Before you start
One of the nice things about an IDE is that you can do the majority of your development tasks in one application — hence, integrated. It takes time away from your work to have to switch from your IDE to another program. The more often you have to switch among applications, the more you have, well, just a DE. That's not much of a step above a text editor.
Using launch configurations in Eclipse Europa, you can run external programs from within the development environment. Launch configurations also allow you to save settings for how you want to call an external program, including parameters you would like to send it, environment variables you want to set, or even what to do in the IDE before and after you execute the command. What's more, if you want to run the command each time you build your project — before or after — you can import the launch configuration into a builder and use it in Eclipse.
This tutorial introduces two main scenarios: One uses the venerable Apache Ant build tool that comes with Eclipse; the other is an example of a script that executes from within the IDE.
In this tutorial, you learn how to build and use launch configurations. Learn how to launch both Ant build scripts and an example script you can use to view parameter values. Get a detailed look at the types of automatic parameters available to you and learn how to use these parameters with your external tools.
To get the most out of this tutorial, all you need is Eclipse Europa. The sample script used later in this tutorial is written both in batch (used for DOS) and Bash shell scripting (used for Linux® and Mac OS X).
And before you get started, add a new Java™ project to an Eclipse workspace and put at least one Java file in the project. It doesn't really matter what the Java class does or contains, but I recommend that it be a project you don't mind using for testing.
To follow the examples, you need Eclipse Europa and one of the operating systems Eclipse supports — Mac OS X, Microsoft® Windows®, or Linux. You also need a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) — JRE for Java V5 is recommended.