Nuxeo Server

Actions Overview

Updated: October 13, 2017 Page Information Edit on GitHub

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In this chapter, an action will stand for any kind of command that can be triggered via user interface interaction. In other words, it will describe a link and other information that may be used to manage its display (the link label, an icon, security information for instance).


Registering a New Action

Custom actions can be contributed to the actions service, using its extension point. Their description is then available through this service to control where and how they will be displayed.

An action can be registered using the following example extension:

<extension target="org.nuxeo.ecm.platform.actions.ActionService" point="actions">

  <action id="newWorkspace" label="command.create.workspace"
    type="link" icon="/icons/action_add.gif">
    <filter id="newWorkspace">
      <rule grant="true">


The above action will be used to display the creation page for a Workspace document type. Here are its properties:

  • id: the string identifying the action. In the example, the action id is newWorkspace. The same identifier can be reused to override (or merge) the original action configuration.
  • label: the action name that will be used when displaying the link. In the example, the label is command.create.workspace. This label is a message that will always be translated at display (there is no boolean property stating if the action label should be translated like on widget definitions).
  • link: the string representing the command the action will trigger. This string may have a different form and syntax depending on the action type. In the example, a JSF command link will be used, so it represents an action method expression. The Seam component called  documentActions holds a method named createDocument that will perform the navigation to the creation page.
  • category: a string useful to group actions that will be rendered in the same area of a page. An action can define several categories. Here, the only category defined is SUBVIEW_UPPER_LIST. It is designed to group all the actions that will be displayed on the right top corner of any page of the site. Some default categories are available at Actions Display.
  • type: an optional typing of the action, so that actions needing different kinds of rendering can be mixed up in the same category (see chapter Adapt templates to display an action). When the type is not defined, a default type can be deduced from the action category (for compatibility), or else the type "link" is used.

Other elements can be used to define an action. They are listed here but you can have a look at the main actions contribution files for more examples, like nuxeo-platform-webapp-core/src/main/resources/OSGI-INF/actions-contrib.xml or nuxeo-platform-webapp-base/src/main/resources/OSGI-INF/actions-contrib.xml .

  • filter-ids: the id of a filter that will be used to control the action visibility. An action can have several filters: it is visible if all of its filters grant the access (see chapter about Filters and Access Controls).
  • filter: a filter definition can be done directly within the action definition. It is a filter like others and can be referred by other actions. This way of defining filters is here for compatibility, defining filters on the filters extension points is recommended.
  • icon: the optional icon path for this action.
  • confirm: an optional JavaScript confirmation string that can be triggered when executing the command.
  • order: an optional integer used to sort actions within the same category.
  • enabled: a boolean indicating whether the action is currently active. This can be used to disable/hide existing actions when customizing the application.
  • immediate: an optional boolean to execute action immediately, without validating the form.
  • accessKey: an optional key that can be used for keyboard navigation.
  • properties: a tag that allows to attach any kind of named string, list or map-like property to the action. Most of the above elements are also looked up in properties (label, icon, link, immediate, accessKey). Depending on the type of the action, some custom properties may be available. Properties usually accept EL expressions for dynamic resolution of values. Please refer to the documentation at for instance.

Redefining an Action

The actions extension point provides merging features: you can change an existing action definition in your custom extension point provided you use the same identifier. Properties holding single values (label, link for instance) will be replaced using the new value. Properties holding multiple values (categories, filters) will be merged with existing values. Properties will be merged if they hold the attribute append="true".

Do not forget to add the original component name requirement to ensure proper override.

Here are some actions override examples:


<extension target="org.nuxeo.ecm.platform.actions.ActionService" point="actions">

  <action id="newWorkspace" enabled="false" />

  <action id="newWorkspace" icon="/icons/my_icon.png" />



Here are more examples showing how to use actions in the default application.

Adding a Custom Confirmation Message on an Action

Here is a small sample to add a custom confirmation message on an action:

<extension point="actions" target="org.nuxeo.ecm.platform.actions.ActionService">

  <action id="JenkinsReportSendMail" label="Send Mail" order="0" type="link"
      <property name="confirmMessage">label.jenkins.sendMail.confirm</property>
      <propertyList name="confirmMessageArgs">


The confirmation label label.jenkins.sendMail.confirm is holding a variable parameter:

label.jenkins.sendMail.confirm=This will send an email to {0}, are you sure that you would like to continue?

This definition makes it possible to show the following confirmation message at runtime: "This will send an email to [email protected], are you sure that you would like to continue?".

Of course the confirmation message can be simple and not hold any arguments.

Adding a Tab Supporting Key Access and Ajax

Tab items on document views, for instance, are using actions to benefit from sorting and filtering features. The tab link is a RESTful link to the current document, with additional request parameters to show this tab as selected.

So tab actions are using the type "Rest document link" and state in the "link" property the template to include for the tab content:

<extension target="org.nuxeo.ecm.platform.actions.ActionService" point="actions">

  <action id="TAB_EDIT" link="/incl/tabs/document_edit.xhtml" order="20"
    label="action.view.modification" icon="/icons/file.gif" accessKey="e"
      <property name="ajaxSupport">true</property>


This action is showing the "Edit" tab on documents. It displays the content of the "/incl/tabs/document_edit.xhtml" template, defines an access key, and specifies that it supports Ajax (in case action is displayed in an ajaxified context).

Here is another sample that displays the document permanent link inside a FancyBox:

<extension target="org.nuxeo.ecm.platform.actions.ActionService" point="actions">

  <action id="permalinkAction" order="20" label="label.permalink" type="fancybox"
    icon="/icons/contextual_menu/share.png" accessKey="k">
      <property name="include">/incl/permalink_box.xhtml</property>
      <property name="ajaxSupport">true</property>


The FancyBox content is defined by "/incl/permalink_box.xhtml". Note that if the fancybox content holds a form, you must make sure that the action is not itself already placed within a bigger form (as nested forms are not supported).


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