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Version: 8.1



The Camunda Modeler plugins API is not stable and might change in the future.

Plugins allow you to change the appearance and behavior of Camunda Modeler and add new features.

Plugging into Camunda Modeler

You can plug into the modeler to change its appearance, add new menu entries, extend the modeling tools for BPMN and DMN, or even slot React.js components into the Camunda Modeler UI.

To add a plugin, put it into the resources/plugins directory relative to your {APP_DATA_DIRECTORY} or {USER_DATA_DIRECTORY} directory.

Camunda Modeler searches for available plugin entry points via the resources/plugins/*/index.js pattern. This means that each plugin must reside in it's own folder which is a direct child of the plugins directory.


If you download and extract plugins from GitHub, the extracted directory contains the actual plugin, so make sure to copy the plugin, not its parent directory.

Overview of your possibilities as a plugin developer

There are many ways for a developer to extend Camunda Modeler and its modeling tools. The following table shows an overview:

Plugin typeFunctionalityExample
Menu EntriesAdd new entries to the menu bar - useful to interact with your plugins, link to external pages, add settings, etc.Menu Example
Custom StylesChange the look and feel of Camunda Modeler by adding stylesheets.Styles Example
React ComponentsEmbed custom React.js components into specific anchor points of Camunda Modeler.React Plugin Example
bpmn-js ModulesExtend our BPMN editor by injecting your own custom bpmn-js modules.bpmn-js Module Example
bpmn-moddle ExtensionsExtend the BPMN language model by injecting your own custom bpmn-moddle modules.bpmn-moddle Extension Example
dmn-js ModulesExtend our DMN editor by injecting your own custom dmn-js modules.dmn-js Module Example
dmn-moddle ExtensionsExtend the DMN language model by injecting your own custom dmn-moddle modulesn/a

Getting started with development

Plugin entry point

Regardless of the type of your plugin, you have to export a Node.js module named index.js that acts as a plugin entry point. The following shows an example of such entry point:

module.exports = {
name: "My Awesome Plugin", // the name of your plugin
style: "./style.css", // changing the appearance of the modeler
menu: "./menu.js", // adding menu entries to the modeler
script: "./script.js", // extending the modeler, and its BPMN and DMN components

The modeler will automatically load your plugins on startup.

Changing the appearance of the modeler

You can change the appearance of the modeler using CSS.

Your stylesheet might look like this:

body {
background: linear-gradient(0deg, #52b415, #eee);

Plug it into the modeler like this:

module.exports = {
style: "./style.css",

Adding menu entries to the modeler

You can add new menu entries to the modeler's menu.

Describe your menu entries like this:

module.exports = function (electronApp, menuState) {
return [
label: "Open BPMN Reference",
accelerator: "CommandOrControl+[",
enabled: function () {
// only enabled for BPMN diagrams
return menuState.bpmn;
action: function () {
var shell = require("electron").shell;

Plug them into the modeler like this:

module.exports = {
menu: "./menu-entries",

The code within the menu entries executes on the main process of Electron. This comes with the advantage of allowing you to use Node.js modules, but you need to consider that you cannot debug the respective code in Chromium. For more information regarding main process debugging, refer to the official Electron documentation.

For more information on how the modeler's menu works, take a look at its implementation.

Extend the modeler and its BPMN and DMN components

You can extend the modeling tools for BPMN and DMN with your own modules, as well as embedding React.js components into certain sections of Camunda Modeler.

Since the client of the modeler uses Chromium, you can't use Node.js modules to extend the modeling tools. You need to bundle your plugin first. The easiest way to get started with client-side plugins is through this example project.

In this example, we are building a bpmn-js plugin, but this basic structure applies to all extensions besides menu entries and style. The modules themselves will be different however, so refer to our examples for more information on how to build different kinds.

Take the following steps:

  1. Clone the repository:
git clone

The plugin starter project comes with a menu and style folder which are referenced in the plugin entry point. If you do not need those, you can remove them from the entry point and delete the respective folder.

  1. Install the dependencies:
npm install
  1. Create your module:
function LoggingPlugin(eventBus) {
eventBus.on("shape.added", function () {
console.log("A shape was added to the diagram!");

module.exports = {
__init__: ["loggingPlugin"],
loggingPlugin: ["type", LoggingPlugin],
  1. Require your file in client.js and register it via our helper functions:
var registerBpmnJSPlugin =
var plugin = require("./LoggingPlugin");

  1. You may want to create a plugin which specifically targets Camunda 7 or Camunda 8. To do this, use the appropriate variations of the registration helper function for your plugin type.
registerPlatformBpmnJSPlugin(plugin); // Register plugin for Camunda 7 BPMN diagrams only
registerCloudBpmnJSPlugin(plugin); // Register plugin for Camunda 8 BPMN diagrams only
registerBpmnJSPlugin(plugin); // Register plugin for Camunda 7 and 8 BPMN diagrams
  1. You can use the globally available functions getModelerDirectory and getPluginsDirectory to load additional resources:
function LoggingPlugin(eventBus, canvas) {
var img = document.createElement(img);
img.src = getPluginsDirectory + "/logging-plugin/image.png";

  1. Bundle your plugin:
npm run build
  1. Put the folder into the resources/plugins directory relative to your Camunda Modeler installation directory. You can now use your plugin!

Development workflow

When creating a plugin, you can place the directory containing your plugin in the aforementioned resources/plugins directory.

Plugins will be loaded on application startup (menu plugins) or reload (style and modeling tool plugins). To reload the application, open the developer tools F12 and press CtrlOrCmd + R. This will clear all unsaved diagrams.

Additional resources