You can extend the functionality of Omeka S by writing an add-on component called a module. Zend Framework 2 provides a substantial framework for writing modules, but Omeka S provides extra structure that makes the modules installable, upgradeable, and integratable.

Directory Structure

At its most basic level, a module directory is structured like so:

        <asset-directories-and files>/

The name of the module directory (MyModule above) is significant. It must be a reasonably unique, concise, and descriptive name of your module in CamelCase format.

The asset directory contains assets such as JavaScript, CSS, and image files, usually in their own subdirectories.

When using a shared directory in the view directory (such as common above) be sure to name the templates in such a way to avoid naming collisions. A good practice is to prefix the template names with the name of your plugin.


Every module must have an INI file, a file containing basic information about the module. The file must be named module.ini, be saved in your module's config/ directory and start with [info] on first line.

  • name (required): The human-readable name of the module
  • version (required): The version of the current code state
  • author (optional): The author of the module
  • configurable (optional): Whether the module is configurable, true or false
  • description (optional): A description of the module
  • module_link (optional): An absolute URL to a page about the module
  • author_link (optional): An absolute URL to a page about the author
name         = "My Module"
version      = "1.0"
author       = "My Organization"
configurable = true
description  = "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit."
module_link  = ""
author_link  = ""


This file is automatically added to Omeka S's configuration. This is where you take care of many required tasks, such as registering controllers, entities, routes, and navigation. It is a keyed array that should be returned. Here is an excerpt from the MetadataBrowse module as an example:

return [
    'view_manager' => [
        'template_path_stack' => [
    'controllers' => [
        'invokables' => [
            'MetadataBrowse\Controller\Admin\Index' => 'MetadataBrowse\Controller\Admin\IndexController',
    'form_elements' => [
        'factories' => [
            'MetadataBrowse\Form\ConfigForm' => 'MetadataBrowse\Service\Form\ConfigFormFactory',


The Module.php file is required. It provides the methods needed to integrate your custom functionality with Omeka S.

Making a Module Configurable

To enable module configuration, remember to set configurable = true in config/module.ini and use the getConfigForm() and handleConfigForm() methods in your module class, like below:

use Omeka\Module\AbstractModule;
use Zend\View\Model\ViewModel;
use Zend\Mvc\Controller\AbstractController;

class Module extends AbstractModule
    /** Module body **/

     * Get this module's configuration form.
     * @param ViewModel $view
     * @return string
    public function getConfigForm(ViewModel $view)
        return '<input name="foo">';

     * Handle this module's configuration form.
     * @param AbstractController $controller
     * @return bool False if there was an error during handling
    public function handleConfigForm(AbstractController $controller)
        return true;

Installing the Data Model

If your module needs to create database tables for Entities, follow this process after you have defined your Entity classes. See Doctrine and Entities for an introduction.


$ php application/data/scripts/update-db-data-module.php <ModuleName>

and copy the statements it outputs. In your Module.php file's install function, copy it into the $sql variable with this pattern:

    public function install(ServiceLocatorInterface $serviceLocator)

        $connection = $serviceLocator->get('Omeka\Connection');
        $sql = $sqlDump; // whatever the result of the above gives you 


This command will also create Doctrine "proxy" class files for your entities and place them in your module at "data/doctrine-proxies."

Updating the Data Model

When you've made a change in the data model for a module, you need to follow mostly the same process as getting the initial installation SQL from the previous section. As above, run the update-db-data-module script to get the SQL statements, and update the module's install method to use the updated statements.

In addition, you'll need to handle updating the database for users who've already installed the old version of your module (otherwise they'd be forced to uninstall and reinstall it, losing their data in the process). The first step is to increase the version number of the module in its config/module.ini file. Omeka S can only detect that an upgrade is necessary for a module if the version number increases. Version numbers should follow Semantic Versioning.

Exactly what needs to be done for an upgrade can vary based on the kinds of changes you've made, but usually it's sufficient to just compare the previous installation SQL statements to the new ones, and create ALTER statements as appropriate to add, remove, or change the necessary tables, columns, and indexes. More involved changes may require you to also UPDATE or INSERT actual rows as well.

Just as the initial SQL goes in the Module class install method, upgrade SQL goes in the upgrade method. Unlike, install, upgrade has some additional important arguments: $oldVersion and $newVersion, representing the version of the plugin the user is upgrading from and the version they're upgrading to, respectively. For most cases, $oldVersion is what's important here: you want to check if the previous version is lower than the new version you just incremented to. If so, you need to run the update SQL.

Since the versions for modules follow Semantic Versioning, you should use the Comparator class from Composer's "Semver" package to compare version numbers. Omeka S already includes this as a dependency, so you simply need to use it.

use Composer\Semver\Comparator;

// ...

public function upgrade($oldVersion, $newVersion, ServiceLocatorInterface $serviceLocator)
    $connection = $serviceLocator->get('Omeka\Connection');

    if (Comparator::lessThan($oldVersion, '1.1.0')) { 
        $sql = $sqlDump; // your upgrade SQL statements 

As you continue to make updates and add to the upgrade method, users will be able to upgrade many versions at once.

Attaching to Omeka Events

Extending functionality is largely a matter of attaching listeners to events that Omeka fires at critical times. Use the attachListeners method in your module class, like below:

use Omeka\Module\AbstractModule;
use Zend\EventManager\Event;
use Zend\EventManager\SharedEventManagerInterface;

class Module extends AbstractModule
    /** Module body **/

     * Attach listeners to events.
     * @param SharedEventManagerInterface $sharedEventManager
    public function attachListeners(SharedEventManagerInterface $sharedEventManager)
            'Omeka\Controller\Admin\Item', // identifier for event emitting component
            '', // event name
            function (Event $event) { // any callback
                // do something during the `` event for a `Omeka\Controller\Admin\Item`

See Also

Omeka Events