Copyright © 2009 Lars Vogel
|Revision 0.2 - 1.1||17.10.2009 - 12.06.2011||Lars
Table of Contents
The standard deployment format for Java is a .jar file. A jar file is a zip file which contains the necessary resources to use the Java libraries, e.g. the class files.
In Eclipse RCP and Eclipse plug-in development you work with Eclipse bundles or OSGi bundles . If you want to use standard Java libraries (jars) in this environment you have to convert them to a plugin. After creating a new plug-in project, you have to export the necessary packages for these jars and add the new plug-in as a dependency to the plug-in which is using the functionality provided by the new plugin.
If you repackage a jars into a plug-in it is wise to check if the license allows this.
The following gives an example how to convert jars to Eclipse plugins.
Create a new Plugin project by selection File-> New -> Project...-> Plug-in Development -> "Plug-in from Existing JAR Archives"
Add the jars you want to have in this new plugin. Press next.
Maintain a name and a version for this plugin. Uncheck the flag "Unzip the JAR archive into the project". Press then finish. Unchecking the flag "Unzip the JAR archive into the project" prevents that the class files are extracted from the Jar which is usually not necessary.
You have now bundled your jars into a new plugin. Open the file
MANIFEST.MF and validate that all required package are exported on
the tab Runtime. All the packages from your jars
in the exported packages as OSGi will otherwise present other plugins
from accessing them.
In the plug-in project which should use the library, select now select your plugin.xml and the tab dependencies. Under required Plug-ins press add and add your generated plug-in as a dependency to your RCP application. This will make the classes from the jar available to your plugin.
Before posting questions, please see the vogella FAQ. If you have questions or find an error in this article please use the www.vogella.com Google Group. I have created a short list how to create good questions which might also help you.
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