Products extension point

The preferred mechanism for defining a product based on the Eclipse platform is to contribute to the org.eclipse.core.runtime.products extension point. To do this, a plug-in simply declares the name and id of its product, as well as the id of the application extension that should be run when the product is invoked. This is the technique used by the Eclipse platform itself in defining the Eclipse product. Here is the extension definition found in org.eclipse.platform:

<extension id="ide" point="org.eclipse.core.runtime.products"> 
	<product name="%productName" application="org.eclipse.ui.ide.workbench" description="%productBlurb"> 
		<property name="windowImages" value="eclipse.png,eclipse32.png"/> 
		<property name="aboutImage" value="eclipse_lg.png"/> 
		<property name="aboutText" value="%productBlurb"/> 
		<property name="appName" value="Eclipse"/> 
		<property name="preferenceCustomization" value="plugin_customization.ini"/> 
	</product> 
</extension> 
A product extension is defined whose application id is "org.eclipse.ui.ide.workbench". This is the application id defined by the plug-in org.eclipse.ui.ide in its contribution to the org.eclipse.core.runtime.applications extension point.
<extension
	id="workbench"
	point="org.eclipse.core.runtime.applications">
	<application>
		<run
			class="org.eclipse.ui.internal.ide.IDEApplication">
		</run>
	</application>
</extension> 

This extension is defined with the same id that is referenced in the application property of the product extension. (The fully qualified name, with plug-in prefix, is used when referring to the application id from the other plug-in.) Using this mechanism, a separate plug-in can define all of the product-specific branding, and then refer to an existing plug-in's application as the application that is actually run when the product is started.

In addition to the application, the org.eclipse.core.runtime.products extension describes product customization properties that are used to configure the product's branding information. This information is described as named properties. Let's look again at that portion of the markup for the platform plug-in.

	<property name="windowImages" value="eclipse.png,eclipse32.png"/> 
	<property name="aboutImage" value="eclipse_lg.png"/> 
	<property name="aboutText" value="%productBlurb"/> 
	<property name="appName" value="Eclipse"/> 
	<property name="preferenceCustomization" value="plugin_customization.ini"/> 
The possible property names that are honored by the platform for product customization are defined in IProductConstants. See the javadoc for a complete description of these properties and their values. We'll look at these further in Customizing a product.