[galileo] Whats your Target ?

my favorite target for vacations is the island of crete

crete  026

but lets talk about the Eclipse Target Platform (TP). I know many developers never used the target platform and others giving up, because it was not easy to manage. But this is definitely past – if you upgraded to Eclipse 3.5 (Galileo) then you should really think about using it.

Whats the difference between Eclipse as IDE and as Target Platform ?

The IDE is your workbench and the Target Platform defines your Product you’re creating using the IDE. You really shouldn’t mix these totally different aspects !

Eclipse as IDE (Workbench, Toolbox)

Ask yourself some simple questions:

  • What editors do I need to develop my product ? (Java ? XML ? css ?)
  • Which Views and Editors not contained in SDK do I need ? (Graph PlugIn Dependencies ? )
  • What tools or frameworks do I need ? (Testing ? Databases ? UI Design ? Logging ?)
  • What do I need to deploy my product or (test)run it ? (PDE? P2 ?)
  • What else do I really need while developing ? (Newsreader ? TwitterClient ? Mylyn ?)

All these things belong to your IDE.

Make a cross-check: is this really for developping or perhaps only needed at Runtime ?

Eclipse as Target Platform (Runtime)


  • What do you need if you have to make your product run outside Eclipse ? (Equinox ? Logging ? Riena ? RAP ? Jetty ? )
  • On which platforms (OS)  should my product run ? (Windows ? OSX ? )

Thats all what belongs to your Target Platform.

Also do a cross-check: do I need it all ? or are some parts only needed in the workbench ?

As a result you should have a clear view what belongs to your IDE and what to your Target Platform – of course there will be some overlapping, but don’t worry.


No problem, if you made some wrong decisions: Eclipse 3.5 Galileo makes it easy to change or revert installations.

hint: try to have your IDE for daily work as small as possible. Its easier to work and easier to understand if new developers join your team: less inside the menus, toolbars, available Views etc. If you like to try things out, to see whats all available then do it in an extra installation: get one of the large EPP packages and add what you want to evaluate.

How to manage Installing and Updating the IDE and the Target Platform

Before Eclipse 3.5 came out, it wasn’t easy to change the installed bundles (plug-ins) of your IDE and it was nearly impossible to easy update bundles in your Target Platform. Thats the reason why so many developers are working only using the IDE.

tomorrow you’ll see how to install and manage your IDE with Eclipse 3.5 Galileo.

3 responses

  1. Pingback: Provisioning your Target Platform as local p2 site « Nirmal's Blog

  2. Hi..

    This is Hema..Am very new to Eclipse IDE…Can any one say how to learn this..Little bit confused of from where I have to start to learn..

    Thanks with Regards


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