Developing Plug-Ins - Get your Plug-In running

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This tutorial is brought to you by Jan Thielemann from evenos GmbH ( If you have questions, criticism or improvement suggestions, feel free to visit me (Jan.thielemann) or write me an email

Goal of this tutorial

The goal of this tutorial is to show you, how you get your new plug-in started. After creating your plug-in project you might ask yourself: how do i get this plug-in running? Either you want to create a ModelValidator, a Callout, a Process or a Report, you often need to set the fully qualified class name in iDempiere so it can load your custom class. If you develop customizations you should place your custom classes in a new plug-in so you also can get the newest changes from the trunk without struggling with merging conflicts. I will show you a way you can do this.


Before you start developing ModelValidators or whatever, you should take a look at Developing Plug-Ins without affecting trunk and Developing Plug-Ins - Create a Feature Project to follow our best practice when developing a new plug-in.

The workflow

After creating your plug-in, start by opening you MANIFEST.MF. It should similar to this:


The first thing you should do is to add all necessary dependencies. To do this, switch to the Dependencies tab of your manifest and add them. In our case, add the org.adempiere.base project and the org.adempiere.plugin.utils project:


Switch back to the Overview tab. Check the "This plug-in is a singleton" checkbox and save. Select the AdempiereActivator as the activator class. We often use the AdempiereActivator because if you have a in your META-INF folder, the Activator does the pack in automatically:


Basically thats all you need to do in the manifest. Now go to the run configurations, select the swing client or the server and go to the Plug-ins tab. Here you search your plug-in and make it active:


Now you can run the swing client / server. Before you login into the client, click in the console window, type in "ss" and hit return:


You will get a list of all available plug-ins. Find your plug-in in the list and remember the number:


Now type in "start 94" or whatever your number is, to start your plug-in. After you see the osgi prompt again, your plug-in started. You can check again by typing in "ss" again and see if your plug-in is now active:


Thats is, your plug-in is now available. Take a look at our other plug-in development tutorials to see which additional steps are necessary if you want to use ModelValidators, Processes, Callouts or other classes from your plug-in. If you want to start your plug-in automatically take a look the the run configurations and set its Autostart to true. You can also check the "Activate this plug-in when one of its classes is loaded" checkbox in the MANIFEST.MF.

Distribution of plugins

Server / WebUI

Before you can install your plug-in, you have to export it from your workspace. To do so, take a look at Developing Plug-Ins - Create a Feature Project.

Apache Felix Web Console

Open your browser and visit the following url. Replace localhost:8080 with your server name and port.


The login is SuperUser and the password you have set for the SuperUser.

Click on the install/update button. The jar from the plugins folder of your p2 repository and upload it. Configure your starting behaviour and click install/update. Refresh the page and search your plug-in. It should have the state active. If not, try to start it with the "play" button.

Install via p2 repository

You can also install an exported feature directly from its p2 repository. To do so, go to your servers idempiere home directory. Use the following command to install a feature:

java -Dosgi.noShutdown=false -Dosgi.compatibility.bootdelegation=true -Dosgi.install.area=director -jar plugins/org.eclipse.osgi_3.7.*.jar 
-application org.eclipse.equinox.p2.director -consoleLog -profileProperties org.eclipse.update.install.features=true 
-destination file:/path/to/idempiere-server -repository file:/path/to/feature/p2 -i

To uninstall a feature, use:

java -Dosgi.noShutdown=false -Dosgi.compatibility.bootdelegation=true -Dosgi.install.area=director -jar plugins/org.eclipse.osgi_3.7.*.jar 
-application org.eclipse.equinox.p2.director -consoleLog -profileProperties org.eclipse.update.install.features=true 
-destination file:/path/to/idempiere-server -repository file:/path/to/feature/p2 -u

Notice that the commands above has to be written in one line so if you want to copy it, paste it in an editor first and remove the line breaks. The destination and repository paths can also be URLs. The name of the feature is the ID of your feature in your feature.xml followed by ""

Add plug-ins during compilation

See Swing-Client.

Swing Client

Add plug-ins during compilation

The Swing Client is currently built using a Buckminster Action. If you want your own plug-ins to be compiled into the client you have to do the following:

  • Open the org.adempiere.ui.swing-feature project
  • Open the feature.xml
  • Switch to the Plug-ins tab and add your plug-ins, save
  • Open the swingclient.product and switch to the Configuration tab
  • Add your plug-ins and configure their start level and auto-start behaviour, save

Now right click the org.adempiere.ui.swing-feature project. Select Buckminster > invoke action. Select a properties file with your targeted operating system and select the or create.product action. Eclipse will now create a client with your own plug-ins

Add plug-ins to existing clients

You have to compile and export your plugins from Eclipse by

  • Right click on the plugin(s) in Project Explorer
  • Export -> Plug-in Development -> Deployable plug-ins and fragments
  • Export to the plugins directory of your client
  • Add the plugins to the plugin-configuration.

The configuration is located directly in


or in a separate bundles file which normally resides in


Note the format of the file