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DennisHermannsen

Module function that returns json only

Question

I have no idea how to pull this off in WHMCS so I'm hoping for some help.

I'm building a module that outputs some data to the client area (CPU usage and stuff like that). I really want this data to update every 5-10 seconds.
I know how to query the data - I just don't know how I can do this in WHMCS.

I thought about creating a custom function in the module that gets the relevant data and then returns it - but WHMCS seems to always want to render the client area 😅

What I basically need is a blank page where I can output json. I need the $params variable, so I can't do this outside of WHMCS.

 

Any ideas?

 

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Posted (edited)

I see 3 possible solutions:

  • Output the json data at the _ClientArea function
  • Output the json data using a newly created php file
  • Output the json data using a hook

Output the json data at the ClientArea function

This is the easiest way. An example: https://pastebin.com/vSZ9Aie8

The disadvantage is the SSL checker from WHMCS. WHMCS checks for each _ClientArea function execution if a valid SSL certificate exists (and that can be very slow). However, I believe this check is only executed if the last check showed that no valid SSL certificate exists on the domain. And maybe the behavior has changed in the meantime - anyway, when the SSL checker came out there was this problem and personally I went over using the next option, which should also be somewhat less resource-heavy, because unwanted hooks are not executed. Not that it will make a significant performance difference, but well, if you're running this every few seconds and also possibly by multiple clients at the same time, it's certainly not wrong to pay attention to it as well, or at least be informed about it.

Output the json data using a newly created php file

You create a new file in your module directory, include the init.php of WHMCS (init.php is in the WHMCS root directory) so you can access all the WHMCS stuff (like the Eloquent ORM)  and then call this file via XHR: https://pastebin.com/rYKTYLEk

Important: Unlike the ClientArea function, you must ensure that the client has permission to access the service. So if you have a parameter for the service ID, you have to make sure that the user ID (e.g. $_S|E|S|S|I|O|N['uid'] (remove '|' - WHMCS WAF bypass, sorry)) belongs to this service. Otherwise, a customer could view the data of other customers by just changing the ID in the paramters.

Personally, I think this is the best approach, because you avoid the mentioned SSL checker problem of WHMCS and it is quite likely that this will also work in future WHMCS versions without any problems. 

Output the json data using a hook

It is also possible that you send output to the client via hook. Here is an example: https://pastebin.com/F9amWiJg

I would not go this route if you have access to the source code of the module.

2 hours ago, DennisHermannsen said:

I need the $params variable, so I can't do this outside of WHMCS.

It's easy to get the service model: https://pastebin.com/PBBxURX7

Side note

Ideally, you create a small HTTP controller to handle the AJAX requests, otherwise it gets confusing if you send many different XHR requests.

 I'm sorry for posting the code samples on pastebin and to obfuscate some parts. The WHMCS web application firewall blocks my post every time no matter how I modify the examples. I have tried for 15 minutes to get it working. A tech board where you can't post code correctly. Ridiculous, I can't even write SESSION correctly with a dollar sign in front of it. 🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️

Edited by string

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Thanks for the thorough explanation, @string!

I actually managed to find method 1 myself.
I'm not worried about SSL checks, though - the services that the module will manage does not have a domain set.

I didn't consider that WHMCS would call hooks for the ClientArea function on each call. I'll see if I can get it working using your other example.

One quick question: How would I access the module parameters if doing it that way? It's not just service params, it's stuff like the access hash that's defined in the provisioning module.

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I think I found a rather simple way of doing what I'm trying to achieve.

https://pastebin.com/fYWhNxNr (I'm also having issues with their WAF, lol)

I just need to call /modules/servers/myModule/script.php?serviceId=<serviceId>.
The $server object has all the stuff I need to make API calls (access hash, hostname of the server etc.)

Any thoughts on that way to do it?

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14 hours ago, DennisHermannsen said:

Any thoughts on that way to do it?

Yes, that would be the way it should be done. 

As an alternative you can rebuild the WHMCS module params using this code: https://pastebin.com/SgaBKj2G
ModuleBuildParams() should return exactly the same array as you see it in your module functions. But this function is not officially documentated, so I don't know if this function will be changed in a later version, or even exist at all.

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