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Find the source at https://github.com/WildGums/Orc.Extensibility

This library provides classes to support pluggable components inside applications (discovery, instantation, etc).

Configuring the API

The API library is the library that exposes the types and interfaces that can be used by any plugin to interact with the host. In most cases, the API will expose the interface for services which are implemented in the host. In a minimal case, the API will only expose a type that will be used to recognize a plugin. For example the plugin interface shown below;

public interface ICustomPlugin
    Task InitializeAsync();

Configuring the host

The host is responsible for finding and instantiating the plugins.


The library takes care of the hard work. The only thing that it needs to know is whether a type is a plugin. This can be configured by creating a class deriving from PluginFinderBase:

public class PluginFinder : Orc.Extensibility.PluginFinderBase
    private readonly string _pluginName = typeof(ICustomPlugin).Name;

    public PluginFinder(IPluginLocationsProvider pluginLocationsProvider, IPluginInfoProvider pluginInfoProvider,
        IPluginCleanupService pluginCleanupService, IDirectoryService directoryService, IFileService fileService)
        : base(pluginLocationsProvider, pluginInfoProvider, pluginCleanupService, directoryService, fileService)

    protected override bool IsPlugin(Type type)
        // Note: since we are in a reflection-only context here, you can't compare actual types, but need to use string names
        return (from iface in type.GetInterfacesEx()
                where iface.Name.Equals(_pluginName)
                select iface).Any();

Note that it should also be registered in the ServiceLocator:

ServiceLocator.Default.RegisterType<IPluginFinder, PluginFinder>();

Finding and loading the plugins

It’s possible to allow a single plugin host or a multiple plugin host. This example shows how to use the single plugin host:

// In an Orchestra environment, this would go into the bootstrapper
var configurationService = serviceLocator.ResolveType<IConfigurationService>();
var activePlugin = configurationService.GetRoamingValue(ConfigurationKeys.ActivePlugin, ConfigurationKeys.ActivePluginDefaultValue);

var singlePluginService = serviceLocator.ResolveType<ISinglePluginService>();
var plugin = singlePluginService.ConfigureAndLoadPlugin(activePlugin, ConfigurationKeys.ActivePluginDefaultValue);
if (plugin != null)
    serviceLocator.RegisterInstance(typeof(ICustomPlugin), plugin.Instance);

Creating a plugin

Last but not least, plugins will need to be created, but this is extremely easy.

  1. Create a class library project and reference the API library

  2. Create a new plugin as shown below:

    public class PluginA : ICustomPlugin
    private readonly IMessageService _messageService;
    private readonly IHostService _hostService;
    public PluginA(IMessageService messageService, IHostService hostService)
        Argument.IsNotNull(() => messageService);
        Argument.IsNotNull(() => hostService);
        _messageService = messageService;
        _hostService = hostService;
    public async Task InitializeAsync()
        await _messageService.ShowAsync("Plugin A has been loaded, setting color to red");
  3. Make sure to compile the plugin library and putting it into a location so the host can find it.

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