Site App Development

This document details instructions and guidelines for developing site apps to be used with the SODAR Core framework.

It is recommended to read Project App Development before this document.

Site App Basics

Site apps are basically normal Django apps not hooked to SODAR projects. However, they provide a few nice features to be used in a SODAR-enabled Django site:

  • Rules for accessing app data (similar to project apps but without the need for being associated with a project)

  • Dynamic inclusion into the site and default templates via plugins

  • The ability to show site-wide messages to users


See Project App Development.


No specific model implementation is required. However, it is strongly to refer to objects using sodar_uuid fields instead of the database private key.

Rules File

Generate a file similar to a project app. However, you should not use project predicates in this one. Example:

import rules
# Allow viewing data
rules.add_perm('{APP_NAME}.view_data', rules.is_authenticated)


Create a file in your app’s directory. In the file, declare a SiteAppPlugin class implementing projectroles.plugins.SiteAppPluginPoint. Within the class, implement member variables and functions as instructed in comments and docstrings.

from projectroles.plugins import SiteAppPluginPoint
from .urls import urlpatterns

class SiteAppPlugin(SiteAppPluginPoint):
    """Plugin for registering a site-wide app"""
    name = 'example_site_app'
    title = 'Example Site App'
    urls = urlpatterns
    # ...

The following variables and functions are mandatory:

  • name: App name (ideally should correspond to the app package name)

  • title: Printable app title

  • urls: Urlpatterns (usually imported from the app’s file)

  • icon: Font Awesome 4.7 icon name (without the fa-* prefix)

  • entry_point_url_id: View ID for the app entry point

  • description: Verbose description of app

  • app_permission: Basic permission for viewing app data in project (see above)

Implementing the following is optional:

  • app_settings: Implement if project or user specific settings for the app are needed. See the plugin point definition for an example.

  • get_messages(): Implement if your site app needs to display site-wide messages for users.


In your views, you can still use projectroles mixins which are not related to projects. Especially LoggedInPermissionMixin is useful to ensure users not allowed to access a view are properly redirected. Example:

from django.views.generic import TemplateView
from projectroles.views import LoggedInPermissionMixin

class ExampleView(LoggedInPermissionMixin, TemplateView):
    """Site app example view"""
    permission_required = 'example_site_app.view_data'
    template_name = 'example_site_app/example.html'


The entry point URL is not expected to have any URL kwargs in the current implementation. If you intend to use a view which makes use of URL kwargs, you may need to modify it into also accepting a request without any parameters (e.g. displaying default content for the view).


It is recommended for you to extend projectroles/base.html and put your actual app content within the projectroles block. Example:

{# Projectroles dependency #}
{% extends 'projectroles/base.html' %}
{% load projectroles_common_tags %}

{% block title %}
  Example Site App Page Title
{% endblock title %}

{% block projectroles %}

  <div class="container sodar-subtitle-container">
    <h2><i class="fa fa-umbrella"></i> Example Site App</h2>

  <div class="container-fluid sodar-page-container">
    <div class="alert alert-info">
      This is an example and the entry point for <code>example_site_app</code>.

{% endblock projectroles %}

Site App Messages

The site app provides a way to display certain messages to users. For this, you need to implement get_messages() in the SiteAppPlugin class.

If you need to control e.g. which user should see the message or removal of a message after showing, you need to implement relevant logic in the function.


def get_messages(self, user=None):
    Return a list of messages to be shown to users.
    :param user: User object (optional)
    :return: List of dicts or and empty list if no messages
    return [{
        'content': 'Message content in here, can contain html',
        'color': 'info',        # Corresponds to bg-* in Bootstrap
        'dismissable': True     # False for non-dismissable
        'require_auth': True    # Only view for authorized users