General

A first-hand guide to ftrack integrations management.
This document guides you through the steps to discover, install, and update plugins used by ftrack Connect to integrate with third-party applications.

Using storage scenarios

The majority of ftrack's integrations require a storage scenario for ftrack to handle the output paths.

Although this isn't the case for all integrations, it's nevertheless highly recommended to have a storage scenario set up for all the operating systems in use at a company before you start using any Connect integrations.

The storage scenario defines where files should be stored when using ftrack integrated applications like ftrack Connect and Adobe Illustrator, for example.

The storage scenario will be configured according to the different platforms used (Linus, Windows, OS X). Paths will be generated accordingly.

ftrack Connect

ftrack Connect is a desktop application that allows your computer to communicate with ftrack projects, and in doing so enables enhanced functionality.

ftrack Connect also provides an integration with your favourite DCC applications out of the box.

More information about Connect can be found here
A list of the available integrations can be found here

What is an integration plugin?

You can integrate ftrack with third-party applications through the use of integration plugins. These are usually composed of a Python or JavaScript code that allows the application to interact with the ftrack server through the use of the ftrack API.

There are two main plugin types:
Connect plugins
Application plugins

The main difference between the two is their installation location, either in Connect or in the application itself. This depends on how the application can be extended.

Where to download integration plugins

Each release of ftrack-connect-package contains the latest available plugins at the release time. However, ftrack’s plugins are continually updated and improved over time.

To see the most recent plugin versions currently in use, select ‘About’ in the Connect menu.

The latest available plugins for download can be found on the ftrack forum.

How to build integration plugins

When a new version of an ftrack integration is released, it is made available via our download portal.

However, all the integrations are available as open-source code from our Bitbucket Git repository and can be freely downloaded as a compressed archive or by cloning the repository

Using the git repository, rather than downloading from the portal, will allow you to access upcoming bugfix and features, which still have to be integrated in the code. 

  • Python plugins:
    We recommend having Python >= 2.7.9 installed and available on the system paths.
    Most of the Python plugin can be easily built with the following command, from within the plugin source folder:
    >> python.exe setup.py build_plugin
    This will produce a build folder under the plugin root folder, which contains a subfolder named with the plugin and version being built.
  • Other plugins:
    We suggest checking the readme and docs of other plugins to see what dependencies and requirements they have when building.
    If in any doubt, please get in touch with support@ftrack.com – we’ll be happy to talk you through things.

How to install or update integration plugins

Whether you have downloaded the plugin from our forum or central download page, or built it locally, you’ll access a compressed folder named <plugin-name>-<version>.zip

You have several options for installing/updating Connect plugins, please see below.

Note on Updating:
ftrack-connect-package ships with a default set of integration plugins. If you have found a new version to update, it is important to remove the old plugin before installing the new one.
Go to the /ftrack-connect-package/resource/connect-standard-plugins
And remove the old plugin version.

Once the old plugin has been removed, choose one of the following options.

1) install in place in connect-package:

  • locate the plugin you want to replace, and delete it from its current location
  • decompress the zip and copy the <plugin-name>-<version>
  • restart Connect

2) install the plugin in the local user plugin folder:

  • start Connect
  • select the ftrack Connect icon on the system tray
  • right-click and select ‘Open plugin directory’
  • decompress the zip and copy the <plugin-name>-<version>
  • restart Connect

3) install the plugin in a centralized folder
This solution is most suitable for any studios that wish to use one central location to store all ftrack integration plugins in use at the company.

Note: The machine should be able to resolve the environment variable FTRACK_CONNECT_PLUGIN_PATH to a network path accessible from all the machines at the same address. Please check your operating system docs on how to set this up.

  • decompress the zip and copy the <plugin-name>-<version>
  • restart Connect

Customizing integration plugins

Should your company require you to change or customize ftrack’s integrations, the best approach is to use your bitbucket account and fork the project.
This way you can always pull the latest updates from ftrack, and ensure your changes will be kept. It’s up to you, however, to oversee the merges.
Once the code is in your repository you can follow the guide on how to build and install plugins to install your custom version.

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