Jana Saalfeld is a Certified IT Specialist with IBM Software Group Services Germany. She has eight years of experience in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) field and has been with IBM for nine years. She holds a Bachelors degree in Applied Computer Science of Cooperative State University of Stuttgart. Her areas of expertise include solution and application design, implementation, integration, and technical enablement within the ECM product suite.
So you want to extend IBM Content Navigator (ICN) to provide additional functions and features for your application? It can be done. ICN provides high extensibility through the plug-in option. You can easily add new functions and features without changing the ICN code. In order to create the extensions easily, your development environment can be enhanced through a Content Navigator Eclipse Plug-in.
But before you start, I highly recommend that you read the following BLOG post by Marcel to have an overall understanding of the various options you have to extend and customize ICN: ONE UI - IBM Content Navigator as an application framework
Why Eclipse Plug-in for IBM Content Navigator?
The Eclipse Plug-in eases the creation of new projects for ICN Plug-ins and new External Data Services (EDS) implementations. The Eclipse Plug-in provides wizards to:
- Create the whole ICN Plug-in project structure automatically.
- Create and implement the Main Plug-in class.
- Add the necessary libraries to your projects build path.
- Add additional client side components such as Actions, Features, Menus, Menu Types, Viewers, Open Actions and Layouts through wizards and add the new components to the Main Plugin class.
- Add additional server client side components such as Services, Response Filters and Request Filters through wizards and add the new components to the Main Plugin class.
- Create your own EDS project through additional Configuration.
Using this extension within your development environment avoids project setup errors and makes it easy to get started with ICN development.
How do you install the Eclipse Plug-in?
Installing the Eclipse Plug-in in your development environment is very easy.
For pure Eclipse packages, you only need to add the Plug-in JAR files available from the IBM Redbooks publication, Extending and Customizing IBM Content Navigator. The JAR files are part of the downloadable materials for the book in the Eclipse dropins directory:
For Rational Application Developer, the JARs should be placed in the plugins folder.
Now restart your development environment, and that’s it!
As there are two different JAR files, there are two different Eclipse extensions. On the one hand, the Plug-in creates new ICN Plug-in projects. On the other hand, the Plug-in adds an additional Configuration for Web Projects in order to create your own EDS application.
The following Figure shows the New Project creation wizard where the ICN Plug-in wizard can be selected. The EDS Configuration profile can be used within the New Web Project wizard.
Now you can start creating your own ICN Plug-ins and EDS implementations.
If you are not familiar with the ICN extension and customization options, check out the first BLOG entry from the reference list below.
For IBM Content Navigator related blog posts, see:
- ONE UI - IBM Content Navigator as an application framework
- Getting started with the new Eclipse Plug-in for IBM Content Navigator development
- How to build a plug-in with custom search for IBM Content Navigator
- Developing Custom Step Processors with IBM Content Navigator
- Implementing a Dossier Management Solution with IBM Content Navigator
- Mobile development for IBM Content Navigator
- EDS vs request/response filters for IBM Content Navigator
For more information on IBM Content Navigator, see IBM Redbooks publication: