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Customize Applications


In general there are two ways to customize CustusX to suit your own needs: Creating plugins and creating a new application.

Creating a new plugin

The Plugin Framework is the tool to use for developers wanting to extend the system with their own features. By creating a plugin that implements some of the extension point services, the feature will be automatically added to the build system.

A new plugin in the source/plugins folder will be automatically detected and added to the build system. You might have to enable the new option in cmake:


Look at an existing plugin and read the documentation on OSGii before starting.

The Extension Points are used to insert features into the existing system. The simplest and most generic is the cx::GUIExtenderService, which enables you to add widgets to the cx::MainWindow.

Creating a new application

The cx::MainWindow is the standard frontend for CustusX. However, it is possible create another frontend and rather use CustusX as a toolkit.

New applications can be added by creating a new application under source/apps.

Start out by copying the code in source/apps/CustusX and adapt it to your own needs. The system assumes that cx::LogicManager is initialized/shutdown normally. Override the GUI by inserting a cx::ApplicationComponent into the cx::LogicManager, as the CustusX application does.

The default application for the install can also be changed, by setting the two cmake variables


Alternatively, set the variable

in the superbuild script.

Things to remember

  • Adding more libraries: If a new library is needed, remember that is must be available under the LGPL, BSD or similar license, and must run on all platforms. It should also be easy to install on all platforms, or be Cmake-compatible.
  • Use the Code Style when adding your own code.