Rich Client Platform
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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.
The Eclipse community has put together a set of highlighting the use of RCP technology in a variety of real-world settings. More are being added all the time so visit page from time to time to see what's new.
- The RCP FAQ
Books on RCP, with chapters on RCP, or otherwise relevant to RCP development
- "Eclipse Rich Client Platform - Designing, Coding and Packaging Java Applications" by Jeff McAffer and Jean-Michel Lemieux.
- "The Java Developer's Guide to Eclipse (2nd ed.)" by Jim d'Anjou, Scott Fairbrother et al. See Chapter 10 - Creating Applications Using the Rich Client Platform.
- "Official Eclipse FAQs" by Chris Laffra and John Arthorne. See Chapter 13 - Building Your Own Application.
- "Rich Client Entwicklung Mit Eclipse 3.2" by Berthold Daum. A German Book on the Rich Client Platform.
- Enterprise Eclipse RCP - Article-series by Peter Friese and Stefan Reichert (German)
Related Articles and Wiki pages
- Branding Your Application, by Pascal Rapicault and Andrew Eidsness.
- RCP Custom Look and Feel
- Information for Reusing Eclipse Components within your RCP application
The following eclipse newsgroups have useful discussions, questions and answers relevant to the development of RCP applications.
If you have a question, please check the 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.
- For questions specific to the development of RCP applications. Also available via EclipseZone.
- For general Workbench and JFace questions that could apply both to RCP applications and IDE plug-ins. Also available via EclipseZone.
- For SWT-specific questions. Also available via EclipseZone.
The following are other resources describing the Eclipse Rich Client Platform, or related subjects:
Elsewhere at eclipse.org
Content is in the process of being migrated here from the old RCP Home Page.