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The XNAT universe of developers is growing in breadth and depth, with more developers working on more active XNAT sites than ever before. And because XNAT was designed from the ground up to be extensible, this means there is now more custom XNAT code than ever before. However, all of that custom code is siloed, tied to the site that it was developed for.
The goal of the XNAT Marketplace is to change that. We want to provide a central clearing-house where you can find new functionality, enhanced XNAT UI elements, useful tools and clever scripts that our community of admins and users have come up with. Moreover, beginning with the release of XNAT 1.6, we will support a modular method of packaging and installing these XNAT enhancements. Not only does this make importing new functionality easier for XNAT Admins, it also separates development streams. Core XNAT developers can focus on core XNAT development, while module authors can focus on rapidly iterating on their custom code.
This approach does introduce some risk for Admins. With multiple contributors building modules, each working in their own siloed development environment, not all items that you might find in the Marketplace will be guaranteed to play nice with each other. Admins should always rigorously test any new module in a test system before introducing it into an XNAT with live data and users.