Guidelines are written for you, the contributor, to understand what we expect from our contributors and to provide guidance on the direction we are taking the modules.

Getting Started

Since Ansible 2.2, it is a requirement that all new F5 modules are written to use the f5-sdk.

Prior to 2.2, modules may of been written in bigsuds or requests (for SOAP and REST respectively). Modules written using bigsuds can continue to be extended using it.

Backward compatibility of older modules should be maintained, but because bigsuds and f5-sdk can co-exist, it is recommended that all future features be written using f5-sdk.

BIG-IP’s have two API interfaces; SOAP and REST. As a general rule of thumb, the SOAP API should be considered deprecated. While this is not an official stance from F5, there is clearly more of a push in the REST direction than the SOAP direction.

New functionality to the SOAP interface continues to be added, but only under certain circumstances.

Bug fixing

If you are writing a bugfix for a module that uses bigsuds, you should continue to use bigsuds to maintain backward compatibility.

If you are adding new functionality to an existing module that uses bigsuds but the new functionality requires f5-sdk, you may add it using f5-sdk.

Naming your module

Base the name of the module on the part of BIG-IP that the modules manipulates. (A good rule of thumb is to refer to the API being used in the f5-sdk).

Don’t further abbreviate names - if something is a well known abbreviation due to it being a major component of BIG-IP, that’s fine, but don’t create new ones independently (e.g. LTM, GTM, ASM, etc. are fine)

Adding new features

If a module that you need does not yet exist, it is equally likely that the REST API in the f5-sdk has also not yet been developed. Please refer to the following github project

Open an Issue with that project to add the necessary APIs so that a proper Ansible module can be written to use them.

Using f5-sdk

The following guidelines pertain to how you should use the f5-sdk in the modules that you develop. We’ll focus on the most common scenarios that you will encounter.


Wrap import statements in a try block and fail the module later if the import fails.


    from f5.bigip import ManagementRoot
    from f5.bigip.contexts import TransactionContextManager
    HAS_F5SDK = True
except ImportError:
    HAS_F5SDK = False

def main():

   if not HAS_F5SDK:
      module.fail_json(msg='f5-sdk required for this module')

Connecting to a BIG-IP

To connect to a BIG-IP, you should use the instantiate a ManagementRoot object, providing the credentials and options you wish to use for connecting.


An example of connecting to big-ip01.internal is shown below.

from f5.bigip import ManagementRoot
from f5.bigip.contexts import TransactionContextManager

mr = ManagementRoot("localhost", "admin", "admin", port='10443')
tx =

with TransactionContextManager(tx) as api:
    virt ='asdf')
    tcp = virt.profiles_s.profiles.load(name='tcp')

Exception Handling

If an exception is thrown, it is up to you decide how to handle it but usually calling fail_json with the error message will suffice.

For raising exceptions you can use the exception class, F5ModuleError, provided with the f5-sdk. It can be used as such.

    from f5.bigip import ManagementRoot
    HAS_F5SDK = True
except ImportError:
    HAS_F5SDK = False

# Connect to BIG-IP

# Make a call to BIG-IP
    result ='bar')
except F5ModuleError as e:

Helper functions

The helper functions available to you are included in the Ansible module_utils.

Code compatibility

The python code underlying the Ansible modules should be written to be compatible with both Python 2.7 and 3.

The travis configuration contained in this repo will verify that your modules are compatible with both versions. Use the following cheat-sheet to write compatible code.

Automated testing

It is recommended that you use the testing facilities that we have paired with this repository. When you open PR’s, our testing tools will run the PR against supported BIG-IP versions in our testing facilities.

By doing using our test harnesses, you do not need to have your own devices or VE instances to do your testing (although if you do that’s fine).

We currently have the following devices in our test harness

  • BIG-IP VE 11.6.0
  • BIG-IP VE 12.0.0
  • BIG-IP VE 12.1.0