This portion of the Dexterity documentation is mainly intended to illuminate Dexterity features. If you would like an in-depth, step-by-step approach, we recommend you work through the Mastering Plone training.

Setting up a Dexterity project

Preparing a development environment

First, get a working Plone installation. If you don’t already have one, the easiest way to do so is to use one of Plone’s installers. Note that for development purposes, you may use a standalone (non-ZEO), non-root install.

Second, add our standard development tools. If you’ve used one of our installers, developer tool configurations are in a separate file, develop.cfg. Once your site is running, you may activate the development configuration by using the command:

bin/buildout -c develop.cfg

rather than simply running bin/buildout. The develop.cfg config file extends the existing buildout.cfg.

The key tools that you’ll need, both supplied by develop.cfg, are:

  1. mr.bob, a Python package skeleton builder;

  2. bobtemplates.plone, mr.bob templates for Plone; and

  3. A test runner and code quality testing tools.

If you’ve created yor own buildout.cfg file rather than using one of the installers, you’ll need to add an equivalent development configuration. The easiest way to do so is to pick up a copy from the Unified Installer’s github repository. To pick up mr.bob and the Plone templates alone, just add a mrbob part to your buildout:

recipe = zc.recipe.egg
eggs =

Don’t forget to add mrbob to your parts list.

Creating a package

Setting up a package to house your content types


We’re going to build a package named example.conference. You may find a completed version of it in the Collective repository.

Typically, our content types will live in a separate package to our theme and other customisations.

To create a new package, we can start with mrbob and the dexterity template.


Nothing that we’re doing actually requires mrbob or the bobtemplates.plone skeleton package. It’s just a quick way of getting started.

We run the following from the src/ directory

$ ../bin/mrbob bobtemplates.plone:addon -O example.conference

Choose to create a “Dexterity” package; specify “Program” for your content-type name; and specify your target version of Plone. Otherwise, you may accept the default suggestions. This will create a directory named example.conference inside ./src.

Now, take a look at the file in your new package. Edit the author, author_email and description fields as you wish. Note a couple of parts of the generated file:

# -*- Entry points: -*-
target = plone

The addition of to our install requirements assures that we’ll have Dexterity loaded – even in older version of Plone. The specification of plone as a z3c.autoinclude.plugin entry point ensures that we won’t need to separately specify our zcml in buildout.

Now, let’s take a look at configure.zcml in the examples/conference directory of our project. Again, we want to note a few parts:

<configure ...>

  <i18n:registerTranslations directory="locales" />

  <includeDependencies package="." />

  <include package=".browser" />

      description="Installs the add-on."

      title=" (uninstall)"
      description="Uninstalls the add-on."



Here, with the includeDependencies tag we automatically include the ZCML configuration for all packages listed under install_requires in The alternative would be to manually add a line like <include package="" /> for each dependency.

The include package=".browser" directive loads additional ZCML configuration from the browser subdirectory. In turn, The browser.resourceDirectory command in that configuration file creates a directory for static resources that we want to make available through the web.

Finally, we register a GenericSetup profile to make the type installable, which we will build up over the next several sections.

When you’ve got your project tuned up, return to your buildout/instance directory and edit buildout.cfg to add example.conference to your eggs list and src/example.conference to your develop sources list:

eggs =

develop =

Run bin/buildout -c develop.cfg to add your new product to the configuration. (Or, just bin/buildout if you don’t have a separate develop.cfg.)

The buildout should now configure Plone, Dexterity and the example.conference package.

We are now ready to start adding types.