Plugin System

Easypy is designed around a modular plugin-based architecture. The end goal is to allow maximum developer configurability & extendability without sacrificing overall structure, flow and code-base integrity.


Easypy plugins are not for the faint of heart: it is intended for advanced developers to provide optional pluggable Easypy features for other developers to use.

Concept & Rules

Plugins offers optional functionalities that may be added to Easypy. Each plugin must be configured first via a configuration YAML file before they can be loaded, instantiated and run at various stages of execution.

All plugins must obey the following rules of development:

  • plugins may be configured globally (for all runs in this pyATS instance) by creating a easypy_config.yaml in the root pyATS installation folder.

  • plugins may be configured locally (for this run only) by passing in a config YAML via a command-line argument called --configuration.

  • plugins may also be configured by setting the environment variable as shown below export PYATS_CONFIGURATION_EASYPY=path/to/easypy_config.yaml

  • plugins shall be independent from all other plugins & test scripts.

  • plugins must inherit from easypy.plugins.bases.BasePlugin class

  • plugins may contain its own argument parser. Such parsers shall follow the Argument Propagation scheme, and shall not contain positional arguments.

  • plugins may modify easypy.runtime attributes, but it is the responsibility of the plugin owner to diagnose and support any failures due to such changes.

  • plugins may self-disable during any point of execution by setting self.disable = True. This will remove it from execution stack.

There are four available stages where plugins may run its actions, and each plugin may choose to run its actions in any or all of these available stages.

Easypy Plugin Stages




run before the jobfile starts


run before the start of each Task, within the task process


run after the finish of each Task, within the task process


run after the jobfile finishes

During pre_job and pre_task stages, plugins are run in the same sequence as they appear in the order definition section of the easypy configuration YAML file. During post_task and post_job stages, plugins are run in exactly the same but reverse order.

Creating Plugins

To create a plugin, simply subclass easypy.plugins.bases.BasePlugin class and define the stages where your plugin needs to run.

# Example
# --------
#   hello-world plugin

import logging
import argparse
import datetime

from pyats.easypy.plugins.bases import BasePlugin

logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)

class HelloWorldPlugin(BasePlugin):
    '''HelloWorld Plugin

    Runs before and after each job and task, saluting the world and printing
    out the job/task runtime if a custom flag is used.

    # each plugin may have a unique name
    # set it by setting the 'name' class variable.
    # (defaults to the current class name)
    name = 'HelloWorld'

    # each plugin may have a parser to parse its own command line arguments.
    # these parsers are expected to add arguments to the main easypy parser
    def configure_parser(cls, parser, legacy_cli = False):
        plugin parser configurations

            parser: main program parser to update
            legacy_cli: boolean indicating whether to support legacy args or
        # always create a plugin's own parser group
        hello_world_grp = parser.add_argument_group("My Hello World")

        # custom arguments shall always use -- as prefix
        # positional custom arguments are NOT allowed.
                                     action = 'store_true',
                                     default = False)

    # plugins may define its own class constructor __init__, though, it
    # must respect the parent __init__, so super() needs to be called.
    # any additional arguments defined in the plugin config file would be
    # passed to here as keyword arguments
    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super().__init__(*args, **kwargs)

    # define your plugin's stage actions as methods
    # as this plugin should run pre and post job
    # we need to deifne 'pre_job' and 'post_job' methods.

    # define the pre-job action
    # if 'job' is specified as a function argument, the current Job
    # object is provided as input to this action method when called
    def pre_job(self, job):

        # plugin parser results are stored under self.runtime.args
        if self.runtime.args.print_timestamp:
            self.job_start =
  'Current time is: %s' % self.job_start)'Pre-Job %s: Hello World!' %

    # define post_job action
    def post_job(self, job):

        if self.runtime.args.print_timestamp:
            self.job_end =
  'Job run took: %s' % self.job_end - self.job_start)'Post-Job %s: Hello World!' %

