Android - Implementing Apache Cordova plugin

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In some cases, developers of a MobileFirst application might have to use a specific third-party native library or a device function that is not yet available in Apache Cordova.

With Apache Cordova, developers can create an Apache Cordova plug-in, which means that they create custom native code blocks and call these code blocks in their applications by using JavaScript.

Note: In Cordova-based applications, developers must check for the deviceready event before they use the Cordova API set. In a MobileFirst application, however, this check is done internally.

Instead of implementing this check, you can place implementation code in the wlCommonInit() function in common\js\main.js.

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Creating a plug-in

  1. Declare the plug-in in the config.xml file.
  2. Use the cordova.exec() API in the JavaScript code.
  3. Create the plug-in class that will run natively in Android. The plug-in performs the required action and calls a JavaScript callback method that is specified during the call to cordova.exec().
  4. missing_alt

Declaring a plug-in

You must declare the plug-in in the project, so that Cordova can detect it. To declare the plug-in, add a reference to the config.xml file, located in the native\res\xml folder in the Android environment.

<feature name="sayHelloPlugin">
    <param name="android-package" value="sayHelloPlugin" />

Implementing cordova.exec() in JavaScript

From the JavaScript code of the application, use the cordova.exec() method to call the Cordova plug-in:

function sayHello() {
    var name = $("#NameInput").val();
    cordova.exec(sayHelloSuccess, sayHelloFailure, "SayHelloPlugin", "sayHello", [name]);

sayHelloSuccess - Success callback sayHelloFailure - Failure callback SayHelloPlugin - Plug-in name as declared in config.xml sayHello - Action name [name] - Parameters array

The plug-in calls the success and failure callbacks:

function sayHelloSuccess(data){
        "Response from plug-in", data,
        [{text: "OK", handler: function() {WL.Logger.debug("Ok button pressed");}}]

function sayHelloFailure(data){
        "Response from plug-in", data,
        [{text: "OK", handler: function() {WL.Logger.debug("Ok button pressed");}}]

Implementing the Java code of a Cordova plug-in

After you have declared the plug-in and the JavaScript implementation is ready, you can implement the Cordova plug-in.

  1. Add a new Java class file.
  2. Extend the org.apache.cordova.CordovaPlugin class and add the required import statements.
        public class SayHelloPlugin extends CordovaPlugin {
  3. Implement an execute method.
    • The arguments contain information that is required by a plug-in, such as action, arguments array, and callback context.
      public boolean execute(String action, JSONArray args, CallbackContext callbackContext)
          throws JSONException {
  4. If the supplied action is sayHello, retrieve the first argument from the args array, prepare a responseText string and, by using the callbackContext argument, call the success callback with this responseText string as the argument.
    if (action.equals("sayHello")){
        try {
            String responseText = "Hello " + args.getString(0);
        } catch (JSONException e){
            callbackContext.error("Failed to parse parameters");
        return true;
  5. Returning false means that the action that is supplied from JavaScript was not recognized.
        return false;

Sample application

Click to download the Studio project.

Last modified on November 09, 2016