Packaging and submitting extensions

You can use the Adobe Extension Manager to package your own extensions before submitting them to Adobe for distribution on the Adobe Exchange website. After packaging an extension, test it by using the Extension Manager to install it locally. Guidelines for writing and testing your extensions can be found in Exchange Help on the Adobe Exchange website (www.adobe.com/go/exchange). After you have written and tested your extension, you can package and submit it.

You can find more resources for creating extensions in Extending Dreamweaver Help, Extending Flash Help, and Extending Fireworks Help.

Types of extensions and file formats

The Extension Manager supports the following types of extensions and file formats. For details about creating extension installation files, see the Extension Installation Files document, which you can download from the Adobe website at www.adobe.com/go/em_file_format.

Ordinary extension
Any extension that is not a Creative Suite extension. You can package ordinary extensions using either the MXP or ZXP format.

Creative Suite extension
A web service that you access directly from a Creative Suite application, for example, from a panel in the Extension menu. Both Adobe and non-Adobe developers can create these extensions. Creative Suite extensions can also include a certified signature from the publisher. For example, CSXS_Adobe.zxp is a zip-based Creative Suite extension signed by Adobe. You can package Creative Suite extensions using only ZXP format.

Hybrid extension
Combines the action panels of Creative Suite Extensions with tight integration in the product. For example, the floating panel in Dreamweaver CS5 lets you preview pages in web browsers. Hybrid extensions include both ordinary extensions and Creative Suite extensions. You can package hybrid extensions using either the MXP or ZXP format.

MXI
An XML file that specifies attributes of the extension, including the extension name, a description of the extension, version number, and type. The file also specifies each file included in the extension, including any custom icon you want to use. To specify a description of your extension, you can use HTML in your text or link to a local HTML file. You can also link to a remote HTML page when the user has an Internet connection.

You’ll find several sample MXI files for Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks in the following folders in the Extension Manager application folder: Samples/Dreamweaver, Samples/Flash, and Samples/Fireworks.

MXP
The traditional package format for extensions supported by the Extension Manager.

ZXP
A new zip-based package format. ZXP extensions have the same functionality as traditional MXP extensions. In addition, ZXP extensions can include a digital signature, which identifies the extension’s publisher.

Package an extension

  1. Test your extension thoroughly.
  2. (Optional) Create an icon to display next to your extension in the Extension Manager. Make the icon a PNG or GIF measuring 24 pixels by 24 pixels.

    If you don’t provide your own icon, the default icon is used.

  3. Copy all of the files for your extension to a staging folder for ease of packaging.

    The files can be at different levels of the folder hierarchy. Specify a path to each file relative to the installation file using the <file> tag in the extension installation file (MXI file—see the next step). However, it’s easier to track all the files if you don’t try to package them directly from their installed locations in the Configuration folder.

  4. Create an extension installation file (a filename ending in .mxi) for your extension.
  5. In the Extension Manager, select File > Package MXP Extension or File > Package ZXP Extension, depending on the format of the extension.
  6. In the file-selection dialog box that appears, browse to your MXI file to select it, and then click Open.
  7. Select a location for the package file, give it a name (ending in .mxp or .zxp), and click Save.
    Note: The extension package filename must not contain spaces. It must also be valid on both Windows and Mac OS platforms.

    The Extension Manager creates a package file containing compressed versions of all the files used by the extension, including the MXI file.

  8. Install and test the extension to make sure that everything works as intended.

Submit an extension

  1. In the Extension Manager, select File > Submit Extension.

    The Adobe Exchange submission page opens in your browser.

  2. Follow the instructions on the page and proceed until you receive a confirmation message.