Last modified June 1, 2007
The Eclipse Platform makes heavy use of Java class loaders for loading plug-ins. Even the Eclipse Runtime itself and the OSGi framework need to be loaded by special class loaders. Client programs, such as a Java main program or a servlet, cannot directly reference any part of Eclipse directly. Instead, a client must use the EclipseStarter class in org.eclipse.core.runtime.adaptor to start the platform, invoking functionality defined in plug-ins, and shutting down the platform when done.
Clients that do not need to access any particular function, but just need to start the platform, can use org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.Main.run() in the bundle org.eclipse.equinox.launcher. However, clients that need to invoke specific functionality should use EclipseStarter. See the javadoc inside this class for details.