Build a new planner

Watcher Decision Engine has an external planner plugin interface which gives anyone the ability to integrate an external planner in order to extend the initial set of planners Watcher provides.

This section gives some guidelines on how to implement and integrate custom planners with Watcher.

Creating a new plugin

First of all you have to extend the base BasePlanner class which defines an abstract method that you will have to implement. The schedule() is the method being called by the Decision Engine to schedule a given solution (BaseSolution) into an action plan by ordering/sequencing an unordered set of actions contained in the proposed solution (for more details, see definition of a solution).

Here is an example showing how you can write a planner plugin called DummyPlanner:

# Filepath = third-party/third_party/
# Import path = third_party.dummy
from oslo_utils import uuidutils
from watcher.decision_engine.planner import base

class DummyPlanner(base.BasePlanner):

    def _create_action_plan(self, context, audit_id):
        action_plan_dict = {
            'uuid': uuidutils.generate_uuid(),
            'audit_id': audit_id,
            'first_action_id': None,
            'state': objects.action_plan.State.RECOMMENDED

        new_action_plan = objects.ActionPlan(context, **action_plan_dict)
        return new_action_plan

    def schedule(self, context, audit_id, solution):
        # Empty action plan
        action_plan = self._create_action_plan(context, audit_id)
        # todo: You need to create the workflow of actions here
        # and attach it to the action plan
        return action_plan

This implementation is the most basic one. So if you want to have more advanced examples, have a look at the implementation of planners already provided by Watcher like DefaultPlanner. A list with all available planner plugins can be found here.

Define configuration parameters

At this point, you have a fully functional planner. However, in more complex implementation, you may want to define some configuration options so one can tune the planner to its needs. To do so, you can implement the get_config_opts() class method as followed:

from oslo_config import cfg

class DummyPlanner(base.BasePlanner):

    # [...]

    def schedule(self, context, audit_uuid, solution):
        assert self.config.test_opt == 0
        # [...]

    def get_config_opts(cls):
        return super(
            DummyPlanner, cls).get_config_opts() + [
            cfg.StrOpt('test_opt', help="Demo Option.", default=0),
            # Some more options ...

The configuration options defined within this class method will be included within the global watcher.conf configuration file under a section named by convention: {namespace}.{plugin_name}. In our case, the watcher.conf configuration would have to be modified as followed:

# Option used for testing.
test_opt = test_value

Then, the configuration options you define within this method will then be injected in each instantiated object via the config parameter of the __init__() method.

Abstract Plugin Class

Here below is the abstract BasePlanner class that every single planner should implement:

class watcher.decision_engine.planner.base.BasePlanner(config)[source]
classmethod get_config_opts()[source]

Defines the configuration options to be associated to this loadable


A list of configuration options relative to this Loadable

Return type:

list of oslo_config.cfg.Opt instances

abstract schedule(context, audit_uuid, solution)[source]

The planner receives a solution to schedule

  • solution (BaseSolution subclass instance) – A solution provided by a strategy for scheduling

  • audit_uuid (str) – the audit uuid


Action plan with an ordered sequence of actions such that all security, dependency, and performance requirements are met.

Return type:

watcher.objects.ActionPlan instance

Register a new entry point

In order for the Watcher Decision Engine to load your new planner, the latter must be registered as a new entry point under the watcher_planners entry point namespace of your file. If you are using pbr, this entry point should be placed in your setup.cfg file.

The name you give to your entry point has to be unique.

Here below is how you would proceed to register DummyPlanner using pbr:

watcher_planners =
    dummy = third_party.dummy:DummyPlanner

Using planner plugins

The Watcher Decision Engine service will automatically discover any installed plugins when it is started. This means that if Watcher is already running when you install your plugin, you will have to restart the related Watcher services. If a Python package containing a custom plugin is installed within the same environment as Watcher, Watcher will automatically make that plugin available for use.

At this point, Watcher will use your new planner if you referenced it in the planner option under the [watcher_planner] section of your watcher.conf configuration file when you started it. For example, if you want to use the dummy planner you just installed, you would have to select it as followed:

planner = dummy

As you may have noticed, only a single planner implementation can be activated at a time, so make sure it is generic enough to support all your strategies and actions.