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Rich Client Platform

Revision as of 11:55, 9 December 2005 by Nick (Talk | contribs)

While the Eclipse platform is designed to serve as an open tools platform, it is architected so that its components could be used to build just about any client application. The minimal set of plug-ins needed to build a rich client application is collectively known as the Rich Client Platform.

Applications other than IDEs can be built using a subset of the platform. These rich applications are still based on a dynamic plug-in model, and the UI is built using the same toolkits and extension points. The layout and function of the workbench is under fine-grained control of the plug-in developer in this case.

When we say that the Rich Client Platform is the minimal set of plug-ins needed to build a platform application with a UI, we mean that your application need only require two plug-ins, org.eclipse.ui and org.eclipse.core.runtime, and their prerequisites.

However, rich client applications are free to use any API deemed necessary for their feature set, and can require any plug-ins above the bare minimum. Examples include the Help UI, and the Update Manager.

For more details on what is included in the Rich Client Platform, see the RCP FAQ.




  • Eclipse's Rich Client Platform, by Jeff Gunther (on IBM developerWorks). Part 1, Part 2


Presentation Slides

  • Smart Client development with the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (PDF) (PPT) by Nick Edgar and Pascal Rapicault, presented at JAOO 2005.

    The source for the accompanying "Go Wild Travel - Adventure Builder RCP Client" example is being cleaned up, and will be posted shortly.

  • Developing for the Rich Client Platform (PDF) by Nick Edgar and Pascal Rapicault, from their tutorial presented at EclipseCon, February 28, 2005.
The Hyperbola example source is available from CVS. The steps from within Eclipse are:
    1. Window > Open Perspective > Other? > CVS Repository Exploring
    2. In CVS Repositories view context menu: New > Repository Location
    3. Enter host: repo path: /home/eclipse user: anonymous password: <none> connection type: pserver
    4. In CVS Repositories view, expand: HEAD/platform-ui-home/eclipsecon/tutorial/example1
    5. Select org.eclipsercp.hyperbola.mockup and choose Check Out
    6. Likewise, for example 2, check out both projects under example2.
The solutions to the exercises are in the Solutions branch of the Hyperbola projects. After loading from HEAD, use Compare With (or Replace With) > Another Branch or Version, press Refresh Tags, select Branches / Solutions.
  • Eclipse Rich Client Applications - Overview of the Generic Workbench (PDF) (PPT) by Nick Edgar, presented at EclipseCon, February 2004.
  • Eclipse RCP Runtime (PDF) by Jeff McAffer, presented at EclipseCon February 2004.
  • Eclipse Rich Client Platform (Zip) by Ed Burnette, presented at the RTP Websphere Users Group, August 2004.
  • The Eclipse Rich Client Platform (PPT) by various members of the Eclipse JDT and Platform teams, last updated November 5, 2004.
  • The Eclipse Rich Client Platform (HTML) by Chris Laffra, presented at the Colorado Software Summit, October 2004.

Help Topics

The following are relevant help topics from the Platform Plug-in Developer Guide (from within the Eclipse IDE: Help > Help Contents > Platform Plug-in Developer Guide). The links below are to the online Eclipse 3.1 help.


The following newsgroups have useful discussions, questions and answers relevant to the development of RCP applications.

If you have a question, please check the [RCP FAQ|RCP FAQ] before posting to the newsgroups. Kindly avoid posting to the developer (*-dev) mailing lists as these are intended for use by the development teams and others participating in the development of Eclipse itself.


The following are example RCP applications:

  • [RCP Browser Example|RCP Browser Example]
  • [RCP Text Editor Example|RCP Text Editor Example]


Several applications have been built using the Rich Client Platform.

Elsewhere at

Content is in the process of being moved here from the RCP Home Page.

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