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 build.properties 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.
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
features respectively into "plugins" and "features" subdirectories.
product configuration file is expected to be in one of these
The second step in setting up a build is to copy the template
build.properties file from
org.eclipse.pde.build/templates/headless-build to a new directory which
will be the build configuration directory (also referred to as the configuration
Edit the copied build.properties file and set the following properties:
product: the location of
your product configuration file in the form "
location of an eclipse install containing all the pre-built features
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.
directory the build will take place in. Set this to the full path
of the build directory created
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
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:
the path to
the productBuild.xml provided by pde build. It is located in the
org.eclipse.pde.build/scripts/productBuild directory. This is the
that drives the whole product build process.
the path to the build configuration folder.
Run the antRunner application using the following command:
-Dbuilder=<path to the build configuration folder>
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