Welcome

Getting Started

Rocket.Chat provides an Apps Engine CLI which helps you easily create, deploy, and publish your own extensions for it. This guide will help you get started with the CLI to start creating your own apps.

Rocket.Chat App Engine CLI

Our official Apps Engine Command Line Interface (CLI) is available on GitHub and published on NPM. It provides an easy interface for developing extensions. Follow the quick steps below to create your first application.

Installation

Before installing the CLI make sure that you have Node already installed on your machine. To verify Node installation, use the following command in your terminal.

node -v
# v10.15.3
# It should return you a valid version.

Once you have installed Node, run the following command in your terminal to install the CLI globally.

npm install -g @rocket.chat/apps-cli

It will take a while to install the CLI depending upon your internet connection. After installation, run the following command to verify the installation.

rc-apps -v
# @rocket.chat/apps-cli/1.4.0 darwin-x64 node-v10.15.3

Note that the response may vary depending upon your machine and environment, but it should look similar. Now, you are all set to create your first app.

Creating an Example App

The development tools provide a command to quickly scaffold a new Rocket.Chat App, simply run rc-apps create and a new folder will be created inside the current working directory with a basic App which does nothing but will compile and be packaged in the dist folder.

After that you will need to create a file with your app information, this file is called app.json.

You can check the app-schema.json file for all the detailed information and fields allowed in the app description file, the basic structure is similar to this:

{
    "id": "5cb9a329-0613-4d39-b20f-cc2cc9175df5",
    "name": "App Name",
    "nameSlug": "app-name",
    "version": "0.0.1",
    "requiredApiVersion": "^1.3.2",
    "description": "App which provides something very useful for Rocket.Chat users.",
    "author": {
        "name": "Author Name <author@email.com>",
        "support": "Support Url or Email"
    },
    "classFile": "main.ts",
    "iconFile": "beautiful-app-icon.jpg"
}

Testing the App

Now that you have your App ready, you can test it before submitting it.

To test your app, you need a Rocket.Chat server running locally on your machine and an admin user in it.

See Installing Rocket.Chat for Developing to run Rocket.Chat in develop mode or run it in preview mode with docker using the command:

docker run -it --rm -p 3000:3000 -v `pwd`/rocketdb:/var/lib/mongodb rocketchat/rocket.chat.preview

Having the server running, simply run:

rc-apps deploy --url http://localhost:3000 --username user_username --password user_password

Where:

http://localhost:3000 is your local server URL (if you are running in another port, change the 3000 to the appropriate port)

user_username is the username of your admin user.

user_password is the password of your admin user.

After deploying for the first time, when updating the deployment you will need to run:

rc-apps deploy --url http://localhost:3000 --username user_username --password user_password --update

Packaging the app

Currently the Rocket.Chat servers and Marketplace allow submission of zip files, these files can be created by running rc-apps package which packages your app and creates the zip file under dist folder.

Submitting Your App to the Marketplace

So, you just finished writing your first Rocket.Chat App, and you have successfully tested it locally which means you are ready to submit it to the Marketplace for others to use. You can now submit your App to the Marketplace.

To submit your App simply run:

rc-apps submit

Review process

When you submit an App, there is a three-step process that takes places. The first step, you submit the App to the Marketplace (explained below). Secondly, you will receive an email that asks for you to approve or reject the App submission (more on this later as well). Finally, after you approve the entry, then our staff will review it and determine whether it is approved or not.

Webinar on Getting Started with Rocket.Chat Apps Development

We recently had an incredible seminar on getting started with Rocket.Chat apps development. In this seminar, our amazing developers will help you understand the Apps CLI basics and how you can jump right into apps development.

Start Developing

The basic creation of an App is based on extending the App class from the Rocket.Chat Apps definition library. Your class also has to implement the constructor and optionally the initialize function, for more details on those check the App definition documentation.

Most of your app functionality comes from the {YOUR APP NAME}.ts file, in the example down below the file is called TodoListApp.ts

import {
    IConfigurationExtend,
    IConfigurationModify,
    IEnvironmentRead,
    ILogger,
} from '@rocket.chat/apps-engine/definition/accessors';
import { App } from '@rocket.chat/apps-engine/definition/App';
import { IAppInfo } from '@rocket.chat/apps-engine/definition/metadata';

export class TodoListApp extends App {
    constructor(info: IAppInfo, logger: ILogger) {
        super(info, logger);
    }

    public async initialize(configurationExtend: IConfigurationExtend, environmentRead: IEnvironmentRead): Promise<void> {
        await this.extendConfiguration(configurationExtend, environmentRead);
        this.getLogger().log('Hello world from my app');
    }
}