As Visual COBOL for Eclipse is based on an Eclipse package containing the Eclipse Plug-in Development Environment (PDE), it enable you to develop AWM plug-ins directly in the product itself.
This has the advantage that no particular set up is required for creating, testing, and even deploying new AWM plug-ins. On the other hand, Visual COBOL for Eclipse is not a complete Eclipse Software Development Kit (SDK), and lacks the source code and JavaDoc of the standard Eclipse API and related frameworks as can be seen in the following screenshots:
The following shows a Java snippet with code completion without Java Doc:
The following shows the development environment set up with Java Doc:
The requirement to set up a full Eclipse Software Development Kit (SDK) is dependent on your intended use and is not a prerequisite for this guide. This guide will operate in a standard Visual COBOL environment.
To create a plug-in development, first open a Plug-in Development perspective:
This opens the Open Perspective dialog box.
This opens the New Plug-in Project dialog box.
This creates the Eclipse plug-in project and displays it in Project Explorer.
The Eclipse plug-in manifest overview is opened in the editor window.
This editor enables you to view and change various plug-in related settings.
This opens the Plug-in Selection dialog box.
Specifying required plug-in version ranges ensures that a plug-in can only be installed in a tested, compatible environment. Removing version ranges will allow the plug-in to be installed regardless of the versions, but may lead to application errors if referenced APIs have changed or do not exist in the target environment.