    # similarly, with pre and post-task methods
    # if a 'task' argument is specified as a function argument, the current
    # Task object is provided as input to this action method on call.
    def pre_task(self, task):
        if self.runtime.args.print_timestamp:
            self.task_start =
  'Current time is: %s' % self.task_start)'Pre-Task %s: Hello World!' % task.taskid)

    def post_task(self, task):
        if self.runtime.args.print_timestamp:
            self.task_end =
  'Task run took: %s' %
                        self.task_end - self.task_start)'Post-Task %s: Hello World!' % task.taskid)


It is possible to retrieve the full results of a job run from a plugin post-job method. self.runtime.details() will retrieve the full suite of test results from the reporter. The attributes follow the same values as the YAML file, which can be seen in the Reporter section.

After defining a plugin class, it needs to be configured in order to run. The easypy plugin manager automatically reads plugin configurations from a YAML file, easypy_config.yaml, located under top level folder of pyats instance or the file path can be provided with --configuration parameter.

# Example
# -------
#   example easypy configuration file for plugins

plugins:                   # top level key for plugins

    HelloWorldPlugin:   # this is the plugin name we defined
                        # enabled, module and order keys are
                        # mandatory. Any additional key/values are
                        # used as arguments to the plugin class
                        # constructor.

      enabled: True           # flag marking it as "enabled"
                              # set to False to disable a plugin

      module:      # module path where this
                                                  # plugin can be imported

      order: 1.0                # defines the order of execution of plugins
                                # it's just a number that allows users to
                                # specify plugin order.
                                # - smaller numbers runs first

And easypy automatically discovers, loads your plugin, and runs its actions as part of its standard execution stage.

Plugin Errors

Because plugins are a fundamental building block of Easypy, any unhandled exceptions raised from plugin actions result in catastrophic failures: make double sure that your plugin is well tested and robust against all possible environments and outcomes. Please also see Easypy Return Codes.

By default, all plugin errors are automatically caught and handled by BasePlugin.error_handler() method, which registers the error and prevent the system from crashing. Plugin developers may overwrite this method to develop custom error handling schemes.

When a plugin registers an exception during a pre_job stage:

  • the job file will not be run

  • all plugins that ran up until the errored plugin will be run in the reverse order, calling the corresponding post_job stage for cleaning up.

When a plugin registers and exception during a pre_task stage:

  • this current task will not be run

  • all plugins that ran up until the errored plugin will be run in the reverse order, calling the corresponding post_task stage for cleaning up.

Whenever plugins error out, your email report will contain the detailed exception.

Runtime Plugin Disable

By default, if a plugin is enabled in the configuration YAML file, it will be loaded and run. However, if ever there is a need to disable a loaded plugin from running again - you can do so by settings its attribute enabled to False.

# Example
# -------
#   a plugin that disables it self when pre_job is run

class MyControlPlugin(BasePlugin):

    def pre_job(self):
        self.enabled = False

    # from here onwards, the plugin's various stages
    # will no longer be run.

Custom Plugin Entrypoints

Easypy can also automatically run any customized user-developed plugins that are installed within the same python virtual environment, even if they aren’t explicitly specified in the easypy plugin configuration YAML file. Simply ensure that the custom user-developed plugin package is registered with and advertises entrypoint pyats.easypy.plugins within the package’s file. This will allow the Easypy plugin manager to find and execute the plugin.

Loading the entrypoint should provide a Python dictionary that contains all the necessary information of the easypy plugin including the plugin name, class, module, etc. as defined in the example below.

# Easypy plugin dict for user-developed plugin
custom_plugin = {
    'plugins': {
            {'class': CustomPlugin,
            'enabled': True,
            'kwargs': {},
            'module': 'custom.plugin',
            'name': 'CustomPlugin',

By default, user-developed plugins that are loaded via entrypoints will be sorted to execute at the end of the pyATS task and job by the Easypy plugin manager. Alternatively, user’s can specify the order in the plugin dict returned by loading the entrypoint.