One of the best things about Eclipse is the vast number of plug-ins being developed for it. Unfortunately, the wide variety of plug-ins also represents a challenge, because it can be hard to find the right one for the job sometimes.
Following are some of the plug-ins we've found to be the most useful (as of the time of this writing). If you invest a little time up front installing and experimenting with these and other tools like them, chances are you'll save a lot more time in the long run by leveraging them to become more productive.
As of this writing our development team using the Eclipse Web Tools Platform that is distributed along with their "Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers" package. It is not so much a plug in as a platform that come bundled with the installation download. It includes JSP syntax highlighting and JSP validation, other forms of validation and many other features.
This is a powerful (and very large) set of over 200 Eclipse plug-ins that assist you with Java development of all kinds. A MyEclipse license is available as a yearly subscription (the rates are reasonable), from http://www.myeclipseide.com. Among the most useful tools for SoftSlate Commerce development are:
As of this writing, it is a bit tricky to get MyEclipse set up with an existing application's code base, with all its capabilities enabled. (It is much easier to start a new project from scratch.) Following are our recommendations for getting your Eclipse project set up as a MyEclipse Struts project:
MyEclipse -> Add Web project capabilities.
META-INFdirectory MyEclipse created.
WEB-INF/web.xml. MyEclipse will overwrite that file when you add Struts capabilities and you'll need to restore it.
MyEclipse -> Add Struts capabilities.
/core/struts-config.xmlfor the Struts configuration file, and uncheck the install Struts JARs and TLDs options.
WEB-INF/web.xmlfile that you had backed up.
com.yourcompany.strutsJava package created by the wizard.
Window -> Preferences -> MyEclipse -> Validationscreen.
To view any of the application's Struts configuration files visually using the MyEclipse Struts Editor, right-click on the configuration file, and select "MyEclipse Struts Editor" from the menu.
Hibernate provides several Eclipse plug-ins as part of their Hibernate Tools project ( http://www.hibernate.org/253.html). Among the most useful of these for SoftSlate Commerce development is the Hibernate Console. This is an Eclipse perspective that allows you to access your database through Hibernate. It is a great way to develop in the Hibernate Query Language (HQL), because it will translate your HQL to SQL, allowing you to test your queries against your database directly.
Struts Console is a popular program for validating and viewing an application's Struts configuration files. It provides a very basic (not a flow chart) visual representation of the file, which you can also use to edit it. A plug-in for Eclipse is available from http://www.jamesholmes.com/struts/console/.
If you're looking for a simple tool to provide syntax highlighting and content assist for JSP editing, this is a lightweight plug-in that might serve your needs just fine. It is available free of charge from http://amateras.sourceforge.jp/cgi-bin/fswiki_en/wiki.cgi?page=EclipseHTMLEditor . Note that this plug-in has a couple of dependencies that must be installed beforehand.
After installing the Amateras plug-in, you might try the following to activate content
assist automatically from within JSP tags. In Eclipse, navigate to
Preferences -> Amateras -> Code Assist , and add a space character to the "Auto
activation trigger" field. This will pull up the content assist menu as soon as you hit a
space character from within a JSP tag.