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Getting Started Tutorial

Getting Started Tutorial: Create a Web Component Widget Using Samples

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install a web component package, run the included demo, and package it as a ThingWorx widget. Then, you'll create a widget extension using the SDK utility and import it into the platform.

What you need

Make sure that you have the required dependencies installed on your system:

  • NodeJS and npm
  • The gulp-cli and polymer-cli packages for npm
  • The ThingWorx Web Component SDK Utility

For more information about the required software and tools, refer to the Overview topic of this help.

What you will learn

  • Install a web component package using npm.
  • Run the demo for a web component.
  • Organize the file structure of the web component.
  • Create a widget extension using the Web Component SDK Utility.

What you will build

A ThingWorx widget extension based on a simple web component. You will also learn how to use the SDK utility to create an extension from a web component widget. The widget is named Simple El and it contains subcomponents from the ptcs and Polymer libraries.

Download the required web component samples

Before you begin, download the following ZIP files:

Create your working folders

After you download the two ZIP files in the previous section, perform the following steps:

  • Extract the content of the sample web component to a folder named simple-el/. The root of your folder structure should be similar to the following:


    The simple-el web component is a complex component that is made up of multiple subcomponents. When you run the demo, two buttons are displayed: a ptcs-button from the ptcs library and a paper button from the polymer library. These dependencies are defined in the simple-el.js file:

    import {html, PolymerElement} from '@polymer/polymer/polymer-element.js';
    import '@polymer/polymer/lib/elements/dom-repeat.js';
    import '@polymer/paper-button/paper-button.js';
    import 'ptcs-button/ptcs-button.js';
  • Extract the content of the web component widget to a folder named simple-el-widget. This folder contains a widget that you can import into the ThingWorx Platform.

In a typical development environment, you should create an .npmrc file and publish the web component to an npm registry. The following steps list how to configure a project to run without publishing to an npm registry. Note that these steps are already performed in the simple-el-widget folder that you created.

  1. Add a tmp/ folder next to input/ and copy the web component folder to it. The first two levels of your folder structure should be similar to the following:

  2. Specify the location of the web component in the HTMLImports section of the input/widgets/simple-el.json file as follows:

    "htmlImports": [
        "from": "npm",
        "id": "simple-el",
        "version": "file:simple-el",
        "url": "simple-el/simple-el.js"

Install the Web Component package

  1. In a command prompt, change your directory to the location of the simple-el/ web component folder that you extracted.
  2. Run the following command to link the web component:

    npm install

The package is now installed to your node_modules folder.

Run the Web Component demo and open it in a browser

To run the web component demo, make sure that you have the Polymer CLI package installed, then do the following:

  1. In the command prompt, make sure that your current directory is the simple-el/ web component folder that you downloaded and extracted in a previous step.
  2. Run the following command:

    polymer serve

    The web component demo is now running on the local web server and the following log is returned:

     info:   Files in this directory are available under the following URLs
    reusable components:`
  3. To view the demo, copy the address to the URL bar in your browser, then press ENTER. The web component demo page is now visible:

    Web Component Demo

    Note: By default, styling is applied using the ptcs-base-theme package. You can change the style theme using the drop-down list in the header section.

Install the SDK Utility and Create a ThingWorx Extension

To create a widget, you must package the web component as a ThingWorx widget. We've done that for you.

  1. Download and extract the utility ZIP file to a folder named twx-wc-sdk-utility.

  2. Open a command prompt, then change the current directory to the location on your system where you extracted the SDK utility:

    cd twx-wc-sdk-utility
  3. Run the following command:

    npm link
  4. Change your directory to the simple-el-widget/ folder that you created earlier:

    cd simple-el-widget
  5. In the widget folder, run the following command to create the extension:


An extension ZIP file is created and placed in the dist/ folder of your working directory. You are now ready to import the extension.

Import the widget extension to the ThingWorx Platform

To import the widget ZIP file as an extension to the ThingWorx Platform:

  1. In the platform, open the Import/Export menu on the left navigation pane.
  2. Click Import. The import dialog box opens.
  3. Under Import Option, select Extension.
  4. Under File Name, click Browse and choose the ZIP file that you created using SDK utility in the previous section.
  5. Click Import. The extension is imported.

You can now use the widget in Mashup Builder.

Add the widget to a mashup

  1. Create a new mashup, and then open the Widgets panel. The Simple El widget appears in the list.

    Widgets Panel

    Note: If the widget is not listed, clear your browser cache and refresh the page. 2. Drag the widget to a container on the canvas. You can now see the widget at design time. 3. Click Save, then View Mashup.

The widget appears at run time and styling for the widget is applied using the current mashup style theme.

Simple El Run Time