Geertjan's Blog

  • January 21, 2008

Server Plugin Framework for NetBeans IDE 6.0

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
Some years ago, Stepan Herold (who no longer works here) created a server skeleton as the basis of all server implementations, since all implementations have the same basic infrastructure. He even wrote the outline of a tutorial for this skeleton. Petr Hejl upgraded it to 6.0 a few months ago and today I finished fixing the tutorial so that the sources in the server skeleton match the description in the tutorial. Here's the updated 6.0 tutorial:

NetBeans Server-Skeleton Module Tutorial

The tutorial shows how to build the basis of a server plugin for NetBeans IDE. Once you have the basis, you need to add all the server-specific code on top of the basis. As far as I am aware, someone (or a group of someones) is working on a NetBeans server plugin for Jetty, Geronimo, and JOnAS (at least, I've been in touch or heard rumors in relation to all three of these). Therefore, if you're thinking about creating a server plugin for NetBeans IDE, the first thing you should do is write to dev@openide.netbeans.org to check that someone isn't already working on the server plugin in question. Then you could join in with someone else's work rather than reinventing the wheel and then pulling your hair out afterwards.

If you follow the tutorial above, you'll be pointed to a new plugin in the Plugin Portal:


The plugin provides the skeleton that you build via the tutorial. So, one approach would be to get the plugin and then use the tutorial to begin understanding how all the pieces fit together. Once you've installed the plugin, this is where you'll find the server skeleton:

Open issues in the tutorial:

  • I can't find the related Javadoc.
  • I don't know why several methods in MyDeploymentManager.java do not, according to the inline comments, need to be implemented. (If they're there, why should they not need to be implemented?)
  • Which server implementation in the NetBeans sources can be used as "next steps" screenshot? Put the "Adding Server-Specific Code" back once it is clear what needs to go here. (In the previous version of the tutorial, there was a screenshot of the JBoss server sources, as an indication of the kind of source structure one would have at the end of the whole process, i.e., the server skeleton plus one server-specific implementation on top of it.)
  • Some kind of diagram is needed to illustrate how all the pieces in the skeleton fit together.

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