Creating Custom Item Selector Entities

Does your app require users to select an item that the Item Selector isn’t configured for? No problem. You can create a new entity.

This tutorial explains how to create a new entity for the Item Selector.

Creating Item Selector Criterion

First, you must create a new criterion for your entity:

  1. Create a class that extends the BaseItemSelectorCriterion class. This class specifies what kind of entity the user is selecting and what information the Item Selector should return. The methods inherited from BaseItemSelectorCriterion provide the logic for obtaining this information.

    Note that you can use this class to pass information to the view if needed. For example, the JournalItemSelectorCriterion class passes information about the primary key so the view can use it:

    public class JournalItemSelectorCriterion extends BaseItemSelectorCriterion {
            public JournalItemSelectorCriterion() {
            public JournalItemSelectorCriterion(long resourcePrimKey) {
                    _resourcePrimKey = resourcePrimKey;
            public long getResourcePrimKey() {
                    return _resourcePrimKey;
            public void setResourcePrimKey(long resourcePrimKey) {
                    _resourcePrimKey = resourcePrimKey;
            private long _resourcePrimKey;
  2. Create an OSGi component class that implements the BaseItemSelectorCriterionHandler class. Each criterion requires a criterion handler, which is responsible for obtaining the proper selection view.

    This example creates a criterion handler for the TaskItemSelectorCriterion class:

    @Component(service = ItemSelectorCriterionHandler.class)
    public class TaskItemSelectorCriterionHandler extends 
        BaseItemSelectorCriterionHandler<TaskItemSelectorCriterion> {
        public Class <TaskItemSelectorCriterion> getItemSelectorCriterionClass() {
            return TasksItemSelectorCriterionHandler.class;
        protected void activate(BundleContext bundleContext) {

    The @Activate and @Override tokens are required to activate this OSGi component.

Depending on your app’s needs, you may not need to create a return type. If your entity returns information that is already defined by an existing return type, you can use that return type instead. You can view the default available criteria in the reference document Item Selector Criterion and Return Types. If, however, your entity returns information that is not covered by an existing return type, you’ll need to create a new return type next.

Creating Item Selector Return Types

To create a return type, you must create a class that implements the ItemSelectorReturnType interface. You should name such classes after their entity, and suffix them with ItemSelectorReturnType. For example, if you were to create a return type for a task item, its return type class would be TaskItemSelectorReturnType. Such a *ItemSelectorReturnType class is used as an identifier by the Item Selector and does not return any information itself. The return type class is an API that connects the return type to the Item Selector views. Whenever the return type is used, the view must ensure that the proper information is returned. It’s recommended that you specify the information that the return type returns, as well as the format, as Javadoc. For example, here’s the example return type class TaskItemSelectorReturnType:

* This return type should return the task ID and the user who
* created the task as a string.
* @author Joe Bloggs
public class TaskItemSelectorReturnType implements ItemSelectorReturnType{


Nice work! Your new entity’s criterion and return type classes can be used by your app to create the Item Selector’s URL. To learn how to obtain the Item Selector URL’s, see the tutorial Selecting Entities Using the Item Selector.

Once you have the Item Selector’s URL, a selection view is responsible for returning the proper entity information specified by the return type. To create such a selection view for your entity, see the tutorial Creating Custom Item Selector Views.

Understanding the Item Selector API’s Components

Selecting Entities using the Item Selector

Creating Custom Item Selector Views

« Selecting Entities Using an Item SelectorCreating Custom Item Selector Views »
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