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    Dispatching and Handling Events in Beacon Plugins

    In this topic, you will learn how events are dispatched and handled in Beacon Plugins.

    Introduction

    When getting started implementing OTT Plugins it is imperative to understand these plugins use an event based framework. Essential to the process is using window.postMessage, which provides easy cross domain functionality.

    The following diagram provides an overview of plugin functionality, emphasizing event dispatching and handling:

    • First, you see there are three entities involved in plugin implementation, those being:
      • The user of the Beacon app
      • The Beacon app itself
      • The OTT plugin functionality
    • When the user performs an action, the Beacon app dispatches an event for which the plugin listens.
    • You can write code to perform actions in the event listener, and if needed access data in the event object data.
    • For some events you will never or rarely code actions to perform, while other events are repeatedly utilized.

    The rest of this document describes fundamentals of using events in your plugins.

    Dispatching events

    Some of the OTT plugin elements have events you can dispatch. The following describes how to dispatch events in OTT Plugins.

    The generic code for dispatching an event is:

    window.postMessage({
      event: "eventType",
      data: {
        key1: value1,
        key2: value2,
        ...
      }
    }, window.location.origin)

    where

    • eventType (line 2): The event being posted, for example enablePlayerSidePanel
    • data (lines 4-5): Data passed for use

    The following is a functioning example that adds a button to a details page, passing data for:

    • The text to appear on the button
    • The icon on the button
    • An ID for later use in a handler
    window.postMessage({
      event: 'detailsPageAddCustomButton',
      data: {
        title: 'Test Button',
        font_awesome_icon: 'fa fa-info-circle',
        element_id: 'TEST_BTN_ID'
      }
    }, window.location.origin);

    The button created would appear as follows:

    Handling events

    When events are dispatched, of course they must be handled. The basic syntax of the addEventListener() method is:

    document.addEventListener(event, function, useCapture)

    where

    • event: Event name
    • function: Function to run when the event occurs
    • useCapture: Very technical issue concerning when the event is executed; this is always false for OTT Plugins.

    Following is the generic code for handling an event in OTT plugin code:

    window.addEventListener("message", (event) => {
      const originsAllowed = [
        'validhost1',
        ...
      ];
      if (originsAllowed.includes(event.origin)) {
        // event.data.event contains the event name
        // event.data.data contains event data
      }
    },
    false
    );

    where

    • message (line 1): The event type, and when using postMessage() the type is always message
    • (event) => {} (line 1): The function that runs when the event occurs, defined as an arrow function
    • originsAllowed (lines 2-5): An array that contains the URL(s) from where your apps are served; most likely this is just one URL
    • if (originsAllowed.includes(event.origin)) {} (line 6): Checks to be sure the event is coming from a valid URL for your apps
    • code to execute (lines 7-8): Your business logic code to be executed in the handler; you can access the event object here (detailed later)
    • false (line 11): The useCapture value

    The following is a functioning example that simply displays two different parts of the event object:

    window.addEventListener("message", (event) => {
      const originsAllowed = [
        'https://myapplocation.brightcove.com'
      ];
      if (originsAllowed.includes(event.origin)) {
        console.log('event.data.event: ', event.data.event);
        console.log('event.data.data: ', event.data.data);  }
    },
    false
    );

    It is not uncommon to use the values of the event object in your code. Here are example values for event.data.event and event.data.data when an onBeaconPageLoad event is handled:

    event object

    Page last updated on 21 Apr 2022