Category:ATL This documentation aims at contributing to improve the comprehension of the ATL source code.

ATL Source Code

Plug-ins organization

Below is the list of the ATL plugins:

External dependencies

Historically, ATL imports two libraries : ANTLR version 2 and MDR. Those libraries are not authorized in Eclipse because of their non-compliance with the Eclipse IP policy. Consequently, ATL imposes users to download those libraries by themselves and install them into Eclipse plugin folder.

Today, ATL dependencies have been strongly reduced : ATL only needs ANTLR-runtime (version 3) library, which is compliant with the Eclipse IP policy and included into ATL source code. The MDR library is only necessary for the MDR Model Handler. According to the fact that most of people uses EMF Model Handler (which seems to be more powerful), MDR Model Handler has been separated into a single feature, which is not natively required for ATL.

TCS (Textual Concrete Syntax), a tool for parsing and extraction, is used to generate some ATL components (e.g. ATL-Parser). Unlike ATL, TCS uses both ANTLR library, in version 2 and newly in version 3. TCS is available on GMT. ATL doesn't have any dependency with TCS. Specific injectors depend on ANTLR too.

Install ATL from CVS

Import team project set

ATL provides team project sets in order to simplify access to the source code. You have to download a .psf file on your local disk, and then you can import projects in Eclipse using : File->Import->Team->Team Project Set

ANTLR installation

Note that the download of this plugin is embedded into atl.psf files. So, if you followed the previous instructions, you don't need to read the next steps. In Eclipse, antlr is managed by the Orbit project. To checkout this plugin, follow those steps :

MDR installation (Regular VM only)

Some external libraries are required for the plug-in org.eclipse.m2m.atl.drivers.mdr4atl but not available on the CVS repository. You need to download the jar files into the lib/ directory of this project.

Download from and put the included jar files into lib/ of plugin org.eclipse.m2m.atl.drivers.mdr4atl.

Note that is updated more often on the MDR website than in our development source. As a consequence, bugs may appear when using the last-in-date mdr-standalone version of MDR.

When you have finished this operation, there is normally no error left.

WARNING: The MDR model handler is no more maintained, so it may need to be fixed.


ATL is ready to be tested. There are two ways to use it:

In the screen Export Plug-ins and Fragments, check if all the projects are selected and choose the output folder.

Now you need to close Eclipse. Enter the "eclipse" directory (which contains plug-ins and features directories) then copy the created Jar files into the "plugins" directory. After that you can restart Eclipse.