Installing and Configuring Ares Server Addons

The Server Addon tab in the customization manager facilitates the installation and management of custom Server Addon scripts that you can create to perform certain processes automatically without staff intervention, such as routing items and adding or removing flags. Unlike system and form addons, which run on the client, server addons run in the system manager. They are stored in the ServerAddons database table instead of the file system and configured from within the customization manager.

Addons require a Lua code file scripting and a configuration file of XML scripting. (For full details on writing Server Addons, see the Technical Overview.) These files are loaded into Ares together in a .zip file via the Customization Manager.

Server Addons in the Customization Manger

Server Addons are administered within the Customization Manager from the Server Addons Tab. The following functions are available from the Server Addons ribbon:

  • New: Opens a File Open dialog to upload a new Addon package (zip file)
  • Update: Works the same as the New button but will update the currently selected addon with a new version.
  • Export: Exports an addon with the default package settings
  • Save: This button is enabled when pending changes exist.
  • Delete: This will remove the currently selected addon. This cannot be undone. The next time the system manager addon interval kicks off, this addon will stop executing.
  • Cancel: If there are any pending changes, they will be canceled and will return to the currently saved state of the addon.
  • Reset Settings: This will reset any customized settings back to the package defaults. The save button will need to be clicked to save the reset settings back to the database.

Installing a New Addon

  1. Save the Addon .zip folder in an accessible location. This folder may have been downloaded from the Ares Addon Directory or created for you by Atlas or a local software developer.
  2. Click the New button in the Server Addons ribbon of the Ares Customization Manager.
  3. A dialog window will open with a prompt to select a file to upload. Navigate to the Addon .zip folder and upload.
  4. The Addon will be inactive by default. Activate the Addon with the Yes option in the lower right window.
  5. Edit values as necessary in the lower right window.
  6. Save changes with the Save option in the Server Addons ribbon.

Server Addons are not activated when installed. Be sure to active the Addon with the Yes radio button in the lower right window.

The name of the Addon can be modified in the editing window on the lower left. This will not save to the underlying config.xml but can be modified to create an alias for a particular addon when viewing it in the Customization Manager.

Editing Server Addons

To edit the values in a server Addon

  1. Select the Addon to edit from the grid list just beneath the Addons tab.
  2. Edit values as needed in the lower part of the screen. Editable fields are
    1. Name
    2. Active
    3. Value (in table on right)
  3. After editing, the Save and Cancel options will become active.

The Reset Settings will restore only the changes in the Values column to the default settings when Addon was initially installed.

Updating a Server Addon

  1. When a new version of an Addon is available, select the Update button.
  2. A dialog prompt will allow you to select the new version to load.
  3. The new version will now display.

The updating process does include validations checks which will warn you if there are problems with the Addon update such as if you attempt to update to an older version, if required files are missing, or if a new version removes an existing value.

In previous versions of Ares required the System Manager to be restarted when an Addon was updated or edited. Beginning in version 4.6, the System Manager will not need to be restarted unless the Addon uses an external assembly. If that is the case, you will be prompted to restart the System Manager.

Exporting an Addon

Users may choose to export an Addon with the default settings. The default file name will be the Addon name with a zip extension. The initial directory is set as the last directory used when uploading or exporting an Addon. If the user has never uploaded/exported an Addon, it is set to the base path of the Customization Manager. The last used directory is saved as in user settings for the Customization Manager so it will be specific to each windows profile user.

  1. Select the Addon to be exported from the grid list.
  2. Click the Export button from the Server Addons ribbon.
  3. A dialog prompt will open to all you to select the desired location for the exported files and/or edit the file name.
  4. The Addon will be exported as a .zip file and can be installed on another Ares instance.

Uninstalling an Addon

If you no longer want to use a previously installed Server Addon, you can either temporarily mark the Addon inactive and save it for later use, or permanently remove it from your machine:

Temporarily Disabling the Addon

If you would like to temporarily disable an Addon and leave the configuration settings intact for use at a later time, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the Addon to be disabled from the grid list located in the Server Addons tab of the Customization Manager.

  2. Choose the No radio button under Active.

  3. Click Save to save those changes.

  4. The Addon is now inactive. Check your routing rules in the Customization Manager and remove or disable any that require the use of the inactive Addon.

Permanently Deleting the Addon

If you would like to permanently delete the Addon and its configuration settings, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the Addon to be disabled from the grid list located in the Server Addons tab of the Customization Manager.

  2. Click Delete, then click Yes when prompted to confirm your decision.

  3. Check your routing rules in the Customization Manager and delete any rules that require the use of the deleted Addon.

  4. Check the entry for the addon in the Addon Directory and contact the creator of the Addon for any additional necessary steps or information.

This will delete all of the settings configured for the Addon from the database. The Addon files contained in the zip folder initially uploaded when installing the Addon will remain on your server. These are generally fine to keep as any passwords or other sensitive information will be stored in the Addon settings and deleted when the Addon is deleted in the Customization Manager. However, if you would like to remove the additional files, please contact Atlas Support if you are hosted or your local server administrator if you are self-hosted.