The Next Iteration of Creative Cloud Plugin Distribution

What It Means For You And Your Users

Corey Hobbs
Oct 21, 2020 · 3 min read

Editor’s Note: This entry is by Corey Hobbs, Senior Product Manager, Plugin Distribution at Adobe. Corey started at Adobe in November of 2019. Welcome to the Tech Blog, Corey!

— Erin Finnegan, Community Engineer, Creative Cloud.

The Adobe Exchange has long been the destination for discovering extensions and extending your Creative Cloud workflows. This year at Adobe MAX 2020, we’re bringing new experiences to extensions, plugins, and libraries to enhance your creative output.

Plugin Marketplace in Creative Cloud Desktop

We’ve launched a new discovery surface for plugins and extensions built natively within the Creative Cloud Desktop application for macOS and Windows.

Users are now able to fully manage their plugins and extensions from the Creative Cloud Desktop app. XD Plugins, Photoshop UXP plugins, and all of the extensions from the Adobe Exchange for Creative Cloud are surfaced in this new experience. Additionally, users are now able to see the new collections and categories we are curating to supercharge workflows.

New Plugin Panel and Menu in Photoshop

Photoshop 22 brings a ton of improvements to production and with those improvements comes a completely new plugin panel and plugin menu system.

The plugin panel is now dockable, enabling users to seamlessly use plugins while working across canvases in Photoshop.

By surfacing plugins as a top-line menu option we’ve improved the discoverability of plugins and extensions directly from Photoshop.

Plugin Discovery and Packaging in the Admin Console

For far too long our Enterprise customers have been left in the dark as it relates to our extensibility efforts. It’s been a cumbersome process of working with various command line tools and third-party software just to get an extension installed and “working.”

Now, Admins can browse, package, and install plugins and extensions across their organizations and teams — directly from the Admin Console. No code needed, no CLIs, no additional software.

Also, we have added features for Admins to ensure their organization is safe from installing third party plugins and extensions without administrative consent.

Paid UXP Plugins

From the moment we released UXP plugins for XD, you all asked the obvious question: “When is this coming to Photoshop and other apps?”

The answer is now, at MAX 2020!

Photoshop (version 22 and up) supports UXP version 4.0 plugins, as well as the option to distribute paid plugins. As a developer, you will be able to use your FastSpring integration key (from the Exchange) to link your UXP plugins to your FastSpring account.

This is now available in the Adobe developer console.

A New Creative Cloud extension file type

Until now, Creative Cloud add-ons were .zxp files. As of today, the developer console now accepts our new and improved .ccx filetype for UXP plugins. This means Photoshop now accepts UXP plugins, packaged as .ccx files.

This new filetype is incredibly easy to install with just a double click.

Adobe XD has been using a .xdx filetype for plugins. Starting in XD 37, we will begin compiling .ccx files and accepting them in the console for XD plugins as well as Photoshop.

Please see our UXP developer documentation for more information here.

What’s next…after all of that?

  • XD Plugins are targeted to arrive in the new Plugin Marketplace with the release of XD 36.
  • Publisher profiles are coming soon to the Plugin Marketplace aggregating extensions and plugins from the same developer.
  • Paid XD plugins are arriving in 2021.

For more stories like this, subscribe to our Creative Cloud Developer Newsletter.

Adobe Tech Blog

News, updates, and thoughts related to Adobe, developers…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store