Developing a basic EPF plugin from scratch

By Roger Champagne, Eng., Ph. D.
Department of Software and IT Engineering
École de technologie supérieure, Montréal, Canada
Last update: 2010-Aug-11

Introduction

This tutorial aims at sharing my experience with the development of an EPF plugin. While there are many tutorials on the web that describe how to extend an existing EPF plugin (for example OpenUP), I have found that there is very little information on how to create an EPF plugin from scratch. This is what is described in this document.

At the end of the tutorial, you will have a published EPF plugin with skeletal content, namely:

The tutorial omits (by design) such details as:

The two key issues in developing an EPF plugin from scratch are the following:

This tutorial is inspired by this document, which I initially found at http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~malihetb/Publication/Eclipse-process-Framework-Step-by-step-example.pdf.

Prerequisite

Creating the plugin content

  1. Start EPF Composer, and switch to the Authoring perspective, if not already there.
  2. Create a new method library called MyLibrary by:


  3. Create a new configuration called MyConfiguration by:


  4. Select the new configuration by:
  5. Create a new method plugin called MyPlugin by:


  6. Create a new content package called MyContentPackage in MyPlugin by:




  7. Add a role called MyRole in MyContentPackage by:




  8. Add a work product called MyWorkProduct in MyContentPackage by:




  9. Add a task called MyTask in MyContentPackage, assign MyRole to this task, and define MyWorkProduct as the output of this task by:












Preparing your content for publication

  1. Create a custom category called MyCustomCategory and assign MyRole, MyTask and MyWorkProduct to MyCustomCategory by:








  2. Open MyConfiguration in the editor by double-clicking on it.

  3. In the "Plugin and package selection" tab, select MyPlugin in the Content section.

  4. In the Views tab, click on the "Add view" button.

  5. In the new window, select "Custom categories" as "Method element type". In the bottom part of the new window, select MyCustomCategory and press the OK button.

  6. Save the configuration by selecting File→Save.

Publishing your plugin

  1. Initiate publication by selecting Configuration→Publish...

  2. Select MyConfiguration and press the Next> button.

  3. Select "Publish the entire configuration" and press the Next> button.

  4. Specify MyTitle in the Title field and press the Next> button.

  5. The default publication location is the Publish folder. Append "\Myplugin" to the proposed location and press the Next> button.

  6. If all goes well, your plugin should appear in your default web browser. Experiment by navigating the three content elements that were created.