Customizing and Updating MyEclipse
1. Tailoring MyEclipse for the Work You Do
MyEclipse provides flexible options for adding new plug-ins through the Eclipse Marketplace catalog, a variety of update site types, or the dropins folder. In addition, native MyEclipse capabilities can be added or removed to create a completely customized development environment. This tutorial shows how get started using all these mechanisms with your MyEclipse installation.
If you'd like to use traditional update sites rather than the catalog, please note there are several ways to add plug-ins from an update site. However, first you must have access to the update site in one of the forms listed below.
- You must know the web location (URL) of the site you want to add
- OR you must have a copy of an update site as a local directory
- OR you must have a zip file that is a valid archived update site
The next sections cover how to customize MyEclipse using each of these methods.
The easiest way to add additional plug-ins to MyEclipse is through the Eclipse Marketplace Catalog. To open the catalog, select Help>Install from Catalog from the menu.
If you know the name of the plug-in you'd like to add, you can type it into the Search area and press Enter. However, in this section we'll assume you don't know the exact plug-in you're looking for, but instead want browse the catalog. You can select a market and category from the drop-down lists to drill down to the types of tools you want to browse. You can browse through Recent, Popular, and Installed tools by clicking the respective tab.
When you find a tool you want to add to your IDE, click the Install button, and follow the installation wizard. If there are additional plug-ins you'd like to add, from either the catalog or update sites, you can add any combination of them at this time. After all plug-ins are installed, restart MyEclipse to apply the changes.
Now that you have added plug-ins using the Eclipse Marketplace catalog, see the next section for details about adding an update site to your configuration for plug-ins not included in the catalog.
To add a plug-in to MyEclipse using an update site, select Help>Install from Site from the menu.
When click the Add button, you can configure the update site location and provide a description. Note that the window is configured for remote update sites that you access using a URL because this type of site is the most often used. If you have a local update site on your machine or an archived update site in a zip archive, those can be used as well by clicking either the Local or Archive button instead of entering a name and URL. However, for this example we use the public update site for CheckStyle, so we've filled in the URL and description for it below.
Click OK to return to the Install window. Next, expand the update site you just added, and select the plug-ins you'd like to add. If there are additional plug-ins you'd like to add from either the catalog or update sites, you can add any combination of them at this time. Because changes to the plug-in configuration require a restart, it's most efficient to make all changes and then apply them simultaneously. After adding all software, click Next to review the list of software to install.
Click Next to accept the license agreement, and click Finish to begin installing the add-on software. After installation is complete, you are prompted to restart MyEclipse to activate your changes.
Now that you have learned to add plug-ins from both the catalog and an update site, see the next section for details about installing plug-ins using the dropins folder.
This section describes installing additional plug-ins using the dropins folder within your MyEclipse installation folder. However, note that this facility is provided primarily for backward compatibility to support plug-ins for which no traditional update site is available. If either a catalog entry or update site is available for the plug-in you want to add, then we recommend using the methods described in Section 2 or Section 3. Adding plug-ins using the dropins folder should be treated more as a method of last resort and only employed when no other option is available.
The dropins folder is used from outside MyEclipse, so you must first shutdown MyEclipse (if running) and then open your file explorer and navigate to the dropins folder under the MyEclipse folder, as shown below. The dropins folder should be completely empty at this point.
Next, navigate to the zipped plug-in you'd like to install and extract it to the dropins folder within your MyEclipse installation folder.
After you extract the file, your folder tree should look similar to the image below. Be sure the features and plugins folders are immediate children of the dropins folder or the plug-ins will not be recognized when you start MyEclipse.
Now, to test that the plug-ins were successfully added, start MyEclipse. Upon startup, MyEclipse automatically checks the dropins folder, adds any plug-ins it finds there, and reports the status of the additional plug-ins.
Now that you've successfully installed new plug-ins through the dropins mechanism, you can immediately begin using them in MyEclipse. For this example, you can see the Drools perspective is now available in MyEclipse's perspective list.
To install updates to either MyEclipse components or external plug-ins, select Help>Check for Updates from the menu. You can see the available updates for MyEclipse or any installed plug-ins as well as have the option to lock to a specific MyEclipse version.
In earlier sections of this tutorial we described ways you can customize MyEclipse by adding externally developed features. However, we realize that MyEclipse's native capabilities are quite extensive and very often contain features that many developers might not need on a daily basis. MyEclipse provides a unique level of customization for its native features that allows you to specify only those native features you want to use.
In this section, you add optional components to fit your needs. For this example, assume you are configuring MyEclipse for use by a web developer building applications using a traditional Struts 2 / JSP front end and a Spring / Hibernate backend for deployment on Tomcat both as an application and to support web service access.
Note: This example assumes no add-ons were pre-selected during installation.
To configure the native capabilities of MyEclipse, select Help>Choose Components from the menu.
To customize MyEclipse for this development example, add the following features by double-clicking each item in the Not Selected list:
- Database Tools
- Spring / Hibernate / JPA
- Web Services
After configuration and a restart, the features supporting the development technology selections in the example scenario are included. If at any point in the future the development scenario changes and other features are needed, customize your MyEclipse installation as required.