Make extensions updatable

Extension Manager CS5 and higher supports updatable extension packages. They allow an end user to update an installed extension when there is new version available. To enable this feature, include the update element in the MXI configuration file for your extension, with a link that points to the update information.


Plugin updates are no longer supported through manifest or update URL. To update the plugin, the updated plugin version needs to be published to the partner portal.

XML elements of the update information file

Provide update information in the form of an XML file that tells Extension Manager whether a new update is available, and provides information about how to update a particular extension.

The update information file must be UTF-8 encoded, and contain the following elements.


Required. Contains the version number of the latest version of the extension, in the format major[.minor[.build[.misc]]]. The major number, minor numbe,r and build number are all positive integers. The misc part can contain only letters or numbers. For example, 2, 2.1, or 2.1.2.test3.

Increment the major version number when you make substantial changes to the extension. Increment the minor version number for smaller changes. Increment the build number for builds between releases.


Required. Contains a URL starting with "http" or "https". This can specify one of the following options:

  • A link to the latest extension itself, in the form of a ZXP installation file link
  • A web page containing descriptions and instructions for how to obtain and install the latest extension.


Required. A short description about what is new or changed in the update. Must contain a CDATA section, which you can format with HTML tags. This is the update description that appears in Extension Manager. It can also point to more detailed release notes that you make available online.


  • url Optional. A URL for a web page that contains detailed release notes.

Example update information file

<description url="">
        The 1.5 version fixes known problems.<br>
        New features include the ability to download updates. ]]>


The update process

When Extension Manager is launched, it follows the link in the update element of the MXI configuration file to retrieve the update information file. It then compares the version value in the update file with that of the installed version. If a newer version of your extension is available, it prompts the user to initiate the update.

If the user chooses to update the extension, Extension Manager goes to the URL given in the download element.

  • If the link points to an installation package, Extension Manager downloads and installs the new version automatically.
  • Otherwise, Extension Manager opens the given page in the default web browser.
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