Open-Needs Server shall be as simple as possible, to provide basic functionality in a secured way. However, there are a lot of ideas how to extend Open-Needs Server to support more complex or user specific features.

Therefore Open-Needs Server will have an extension mechanism, which allows to load extensions during start-up phase (no hot plug in during runtime).


An extension shall be able to provide the following elements:

  • Custom tables in the database

  • Custom functions registered on events

  • Custom routes for the API

  • Custom React components for Open-Needs WebApp. Examples:

    • An additional need representation (e.g. a specific diagram type)

    • A complete view, e.g. for metrics

    • Forms to edit needs or other elements

Use cases#

A list of ideas, which could be realized by Open-Needs Extensions:

  • Open-Needs Metrics: Collect and provide metrics (e.g. amount of reads, last update)

  • Open-Needs Rules: Checks rules before needs get created/updated (e.g. is “done” allowed for “status” field?)

  • Open-Needs Auth: Check Authentication and Authorization on need level (e.g. is “user x” allowed to modify field “status” of “need y”?)

Some of these extension ideas may be integrated into Open-Needs Server by default (as internal extensions).

Technology stack#

We are not sure if there is an “extension framework” for Python out there, which really can fulfill all our requirements.

Our experience shows us, that “extension handling” is in most cases deeply product specific and must be implemented mostly from scratch.

Some team members worked on the Groundwork Framework in the past, which is now deprecated / not maintained. Maybe some ideas can be taken from there.

But overall, Open-Needs Extensions will be a complete new implementation, with no existing “extension framework” as basement.