Native Modules

Electrode Native supports some popular native modules such as react-native-vector-icons, react-native-code-push or react-native-maps for example. And the React Native open source community provides many additional native modules that could be used in your MiniApps.

If the Electrode Native version you are using does not yet support a native module that you would like to use, you can add support for it to Electrode Native by creating a plugin configuration in the manifest--this would be your override manifest in the case of a private native module or the master manifest for an open source native module.

Why does Electrode Native require a plugin configuration? In a pure React Native mobile application, you can use the react-native link command (formerly the rnpm command) to add a React Native plugin (native module) to your React Native application. However, Electrode Native requires that you add the native modules to a container library--not directly to a mobile application.

Note Electrode Native generated APIs and API implementations have a specific structure and additional configuration is not needed to support them in Electrode Native. However, if you plan to work on a new native module, it's recommended that you consider using Electrode Native APIs.

Creating plugin configurations

In the manifest repository, the supported plugin configurations are located in the plugins directory. This plugins directory contains sub-directories that follow a specific naming convention that is used by Electrode Native to correctly match a plugin version with a plugin configuration--for a specific Electrode Native version.

The list below shows an example of the directory naming convention that matches Electrode Native versions.


Considering the example above, if you are using version ern 0.3.0, the Electrode Native platform looks for a matching plugin configuration in the plugins/ern_v0.2.0+ directory. If you are using version ern 0.5.0, the Electrode Native platform looks for a matching plugin configuration first in the plugins/ern_v0.4.0+ directory and if the configuration is not found that directory, the platform looks in the plugins/ern_v0.2.0+ directory.

In addition, the plugin configuration files are located in directories within the version directories. These directories also follow a naming convention used by the Electrode Native platform to lookup a plugin configuration, for example:


The naming of these directories includes the minimum version of the plugin that the configuration targets. If a newer version needs a different configuration, a new directory can be created. This is shown in the above example for the react-native-maps.

The plugin configuration file is located within these sub-directories.

Configuration example

The following example shows the configuration files for the react-native-code-push plugin. The directory is view-able here

Although the plugin has support for both iOS and Android platforms. Your native module can support only one platform.

The file contains configuration information to add the CodePush native module package to the list of native modules--to be loaded by React Native upon initialization of the Android Container library. The file can optionally include the configuration to allow the mobile app to configure the native module.

The ElectrodeCodePushConfig.h file and ElectrodeCodePushConfig.m file contains similar code for the iOS platform.

The config.json file holds the actual plugin configuration. It contains instructions that the container generator will use to add the plugin to the container.

The document can contain one or two top-level objects: android and/or ios. If a plugin is only supported on one platform, it will only contain that specific platform object.

There are two supported injection configuration directives:

  • The platform agnostic directives can be used for both iOS and Android platforms.

  • The platform specific directives can be used only in the context of a specific platform.

Platform-agnostic directives

The platform-agnostic directives are described in this section.

  • copy

Used to copy one or more files or directories to the target container directory. The copy directive is an array of objects, each containing a specific copy statement. The objects contain a source property and a dest property:

  • source : A single file path or directory glob indicating the files to copy

  • dest : A target directory where the files will be copied to



The example above shows how to copy the entire content (files and directories) of the plugin ios directory to the container /Libraries/CodePush directory.

All plugin code needs to be injected in the container--therefore they will have at least one copy statement in the config.json file. For the most part, in iOS, the dest will be "{{{projectName}}}/Libraries/{PLUGIN_NAME}". projectName will be replaced during Container generation by the name of the project (ElectrodeContainer in the case of container generation), while PLUGIN_NAME should be the name of the plugin itself.

  • replaceInFile

Used to perform string replacements in specified files. This is useful for the iOS platform as some plugins are sometimes needed to replace the way imports are performed. The replaceInFile directive is an array of objects, each containing a specific replacement statement. The objects contain a path property, a string property and a replaceWith property:

  • path : Path to the file that contains a string to be replaced

  • string : String to be replaced

  • replaceWith : The new string



This example shows how to replace the string "RCTBridgeModule.h" with <React/RCTBridgeModule.h> in the /Libraries/RNLocation/RNLocation.h file in the container.

Platform-specific directives

The platform-specific directives for Android and iOS are described in this section.


The following directives can only be used inside an android configuration object.

  • moduleName

The name of the Android module containing the plugin. By default, the plugin configuration uses lib, which is the convention most Android plugins adopt to name the module containing the plugin code.

  • root

The root directory containing the Android module. By default, the plugin configuration uses android, which is the convention followed by most third-party native modules.

  • dependencies

An array of one or more dependencies used to add to the container when injecting this plugin. Some plugins might have dependencies on extra libraries that need to be included in the container. The container generation adds all of these extra dependencies as compile statements to its build.gradle file.


"dependencies": [


The following directives can only be used inside an ios configuration object.

  • containerPublicHeader

Specifies one or more header to surface in the Container umbrella header. This is used only for specific headers that must be accessed from outside the container by the application itself.


"containerPublicHeader": [

iOS also provides an additional directive object: pbxProj. The pbxProj directive can include directives used to manipulate the container .pbxproj file.

  • addProject

Adds a plugin xcodeproj and its target library to the Container.

  • path : Path to the xcodeproj of the plugin

  • group : Group to add the project to (Libraries should be used)

  • staticLibs : An array of static libraries, targets of the plugin project, to link with the Container


"addProject": [
    "path": "AirMaps/AirMaps.xcodeproj",
    "group": "Libraries",
    "staticLibs": [
  • addHeaderSearchPath

Adds a header search path to the container. This directive is used to add the proper path to the plugin headers. This is an array of strings--each string is a specific path.

"addHeaderSearchPath": [
  • addHeader

Adds a header from the plugin project to the container headers.

  • path : Path to the header file to add

  • group : Group containing the header

  • public : Boolean indicated whether the header should be public or not (default to false)

  • addSource

Adds a source file from the plugin project to the container list of sources.

  • path : Path to the source file to add

  • group : Group containing the source file

  "path": "ElectrodeReactNativeBridge/ElectrodeObject.swift",
  "group": "ElectrodeReactNativeBridge"

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