the specified teamName from the Mattermost Server.

Executes the specified command with the arguments provided and fetches the response.

Get the client options to make requests to the server. Use this to create your own custom requests.

## Custom reducers and actions

Reducers in Redux are pure functions that describe how the data in the store changes after any given action. Reducers will always produce the same resulting state for a given state and action. You can register a custom reducer for your plugin against the Redux store with the registerReducer function.

registerReducer(reducer) 

Registers a reducer against the Redux store. It will be accessible in Redux state under state['plugins-<yourpluginid>']. It generally accepts a reducer and returns undefined.

When building web app plugins, it is common to perform actions that web and mobile apps already support. The majority of these actions exist in mattermost-redux, our library of shared code between Mattermost JavaScript clients.

Here we’ll show how to use Redux actions with a plugin. To learn more about these actions, see the contributor documentation.

Prerequisites 

This guide assumes you have already set up your plugin development environment for web app plugins to match mattermost-plugin-starter-template. If not, follow the README instructions of that repository first, or see the Hello, World! guide.

Import mattermost-redux 

First, you’ll need to add mattermost-redux as a dependency of your web app plugin.

cd /path/to/plugin/webapp
npm install mattermost-redux

That will add mattermost-redux as a dependency in your package.json file, allowing it to be imported into any of your plugin’s JavaScript files.

Use an Action 

Actions are used as part of components. To give components access to these actions, we pass them in as React props from the component’s container index.js file. To demonstrate this, we’ll create a new component.

In the webapp directory, let’s create a component folder called action_example and switch into it.

mkdir -p src/components/action_example
cd src/components/action_example

In there, create two files: index.js and action_example.jsx. If you’re not familiar with why we’re creating these directories and files, read the contributor documentation on using React with Redux.

Open up action_example.jsx and add the following:

import React from 'react';
import PropTypes from 'prop-types';

export default class ActionExample extends React.PureComponent {
    static propTypes = {
        user: PropTypes.object.isRequired,
        patchUser: PropTypes.func.isRequired, // here we define the action as a prop
    }

    updateFirstName = () => {
        const patchedUser = {
            id: this.props.user.id,
            first_name: 'Jim',
        };

        this.props.patchUser(patchedUser); // here we use the action
    }

    render() {
        return (
            <div>
                {'First name: ' + this.props.user.first_name}
                <a
                    href='#'
                    onClick={this.updateFirstName}
                >
                    Click me to update the first name!
                </a>
            </div>
        );
    }
}

This component will display a user’s first name and then, when the link is clicked, use an action to update that user’s first name to “Jim”.

The action patchUser is from mattermost-redux. It takes in a subset of a user object and updates the user on the server, using the PUT /users/{user_id}/patch endpoint.

We must now use our container to import this action and pass it our component. Open up the index.js file and add:

import {connect} from 'react-redux';
import {bindActionCreators} from 'redux';

import {patchUser} from 'mattermost-redux/actions'; // importing the action

import ActionExample from './action_example.jsx';

const mapStateToProps = (state) => {
    const currentUserId = state.entities.users.currentUserId;

    return {
        user: state.entities.users.profiles[currentUserId],
    };
};

const mapDispatchToProps = (dispatch) => bindActionCreators({
    patchUser, // passing the action as a prop
}, dispatch);

export default connect(mapStateToProps, mapDispatchToProps)(ActionExample);

The container is doing two things. First, it’s grabbing the current (logged in) user from the Redux state and passing it in as a prop. Anytime the Redux state updates, for example when we use the patchUser action, our component will get the updated copy of the current user. Second, the container is importing the patchUser action from mattermost-redux and passing it in as an action prop to our component.

Now we can use this.props.patchUser() to update a user. The example component we made uses it to patch the current user’s first name.

To use our component in our plugin we would then use the registry in the initialization function of the plugin to register the component somewhere in the Mattermost UI. That is beyond the scope of this guide, but you can read more about that here.

Available Actions 

The actions that are available for your plugin to import can be found in the source code for mattermost-redux.