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Stubbing the module fragments

At this point, you’re ready to begin working in the development environment that you downloaded or built.

If you have not already, run the development container now. The remainder of the tutorial uses the py3.6 container.

Use the following command to run the development container:

$ docker-compose -f devtools/docker-compose.yaml run py3.6


F5 employees should use the following command. This assumes that you have contacted a member of the development team to prepare your environment.

$ docker-compose -f devtools/docker-compose.yaml -f devtools/ run py3.6

Recreate the stubs

This tutorial recreates the bigip_policy_rule module, because it provides good examples of the common idioms you will encounter when developing or maintaining modules.

Because this module already exists, you must first remove it. The development container provides a tool to do this. Using the f5ansible command, provide the following arguments to delete the existing bigip_policy_rule module and its associated stubs.

$ f5ansible unstub module bigip_policy_rule

Use the git status command to see that a number of files are reported as deleted now. Now, recreate the stubs from scratch.

There are a number of files and directories you must create to hold the various test and validation code, in addition to the module code itself and docs.

To create the necessary directories and files automatically, use this command:

$ f5ansible stub module bigip_policy_rule

When it finishes running, you will have the necessary files available to begin working on your module.

Stubbed files

The stubber creates a number of files that you need to do some form of development on.

These files are:

  • docs/modules/bigip_policy_rule.rst
  • library/
  • test/integration/bigip_policy_rule.yaml
  • test/integration/targets/bigip_policy_rule/
  • test/unit/bigip/

For now, disregard the first file there (the docs file) because you have tools in this container that will help you build all of those tools automatically.

With these files in place, you’re ready to begin re-creating the source for the bigip_policy_rule module.

Open the library/ file.

Library stub

The library file is the module itself. Inside this file is all of the work that you will be doing to make this add LTM policy rule functionality to Ansible.

The f5ansible command provides you with a starting point.

As you scroll through the library file, take note of the names of the classes that you encounter. Take note of the imports near the top of the file and how there are different sets of them.

When you reach the bottom, observe how the module’s execution actually occurs. The module is written using the standard Python pattern of writing a Python module (not an Ansible module; same words, different meaning) that can be both included and executed. In other words, used as a library, or run as an application.

In the tutorial, you will see how the module is used in both ways: whether it will be included in a unit test, or executed in a Playbook run.

Up next

In the next section, we will see how to change one of the required areas to update: the DOCUMENTATION variable.