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Developing your first Eclipse RCP application

Crafting a rich client application is easier than ever, thanks to Eclipse V3.1

Sandy Minocha, Software Engineer, IBM Rational
Sandy Minocha works for the IBM Rational ISV Enablement team, which engages with key Rational tools business partners, providing technical guidance and support as they integrate into the Rational suite of products. The team also performs technical validations of partner plug-ins for the Ready for IBM Rational software partner program.

Summary:  The objective of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) is to enable Eclipse to be used in a wide range of end-user applications that are not integrated development environments (IDEs). With the release of Eclipse V3.1, it is easy to create RCP applications. This tutorial will guide you step by step in building your very own RCP application.

Date:  27 Jun 2006
Level:  Intermediate PDF:  A4 and Letter (739 KB | 28 pages)Get Adobe® Reader®

Activity:  109592 views
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Hello World RCP application overview

Upon completion of the Hello World RCP application, you will end up with two plug-ins and three features.


Table 1. Description of Hello World RCP application plug-ins and features
com.ibm.plte plug-inDefines the RCP application
Defines feature and product branding information
com.ibm.plte.ui plug-inDefines several Eclipse functions, including action, preference, view, and Help
com.ibm.plte featureDefines the Hello World RCP application plug-ins
Defines the two included features below
com.ibm.plte.help featureDefines the dependencies on Help plug-ins (eight total)
org.eclipse.rcp featureDefines the dependencies on RCP plug-ins

You will create the Hello World RCP application in Eclipse SDK V3.1.1. When you open the Eclipse workbench, you will already have com.ibm.plte.help feature added to your workspace.

This tutorial is divided into four sections:

  1. Create a minimal Hello World RCP application
    • org.eclipse.core.runtime.applications
  2. Add several Eclipse functions to the Hello World RCP application
    • org.eclipse.ui.actionSets
    • org.eclipse.help.toc
    • org.eclipse.ui.preferencePages
    • org.eclipse.ui.views
  3. Create a Hello World RCP product
    • Feature branding
    • org.eclipse.core.runtime.product
  4. Deploy and run Hello World RCP product outside of Eclipse

Note that if the intent is to build Eclipse tools that will be integrated into an Eclipse IDE-based product, you do not create an RCP application or an RCP product. An Eclipse IDE-based product will already have defined an application and a product. However, you must still provide feature branding for your Eclipse tools.

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