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Deploying an Eclipse-based application with Java Web Start

Enabling easy deployment for a custom product

Nathan A. Good, Senior Information Engineer, Freelance Developer
Nathan Good lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Professionally, he does software development, software architecture, and systems administration. When he's not writing software, he enjoys building PCs and servers, reading about and working with new technologies, and trying to get his friends to make the move to open source software. He's written and co-written many books and articles, including Professional Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, Regular Expression Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach, and Foundations of PEAR: Rapid PHP Development.

Summary:  Learn how to build a small, bare-bones application built on the Eclipse Framework and deploy it through Java™ Web Start (JWS) — a technology you can use to deploy Java applications easily over standard Internet sites, enabling easy upgrades and distribution.

Date:  03 Feb 2009
Level:  Intermediate PDF:  A4 and Letter (653 KB | 35 pages)Get Adobe® Reader®

Activity:  34624 views

Before you start

About this tutorial

When I was starting to build an application, I settled on the Java programming language for my implementation language. I wanted to write an application that could be run on Microsoft® Windows®, Linux®, or Mac OS X. The application had to use local resources, so building it as a stand-alone application made more sense than trying it in a Web application. However, I got stuck on deployment. I wanted to be able to easily deploy the application for the initial installation, and I wanted to be able to easily push updates without necessarily building an update framework into my application. Enter JWS, a technology that allows you to deploy applications over the Internet with a single click.

If you couple JWS with the ability to build an application on the Eclipse Platform, you have a pretty powerful combination that allows you to deploy some serious enterprise-class tools in a manner much easier than building and pushing out installer programs.

This tutorial shows how to build an application based on the Eclipse Platform and how to deploy that application with JWS. This is not to be confused with building a Rich Client Platform (RCP) application using the Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) in Eclipse and using JWS to distribute it (see Resources for a tutorial on how to do that).


After reading this tutorial, you should be able to develop a product that extends the Eclipse Platform and deploy the Eclipse-based application using JWS.


You should be familiar with Eclipse and the Java programming language. Knowledge of XML will be helpful when reading the XML examples.

System requirements

To run the samples, you must have Eclipse V3.3 or later installed and running. You will also need to have Java V1.5 or later. To run the JWS example, you need access to a running Web server and the ability to add a MIME-type association to the Web server, if it's not already properly configured. Ideally, you should have a local development Web server you can use for testing.

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Zone=Open source
TutorialTitle=Deploying an Eclipse-based application with Java Web Start