home User Guide Getting Started Help Center Documentation Community Training Certification
menu
close
settings
Looker keyboard_arrow_down
language keyboard_arrow_down
English
Français
Deutsch
日本語
search
print
Introduction to building a Looker extension

This page describes how to generate and configure a basic Looker extension template, to which you can then add functionality.

Creating a new Looker extension requires you to perform the following tasks:

The following procedures show how to build the above elements.

Configuring Looker for an extension

Looker extensions each require a LookML project that includes a model file and a manifest file to run.

  1. Create a blank project for your extension.

  2. In your new project, create a model file by using the + at the top of the file browser in the Looker IDE.

  3. The new model file is generated with a connection parameter and an include parameter:

    Replace connection_name in the connection parameter with the name of a valid database connection on your instance. The extension requires a valid model file because Looker permissions data is accessed through the LookML model. To manage access to your extension, you must associate the extension with a valid LookML model and grant users permissions to access that model. When you are done editing the model file, click Save Changes.

    Since your extension does not require a view file, either delete the include: "/views/*.view.lkml" parameter or add a # character at the beginning of the line to make the line a comment. Leaving the include: "/views/*.view.lkml" parameter as is will cause the LookML validator to generate errors.

  4. Create a project manifest file by using the + at the top of the file browser in the Looker IDE.

    The project manifest file will initally be empty, but later in this procedure you will copy generated contents into your project manifest file that will include the application parameter. The application parameter gives the extension a label, tells Looker where to find the extension JavaScript, and provides a list of entitlements for the extension. Entitlements define the Looker resources that the extension can access. The extension will not be able to access a Looker resource unless that resource is listed in the entitlements.

    You can leave the manifest file as is for now, though, since you will copy the rest of the file’s contents into it later in this process.

  5. Configure a Git connection for your new project.

    You can access the Configure Git page either by clicking the Configure Git button in the top right corner of the Looker IDE, or by using the Project Configuration page as described in the Setting up and testing a Git connection documentation page.

Once you’ve set up the project for your extension and connected it to Git, you are ready to generate the extension template files.

Generating the extension template files

There are two ways to generate extension template code files:

Both processes require Yarn, so ensure you have Yarn installed.

Using create-looker-extension to create an extension template

The create-looker-extension utility creates a basic Looker extension that includes all the necessary extension files and dependencies. You can then use this as a starting point and add additional code and functionality to complete your extension.

To generate the extension template:

  1. Run the create-looker-extension utility, replacing <extension_name> with the name of your extension:

    yarn create looker-extension <extension_name>
    
  2. Either confirm the extension name or provide a different name, and then select the language and framework you want to use to build the extension:

    The create-looker-extension utility will then use the framework that you specified to populate a base template and put all the generated files into a new directory that uses the name of the extension:

  3. Navigate to the directory that was created for your extension:

    cd <extension_name>
    
  4. Install the extension dependencies:

    yarn install
    
  5. Start the development server:

    yarn develop
    

    The extension is now running and serving the JavaScript locally at http://localhost:8080/bundle.js.

  6. In your extension directory is the file manifest.lkml. Copy the contents of this file.

  7. In your LookML project, paste the contents of manifest.lkml into your project manifest file:

    Click Save Changes to save your project manifest file.

  8. In the LookML IDE, click Validate LookML, then click Commit Changes & Push, and then click Deploy to Production.

  9. Reload Looker using your browser’s reload function.

    In Looker’s Browse menu, you will see the name of your new extension:

  10. Select your extension from the Browse menu to view the extension’s output.

If your admin has enabled the Enhanced Navigation Labs feature, extensions are listed in the Applications section of the new enhanced left navigation panel.

Cloning a Git repository to create an extension template

Looker maintains a Git repository with several extension templates at https://github.com/looker-open-source/extension-examples. If you would like to use one of the examples there, navigate to that example’s repository, and follow the instructions below.

This procedure require Yarn, so ensure you have Yarn installed.

  1. On your local command line, use the following command to clone the Git repository:

    git clone git@github.com:looker-open-source/extension-examples.git
    
  2. Navigate to the directory that contains the template you want to install on your system. In this example, we’ll use the React and JavaScript “Hello World” extension:

    cd extension-examples/react/javascript/helloworld-js
    
  3. Install the extension dependencies:

    yarn install
    

    You may need to update your Node version or use a Node version manager to change your Node version.

  4. In your extension directory is the file manifest.lkml. Copy the contents of this file.

  5. In your LookML project, paste the contents of manifest.lkml into your project manifest file:

    Click Save Changes to save your project manifest file.

  6. In the top right corner of the LookML IDE, click Validate LookML, then click Commit Changes & Push, and then click Deploy to Production.

  7. In your terminal, start the development server:

    yarn develop
    

    The extension is now running and serving the JavaScript on a local development server specified in the url parameter of the manifest file: http://localhost:8080/bundle.js.

  8. Reload Looker using your browser’s reload function.

    In Looker’s Browse menu, you will see the name of your new extension, which is determined by the label parameter in your project manifest file:

  9. Select your extension from the Browse menu to view the extension’s output.

If your admin has enabled the Enhanced Navigation Labs feature, extensions are listed in the Applications section of the new enhanced left navigation panel.

Modifying the extension

Once you’ve created the basic extension, you can modify or add code to it by modifying the appropriate JavaScript or TypeScript file.

The src directory under your extension directory contains the source file where you can add code. In the example above, for the React and JavaScript “Hello World” template, the file is called HelloWorld.js. Modifying or adding code to that file will modify or add to function of the extension.

Below is a the output of the React and JavaScript HelloWorld.js file:

import React, { useEffect, useState, useContext } from 'react' import { Space, ComponentsProvider, Text } from '@looker/components' import { ExtensionContext } from '@looker/extension-sdk-react' export const HelloWorld = () => { const { core40SDK } = useContext(ExtensionContext) const [message, setMessage] = useState() useEffect(() => { const initialize = async () => { try { const value = await core40SDK.ok(core40SDK.me()) setMessage(Hello, ${value.display_name}) } catch (error) { setMessage('Error occured getting information about me!') console.error(error) } } initialize() }, []) return ( <> <ComponentsProvider> <Space p="xxxxxlarge" width="100%" height="50vh" around> <Text p="xxxxxlarge" fontSize="xxxxxlarge"> {message} </Text> </Space> </ComponentsProvider> </> ) }

In the above example, you could change the text output of the extension by changing the text in the line setMessage('Hello, ${me.display_name}').

Keep in mind that as you add functionality, you may need to modify the entitlements granted to your extension in the application parameter in your project manifest file.

Top