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Developing a custom visualization for the Looker Marketplace

This page describes how to create a custom visualization type that can be added to the Looker Marketplace and accessed by other Looker users.

Please note that you must be a member of the Looker Partner Network or a Looker customer to submit content to the Looker Marketplace.

The Looker Marketplace is a central location for finding, deploying, and managing many types of Looker content, such as Looker Blocks™, applications, visualizations, and other plug-ins.

With the Looker Marketplace Labs feature enabled, you can install Looker Marketplace Plug-Ins, which include visualization types that you can add to Looker’s native visualization library. Visualizations installed through the Marketplace are supported by the Looker team. It’s recommended that you install visualizations through this method rather than the method described on the Admin Setting - Visualizations documentation page.

To develop a custom visualization and make it available to all Looker users through the Looker Marketplace, follow these steps:

  1. Develop a visualization.
  2. Create a Looker project for the visualization.
  3. Push the Looker project to Git.
  4. Check the functionality of the visualization.
  5. Provide Marketplace resources.
  6. Submit the visualization to Looker.
  7. Maintain the visualization.

Developing a visualization type

Identify a visualization type that you’d like to develop. (Confirm that this visualization is not already listed in the Marketplace or as a native Looker visualization.)

Develop your custom visualization in JavaScript using the Looker Visualization API, the Looker visualization testbed, or your own environment. Capture your work in a GitHub repository.

Creating a Looker project for the visualization

Create a Looker project to represent your custom visualization. The project should contain the following files:

{ "label": "Gauge Visualization", "category_label": "plug-ins", "branding": { "image_uri": "https://marketplace-api.looker.com/visualization-screenshots/gauge_icon.png", "tagline": "Use the Gauge visualization to display a measure and progress to a goal." }, "constants": { "vis_label": { "label": "Visualization Label", "description": "This label will appear in the visualization selector in the Looker Explore UI." }, "vis_id": { "label": "Visualization Id", "description": "This must be a unique ID across all visualizations.", "value_constraint": "visualization" } } }

Pushing the project to Git

Integrate the project to Git and push the project containing all the required files to the remote Git service. Deploy to production through the Looker UI.

Checking the functionality of the visualization

You can test the new visualization by applying it to an appropriate Explore or Look on your instance:

  1. Navigate to the Look or Explore.
  2. If on a Look, click Edit to edit the Look.
  3. Click the three-dot menu in the visualization type menu to open the drop-down list of visualizations.
  4. Select your custom visualization.
  5. Click Save to save the change to the Look. Note any dashboards that may be impacted by this change.

Looker requires these functions in the visualizations available from the Looker Marketplace:

Function Required
Support for drilling into visualization Yes
Ability to inherit Looker’s color palettes Yes
Responsiveness to browser and screen size Yes
Consistent font family: font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif Yes
Font sizing Yes
Ability to toggle Value Labels and Axis Labels in the visualization configuration panel Yes
Visualization of pivoted data Yes (when applicable)
Visualization updates based on user interactivity using the updateAsync function or is update function Yes
Clear error messages (for example, This visualization requires 1 dimension and 2 measures) Yes
All options in visualization configuration panel make an apparent change to the visualization Yes
Use of field’s value formatting by default Yes (when applicable)
Error is thrown when a query returns no results Yes

Drafting content for the Marketplace listing

Each listing of Marketplace content is a card that shows a thumbnail and brief description of the content. Each listing also features a simple webpage that shows:

For example, here is the Marketplace listing for a Sankey visualization:

Submitting the visualization for review

Send the web copy, a link to the GitHub repository, and the associated screenshots to your Partner Manager or to Looker’s product team through your designated Account Manager. Looker will review the submission and provide edits and feedback (if applicable). Once any edits have been addressed, Looker will post the visualization to the Looker Marketplace within one to two weeks.

Maintaining the visualization

Once your visualization is deployed and available for Looker users, it is expected that your team will evaluate and rectify any reported errors. Users will submit these as comments in the Github repo where the visualization is hosted. Looker requests that you respond to these comments within 30 calendar days, or the visualization will be removed from the Marketplace.

If you need to make updates to your visualization, push the changes to the block’s Github repository and then contact your Partner Manager or Account Manager, providing one to three sentences that describe what this update accomplished. When Looker publishes this change, the visualization listing will prompt users to update the visualization the next time they use it.

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