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Software Template Configuration

Backstage software templates create source code, so your Backstage application needs to be set up to allow repository creation.

This is done in your app-config.yaml by adding Backstage integrations for the appropriate source code repository for your organization.


Integrations may already be set up as part of your app-config.yaml.

The next step is to add templates to your Backstage app.

Publishing defaults

Software templates can define publish actions, such as publish:github, to create new repositories or submit pull / merge requests to existing repositories. You can configure the author and commit message through the scaffolder configuration in app-config.yaml:

name: M.C. Hammer # Defaults to `Scaffolder`
email: # Defaults to ``
defaultCommitMessage: "U can't touch this" # Defaults to 'Initial commit'

To configure who can see the new repositories created from software templates, add the repoVisibility key within a software template:

- id: publish
name: Publish
action: publish:github
repoUrl: '{{ parameters.repoUrl }}'
repoVisibility: public # or 'internal' or 'private'

Disabling Docker in Docker situation (Optional)

Software templates use the fetch:template action by default, which requires no external dependencies and offers a Cookiecutter-compatible mode. There is also a fetch:cookiecutter action, which uses Cookiecutter directly for templating. By default, the fetch:cookiecutter action will use the scaffolder-backend/Cookiecutter docker image.

If you are running Backstage from a Docker container and you want to avoid calling a container inside a container, you can set up Cookiecutter in your own image, this will use the local installation instead.

You can do so by including the following lines in the last step of your Dockerfile:

RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y python3 python3-pip
RUN pip3 install cookiecutter

Customizing the ScaffolderPage with Grouping and Filtering

Once you have more than a few software templates you may want to customize your ScaffolderPage by grouping and surfacing certain templates together. You can accomplish this by creating groups and passing them to your ScaffolderPage like below

title: "Recommended",
filter: entity =>
entity?.metadata?.tags?.includes('recommended') ?? false,

This code will group all templates with the 'recommended' tag together at the top of the page above any other templates not filtered by this group or others.

You can also further customize groups by passing in a titleComponent instead of a title which will be a component to use as the header instead of just the default ContentHeader with the title set as it's value. Grouped Templates

There is also an option to hide some templates. You can have several use cases for that:

  • it's still in an experimental phase, so you can combine it with feature flagging for example
  • you don't want to make them accessible from template list, but only open it on some action with pre-filled data.
  • show different set of templates depends on target environment
templateFilter={entity =>
entity?.metadata?.tags?.includes('experimental') ?? false