How to build a Server-Side Equinox/RAP Application

February 7, 2011 | 3 min Read

When you face the task of building a Server-Side Equinox or a RAP application (which is just a Server-Side Equinox application) you need to choose a build system from a fairly diverse palette. This choice is never easy because every build system has its pros and cons. In the end it comes down to which one you and others, love or hate.

To make this task a little easier we created a small github project called “RAP build examples”. It provides examples of how to build a RAP application with different build systems. Currently the following systems are covered:

PDE Build:

The goal of PDE Build is to facilitate the automation of plug-in build processes. Essentially, PDE Build produces Ant scripts based on development-time information provided by, for example, the plugin.xml and files. The generated Ant scripts, can fetch the relevant projects from a CVS repository, build jars, Javadoc, source zips, put everything together in a format ready to ship and send it out to a remote location (e.g., a local network or a downloads server). read more…


Tycho is focused on a Maven-centric, manifest-first approach to building Eclipse plug-ins, features, update sites, RCP applications and OSGi bundles. Tycho is a set of Maven plugins and extensions for building Eclipse plugins and OSGi bundles with Maven. Eclipse plugins and OSGi bundles have their own metadata for expressing dependencies, source folder locations, etc. that are normally found in a Maven POM. Tycho uses native metadata for Eclipse plugins and OSGi bundles and uses the POM to configure and drive the build. read more…

WAR Products Tooling:

The WAR Products are similar to Eclipse Products but much more lightweight. All you have to do to export a RAP application is to create a .warproduct based on a working launch configuration and press ‘export’. The exported .war file is ready to deploy. There is a function included that validates your .war file content before you’ve exported it. read more…

All the examples in the git repository follow the same pattern. They provide a simple RAP Application (the famous mail demo) and the files you need for the build. You can read the instructions on how to run each build in the README file which is provided for every example. For those of you who are not using git we’ve also created a zip file which contains the whole repository. You can download it from our website.

We plan to extend the examples in the future. A Buckminster example is on its way shortly. If you have experience with other systems please feel free to leave a comment and we can create an example together.