Straight to your questions.
1. The official Google documentation is referring to native Android projects and does not explain the way how to do this in Apache Cordova projects (as in Telerik AppBuilder). I will come back to this in point 3.
2. Again, the documentation of Telerik Backend Services explains how to add the Google Play Services SDK in a native Android project.
3. I am afraid that this is not exactly documented. It would be helpful to share information about the plugin and what are the exact requirements for its installation. I am guessing that you need to use some of the Google APIs like Maps, for example, is that right?
Note that custom plugins should be Plugman-compatible if you want to use them within an AppBuilder project. Here is the documentation article
It is a common practice that plugins keep a reference to their dependencies within them. If this is not the case, here are three approaches that will add the Google Play Services SDK to your AppBuilder project.
1. Import the SDK in question manually in the project.
Download the SDK as explained in the Android docs and place it in the platforms/android
folder of the plugin. Then add a node in the <platform>
tag with the path to the SDK path in the plugin.xml
(or modify the existing one) that should look like:
// other tags
2. Install another custom plugin in the AppBuilder project that adds the SDK
Adding the SDK could be achieved by adding another plugin which is made just for this purpose. Importing such plugin mimics the action of importing the SDK in a native project.
Example of such plugin that imports the Google Play Services SDK is this one - https://github.com/MobileChromeApps/google-play-services
3. Add the SDK "virtually" as a dependency
You can also add a <dependency>
element in the plugin.xml
<!-- android -->
// other configs
Thus with each build the plugin that imports the Google Play Services SDK will be referenced and the plugin you are trying to import will be functioning as the SDK is installed locally.
I hope that this is helpful. Which way you will go depends mostly on the control you would like to have on the SDK version and on your project. For example, consider to clone the GitHub repositories under your account, to take responsibility to update the SDK jar file manually when needed, etc..
Note that in all approaches the size of the SDK will be added to your app package.
Let me know if further questions arise.