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Home » General (non-technical) » Eclipse Foundation » Recommendations to mass deploy Eclipse plugin to 1000's of users with-in a company(Recommendations for deploying Eclipse plugins to 1000's of users within a company.)
Recommendations to mass deploy Eclipse plugin to 1000's of users with-in a company [message #1797934] Thu, 08 November 2018 18:47 Go to next message
Shami Willms is currently offline Shami WillmsFriend
Messages: 1
Registered: July 2009
Junior Member
Our company produces a plugin and is looking to put it on the public marketplace. But the question comes up often about what guidance we should provide our customers for how to easily deploy an Eclipse plugin across their organization.

Is there good tools or instructions of how to encourage easy/broad adoption of an Eclipse plugin across 1000's of developers? It takes a lot time and is error prone to get each developer to manually install the plugin themselves (or they just don't do it).

Are there methods or recommended deployment practices or even tools (free or paid) that can really help large organizations deploy Eclipse plugins automatically to all of their developers?

Windows and Visual Studio has solved this well because they have a known installation for VS and their plugin is also a binary that can be automatically run by IT for easy deployment. But Eclipse and IntelliJ seem to be IDE's that have a bit of a harder time to emulate that easy of deployment scenario for customers. I look forward to hearing if there are good suggestions for companies to solve this problem.

Thanks for your help.
Re: Recommendations to mass deploy Eclipse plugin to 1000's of users with-in a company [message #1797994 is a reply to message #1797934] Fri, 09 November 2018 15:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mickael Istria is currently offline Mickael IstriaFriend
Messages: 860
Registered: July 2009
Location: Grenoble, France
Senior Member

By default, there is no way in Eclipse IDE to force a user to install something, nor for a 3rd party to control what should be installed on an IDE instance.
Even if there is a solution providing that, it wouldn't be by default in the IDE, and you'll need to force the developers to install the solution to get your plugin. You basically get the exact same problem at another level.

If you want to force your developers to use a specific plugin, the best thing is to produce your own IDE based on Eclipse IDE (basically a variation of the Eclipse IDE), and make developers use this.
But if you fail at keeping up to date with Eclipse IDE releases, then your developers will prefer the more recent and better Eclipse IDE over your solution. So making a dedicated package requires real will to keep up-to-date with Eclipse IDE release to be successful.

But in general, such approach of forcing developers to install this or that plugin with technical solution is not optimal. Educative human approach with plugins that really are designed to be discoverable by your target audience and that really provide them a lot of value are more sustainable. If the thing is easy to discover and provides value, it should canonically become successful, get installed by the target audience.
Once a plugin was installed then, if you deal properly with update-sites, newer versions should be automatically suggested for upgrades. Eclipse IDE has an automatic upgrade mechanism built-in, users get informed of possible updates of any plugin and are recommanded to perform them. So for you, as a provider, the update case is already covered and you only need to focus on how to get the 1st install.

Quote:
t takes a lot time and is error prone to get each developer to manually install the plugin themselves (or they just don't do it).


If -as providers of the plugins- you have a good understanding of typical user installations, do things right in term of dependencies management, test correctly the installation scenarios before publishing, then things are not error-prone and fast (a matter of seconds, minutes at worst). The depndency manager in Eclipse IDE is actually very robust, and when provided the right information, it's quite hard to make the installation fail.
If your users have issues with installation, it's most likely because the plugin you design should be improved on that matter. Having a specific solution to force installation wouldn't improve that, nor help to save time nor reduce risk of errors.
Re: Recommendations to mass deploy Eclipse plugin to 1000's of users with-in a company [message #1797997 is a reply to message #1797994] Fri, 09 November 2018 16:40 Go to previous message
Ed Merks is currently offline Ed MerksFriend
Messages: 32163
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
With Oomph you can define your own Products (combinations of features to install):

https://wiki.eclipse.org/Eclipse_Oomph_Authoring#Hosting_your_own_index_.2F_catalogs

With that you could just reuse the Eclipse Installer to install your Product(s) easily

You could make it even simpler by providing a Configuration to help the user choose what should be selected in the Installer's dialog. E.g., to set up an specialized EMF development environment I have simple instructions for doing that:

https://ci.eclipse.org/emf/

This creates an installation with the tools installed that are needed to work with EMF's source. It also includes the necessary Project setups to work with EMF's source code.

A number of of large companies use this approach to ensure that easy developer has the same consistent setup...


Ed Merks
Professional Support: https://www.macromodeling.com/
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