Last Modified 2015-01-21 by Guest


by Torben Dannhauer

The process of populating the new module with content/functionality is fairly straight forward and after learning how the Horde API' s work, you should be able to produce new modules in a minimum amount of time.
Jan Schneider talked about this at FOSDEM 2005. You can find his slides at http://www.horde.org/papers/fosdem2005/.

The new module's functionality could by separated in the following aspects:

  • Menus
  • Calling-procedure at entering the application
  • Permissions
  • All Content-Pages which are accessible through on oh the menus
  • Services offered to external modules

Usually it is useful to analyse another hordemodule to learn how this work. I analysed Kronolith and it helped me a lot.

Obviously it is necessary to know the provided horde API zu write a horde module. Because a beginner (and this tutorial is adressed to them) has no clue about it, it is very usefull to read the package-documentation at http://dev.horde.org/api/framework/.


In Horde there are two standard menus: The top menu an the side menu.

ToDo: Add links to Wikipages describing menus in detail.

Top Menu

The top menu is devided in to 4 sections:

  • left: menuitems provided by this module: see below
  • mid left: menuitems added manually: see below
  • mid right: menuitems added in the administrator's module setup
  • right: menuitems provided by horde as default


the menuitmes this module intentionally provide are located in the file <module>/lib/Module.php in the function ::getMenu()

Add Items like this:

 $menu->add(Horde::applicationUrl('pagetoshow.php'), _("MenuItemName"), 'icon.png', $registry->getImageDir() );

mid left

Items are added in <module>/config/menu.php:

$_menu[] = array(
      'url' =>        'http://www.example.com/',
      'text' =>       'Example, Inc.',
      'icon' =>       'example.png',
      'icon_path' =>  'http://www.example.com/images/',
      'target' =>     '_blank',
      'onclick' =>    ''

Side Menu

1. In the horde config/registry.d/<module>.php you added for your module, add sidebar entries:

$this->applications['<module>-menu'] = array(
    'status' => 'sidebar',
    'sidebar_params' => array(
        'id' => 'menu',
    'app' => '<module>',
    'menu_parent' => '<module>',

2. Then copy and paste the sidebarCreate() function from, e.g. kronolith/lib/Application.php, into <module>/lib/Application.php.
3. Edit it to do what you want. The id in your sidebar_params above will match the $params['id'] that gets passed in.

Calling procedure at entering the application

If a module is entered via the side-menu, usualy the url to the module-folder was provided. The link ist http://<myHordeInstallation>/<mymodule> without any file suffix. So the calling procedure starts by executing the index.php on the webserver.


  • Executing index.php: initialzing, load configfiles and load the page which should be displayed at the beginning (e.g. in Skeleton: list.php).
  • list.php calls >module>/lib/base.php to initialize the module and then proceeds with its content.
  • now lists.php is displayed. By Clicking on any menuitem another contentpage as list.php (but of course also list.php again) could be displayed (->executed).


The module's permissiontree which includes the logical structure of all permissions available in this module is defined in <module>/lib/api.php

Further information about permissions is available at http://wiki.horde.org/Doc/Dev/PermsPackage


The easiest way to learn writing a backend-Driver for managing the data your first module works with is to extend the Skeletons SQL-Driver.

  • Edit config/conf.xml: Add the databset tables you want be configurable. Attention: one databaset table with name "table" MUST exist! Example :

<configstring name="table2" desc="My Database">mymodule_table which is needed</configstring>

  • go to your horde configuration, configurate your module to get your conf.php written with your new configs.
  • ...to proceed


The basic procedure to create Content-Pages is:

  • create .inc files that display the elements on the screen
  • create any php files needed to fill in forms

It is a good point to start a contentpage by copying the Skeleton's list.php

All viewable pages ar located in the module's root-folder. All businesslogic (classes etc,) are located in separate files in <module>/lib.


Creating the Page-Layout consists of two main tasks:
1. Creating forms for data manipulation
1. and - if the page is complex enought (nearly every page is it) you can store the html-content in templates.

If a submenu on the content page ist needed (like in turba), it can be generated via <div class="control nowrap"> ..menu..</div>


WARNING: The Horde_Template package is no longer supported. You should use ((http://wiki.horde.org/Doc/Dev/Horde_View)) instead.

To move your businesslogic-variabes to a html-layout, the Horde_Templates-Package is usefull. You can include templates with code tags, and Horde will replace these tags with your variable content, if the tags and the variables are associated via template->setVariable(...);. For further information read about this package use wiki.horde.org : /Doc/Dev/TemplatePackageH32


// Prepare Variables
$title = 'myFormtitle';
$vars = Variables::getDefaultVariables();

// Prepare Form
$form = &new Horde_Form($vars, $title, 'accountstatement_Form');
$renderer = new Horde_Form_Renderer();

// Add form fields & Variables.
$form->addHidden('', 'example_hidden', 'int', false);
$form->addVariable(_("Title"), 'title', 'text', false);

// ---------------------- Render Form ------------
// Writes the HTML <form....> opening tag.
$form->open( $renderer,  $vars,  'accountstatement.php', 'post');    

// Titelzeile rendern

/* writes the via addVariable(...) and addHidden(...) added inputtypes.
 Available types are: http://wiki.horde.org/Doc/Dev/FormTypes?referrer=Doc%2FDev%2FFormPackage# */
$renderer->renderFormActive($form, $vars);

// writes the "submit" input button

// writes the HTML </form> tag

// stop renderer

If you want to manipulate form variables in javascript, you must set any value to that variable, otherwise it is not initialized correctly. If you plan to use a form for hidden values only, you will see a thin line in HTML. To prevent that, you can add a variable with type 'spacer'. This type has no visible content and the thin line caused by the "only hidden values" disappears.

To read or write the form variables user $vars->set( $variablename, $value); and $myVar = $vars->get( $variablename, $defaultvalue_if_not_available ); .


If any scripts are needed for layout like striped.js für alternating rowcolors, add these scripts via Horde::addScriptFile('<script.js', 'ownerapplication_where_to_search: e.g. horde', true ). True means that the script should be included with a relativ path.