How to create own module


In this tutorial you will learn how to create and install your own module for AtroCore software development platform. Example module we refer to in this guide can be found here:

Module structure

Module consist of backend and frontend parts.

Module structure

As you can see module consist of two main folders - app, where the backend part is stored, and client - where the frontend part is stored. The root module folder should contain composer file with all information about the module as well as all its dependencies and may contain any other files such as markdown files, git files, etc.

Backend folder

app folder has the following structure:

  • Module.php - main module class where module configuration (module load order, path to files, loading metadata and layouts, etc.) is described
  • Controllers - contains the controllers of the module
  • Entities - folder with ORM entity classes
  • Listeners - event listener classes
  • Repositories - stores entities repositories where are contain queries logic.
  • Resources - has several subfolders such as:
    • i18n - contain modules translations
    • layouts - contain module layouts
    • metadata - contain module metadata, which are available in the backend as instance of Espo\Core\Utils\Metadata class from container

      To get data from metadata use such way $metadata->get(['entityDefs', 'Test', 'fields', 'name', 'type'], 'varchar'). Second argument means default value. In frontend metadata object is accessible from all views object by method getMatedata. For example this.getMetadata().get(['entityDefs', 'Test', 'fields', 'name', 'type']).

    • Metadata has next sections:
      • app - application definitions
      • clientDefs - frontend parameters for entity types
      • entitiyDefs - entity definitions such as fields, links, indexes
      • scopes - general parameters for entity types
      • fields - field type definitions
  • Services - main business logic to work with data

    A record service handles CRUD operations over entities. They extend base class Espo\Services\Record.

  • Main methods of the Record service are:
    • readEntity - get an entity record
    • createEntity - create new entity record
    • updateEntity - update entity record
    • deleteEntity - delete entity record
    • findEntities - get list of entities by search parameters, used in list view
    • findLinkedEntities - get list of related entities, used in relationship panels.


Here is a simple code example for module class.

    class Module extends AbstractModule
        public static function getLoadOrder(): int
            return 9999;

It has only one required method that must be realized - getLoadOrder. It must return an integer value that point in module load order. A higher value indicates that the module will be loaded later.

Frontend folder

All client files are saved in two main folders - templates, where all module templates files are stored, and src that contain logic that will run on the client side.

Backbone.js framework is used. You can explore its documentation via this link:

The frontend is based on view trees. Every page is rendered by using multiple view objects, parent view objects may have child view objects, these may have their own child objects and so on. HTML Rendering of the page is started by the child views of the last level.

Here is the example of the view client/modules/example-module/src/views/test/record/detail.js:

    Espo.define('example-module:views/test/record/detail', 'views/record/detail',
        Dep => Dep.extend({

            // template file
            template: 'example-module:test/record/detail',

            // handlers of DOM events
            events: {
                'click a[data-action="save"]': function (e) {

            // logic initialization
            setup() {
                // call parent setup method

                // create child view with options parameters
                // rendering of parent view will be delayed until child view is loaded
                this.createView('someView', 'example-module/test/some-view', {
                    key1: 'value1',
                    key2: 'value2'

                // listen model changing event
                this.listenTo(this.model, 'change', () => {


                // listen model saving or fetching
                this.listenTo(this.model, 'sync', () => {


            // data that will be returned to template
            data() {
                let data =;

                data.key1 = 'value1';

                return data;

            // called after view is rendered
            afterRender() {

                // get child view
                let child = this.getView('someView');

                if (child) {
                    // remove child view from DOM

This is an example of template file for the Detail View client/modules/example-module/res/templates/test/record/detail.tpl:

    <div class="some-class">{{key1}}</div>
    <a class="action" data-action="save">Save</a>

AtroCore enables you to define custom views for certain entity types. It must be set in app/Resources/metadata/clientDefs folder. Here is the example app/Resources/metadata/clientDefs/Test.json:

        "controller": "controllers/record",
        "iconClass": "fas fa-square",
        "views": {
            "list": "example-module:views/test/list",
            "detail": "example-module:views/test/detail"
        "recordViews": {
            "list": "example-module:views/test/record/list",
            "detail": "example-module:views/test/record/detail"

Detail view example-module:views/test/detail contains all panels, relations, header bar with buttons in the top-right corner.

Record detail view example-module:views/test/record/detail contains all the above except header bar.

List view example-module:views/test/list contains Record List view, header and Search row view.

Record list view example-module:views/test/record/list contains only rows of records.

Composer file

Composer file in the module root directory creates configuration for composer which looks like:

        "name": "atrocore/example-module",
        "require": {
            "atrocore/core": "~1.10.31"
        "autoload": {
            "psr-4": {
                "ExampleModule\\": "app/"
        "extra": {
            "atroId": "ExampleModule",
            "name": {
                "default": "ExampleModule"
            "description": {
                "default": "Example Module."

atroId contains the unique name of the module for its identification in the system. name and description are used to show the module in the section Administration > System > Update & Modules.

Module Installation

Modules installation is carried out from the Module Manager located at Administration > System > Update & Modules page. To mark your module to be installed, you need to perform certain actions, which will be described below.

Module installation in AtroCore is based on Composer. You can get detailed information about Composer by the following link

Module store shows all available modules, which are registered in our repository.

In the future we will enable our solution partners to add your own modules to our module store. At this moment you can install your own module only by adding it as required in your composer.json file, that is stored in your project root directory.

In your git or other VCS repository add and commit the composer.json file. Structure of it described in this paragraph - Composer file.

Creating the first module release

To be able to install the module you need to create its first release.

Release create

Then you need to add the repository containing your module. If your module is stored in a public GitHub repository, add next block in repositories section in the composer.json file:

        "type": "git",
        "url": ""

If you have a private repository you need to generate an access token for your GitHub account first.

Follow the link to know about how create personal access token to GitHub.

When you will have the personal access token add the next section in repositories key:

        "type": "git",
        "url": ""

where username - is your GitHub username, usertoken - is your personal access token you have created in the previous step.

Instead of using GitHub you can use any VCS. Follow the link to get more detailed information:

Add the module as required

Now in the project composer.json file in require section add your module package name.

Adding depandency

If you open Module Manager (Administration > System > Update & Modules) you will see that your module is prepared to be installed.

Prepare for install

Click on Install and Update button or run php composer.phar update command from terminal to initiate the process. Your module will be installed and the system will be updated. If some error occurs during installation please check the logs in the folder data/logs for more detailed information.