Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Eclipse: Powerful Open Source IDE

Eclipse is an open source software project dedicated to providing a strong, full featured, and industry level platform for developing and supporting highly integrated software engineering tools. Excluding small Eclipse Runtime Kernel, all other components are “plug-in”, integrated through pre defined extension points. Eclipse platform defines set of frameworks and common services that collectively makes an integration-ware. Almost 1565 Eclipse plug-ins are available which can easily download and installed.

Fundamentally, Eclipse is a framework for plug-ins. Besides its runtime kernel, the platform consists of the workbench, workspace, help, and team components. Other tools plug into this basic framework to create a usable application. Plug-ins add functionality through predefined extension points that the Eclipse platform offers. Plug-ins can also define new extension points for others to extend. This plug-in architecture provides a flexible, open, scalable, tool-integration solution. With the open Eclipse platform, you can customize a component or extend it to suit the needs of your development environment.
The Graphical Modeling Framework, a representative integration project built on Eclipse, consists of a plug-in set that bridges between the Graphical Editing Framework and the Eclipse Modeling Framework platforms. GMF extends and integrates GEF and EMF seamlessly so that application developers can fully utilize GEF’s visual-representation capability and EMF’s data-representation capability to build graphical modeling editors. The GMF plug-ins for diagram editing provide a set of services that you can use to extend graphical editors. GMF also leverages other Eclipse plug-ins, such as EMF Technology-Transaction, Validation, and Object Constraint Language, to enable model-level validation.

Eclipse is a cost-effective, productive development environment to support life-cycle software development through effective tool integration. The flexible plug-in architecture and resource management let organizations customize and extend Eclipse to meet their engineering processes, tool integration, and project management needs.

Useful References
For basic concepts about the Eclipse plug-in architecture, extensions, and examples, see the Eclipse Foundation site (, especially www. Good overviews of existing plug-ins, especially plug-ins in their early development stages, are available at and
Eclipse-related publications are available at
For detailed information about how to set up Tomcat and JBoss in Eclipse for J2EE development, see The Eclipse Project Resource Center offers many tutorials, articles, magazines, plug-ins, cheat sheets, conference lists, and the latest books at

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