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Eclipse Platform Plug-in Development Environment Guide
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Building an RCP application from a product configuration file

PDE Build comes with infrastructure to build a complete RCP application from a product configuration file. Most of the setup necessary for such a build can be done through a few modifications to the template provided in PDE build. The following section focuses on setting up a simple product build assuming that all plug-ins and features (both to build and pre-built) referenced by the product file are already locally available on disk.

Basic setup

The first step in setting up a build is to create the directory in which the build will take place. This directory will be referred to as the build directory and will contain the plug-ins and features to build as well as all the generated artifacts. Next, copy your plug-ins and features respectively into "plugins" and "features" subdirectories. Your product configuration file is expected to be in one of these plugins/features.

The second step in setting up a build is to copy the template file from to a new directory which will be the build configuration directory (also referred to as the configuration directory). Edit the copied file and set the following properties:
  • product: the location of your product configuration file in the form "/<plugin or feature id>/path/to/.product"
  • baseLocation:  the location of an eclipse install containing all the pre-built features and plug-ins that your product requires in features/ and plugins/ subdirectories.  The RCP delta pack (it is available from the eclipse download page) is mandatory as it includes the org.eclipse.platform.launchers feature which contains the launchers and root files necessary for a product.
  • buildDirectory:  the directory the build will take place in.  Set this to the full path of the build directory created previously.
  • configs: list the configurations for which you want your product to be built. You can uncomment the configuration(s) provided (be careful of the line continuations).
  • archivePrefix: the name of the directory of your product once installed on disk.

Overview of the directory structure




Running the build

To run the build you will use the org.elipse.ant.core.antRunner application. When invoking eclipse with this application to perform a build you need to set two arguments on the command line:
  • -buildfile </path/to/productBuild.xml>:  This is the path to the productBuild.xml provided by pde build.  It is located in the directory.  This is the build file that drives the whole product build process.
  • -Dbuilder=</path/to/configuration folder>:  This is the path to the build configuration folder.
Run the antRunner application using the following command:
java -jar <eclipseInstall>/plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher_<version>.jar -application org.eclipse.ant.core.antRunner -buildfile <<eclipseInstall>/plugins/org.eclipse.pde.build_<version>/scripts/productBuild/productBuild.xml> -Dbuilder=<path to the build configuration folder>

Advanced scenarios

Behind the scenes this setup will generate a feature containing the plugins or features specified in your product configuration file.  This generated feature is then used to drive a normal feature based headless build. If you require more customization of the build, ie fetching from a repository, see the Advanced PDE Build topics for more information.

  Published under the terms of the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 ("EPL") Design by Interspire