Since at least August-2020 it’s become possible to implement custom code for the Open edX platform without forking the edx-platform repository. Not only is it possible but it’s considered best practice to organize both your custom code as well as any platform modifications into separate pip-installable projects. This article, which includes practical code exercises, will quickly get you up to speed on the right way to get started leveraging the Open edX plugin architecture.


In the spring of 2019 at the Open edX annual conference in San Diego, Nimisha Asthagiri, chief architect & senior director of engineering at edX, laid out a roadmap to transition the Open edX platform into a tighter more stable core surrounded by a vibrant ecosystem of plugins. Presentation slides are available at this link. At the time, no such plugins existed, but today this vision is fully realized. Additionally, edX has refactored some its legacy code as plugins, and these make for excellent guides on how to approach a multitude of coding situations.

We can organize Open edX’s refactored code into two distinct groups. First, in the left column below, some legacy apps which have been refactored as plugins, but (as of the Lilac release) they still reside in the edx-platform repository. And second, in the right column below, a set of Open edX plugins available for download on PyPi.