As described in the overview, p2 provides facilities for software dependency management, and for performing all of the necessary steps to get an application physically installed and configured into an end user's system. The information that describes the dependencies between application components, and the steps required to properly configure a running system is called the p2 metadata.
In many cases this metadata can be computed directly from the information in your plug-in and feature manifests, and an extra step is simply required to publish this data into a format suitable for consumption by p2. In other cases, a plug-in or application developer may need to author or customize the p2 metadata for their software. The following sections describe in more detail how to author and publish p2 metadata for your application or plug-in.