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The Rich Get Richer: Eclipse Rich AJAX Platform Builds on RCP : Page 4

The new Eclipse Rich AJAX Platform (RAP) is a server-side platform that multiple concurrent users can access via their browsers and Eclipse RCP developers can learn in no time.


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Advanced RAP Features
The previous examples showed only the basic features of Eclipse RAP, but many advanced features are worth noting:
  • Skinning and templates: RAP applications resemble very closely the look and feel of desktop applications. If you want a different skin, you can define custom CSS templates to render the UI. Figure 6 shows an example.

    Click to enlarge

    Figure 6. An Example of UI Skinning:
    You can define custom CSS templates to render the UI.

  • Extendibility: If the default set of widgets is not sufficient for your needs, with a bit of Java and DHTML you can define your own widgets for custom purposes (and maybe share them with others).


  • Deployment: RAP applications can be deployed as WAR files to run in any J2EE application server. When deployed in this fashion, the Equinox OSGi framework will run from within the J2EE servlet container.

Eclipse Evolves
What initially was an IDE for Java applications (the first versions of Eclipse) transformed into a robust and scalable platform for general-purpose client applications (Eclipse RCP), and now the same technology powers a server-side platform that multiple concurrent users can access via their browsers (Eclipse RAP). This article explored the basics of this platform and walked you through its strengths and weaknesses with real-world examples. As Eclipse RAP gains momentum, keep an eye out for new features.



Riccardo Govoni has been working since 2003 as a J2EE developer on a variety of applications ranging from financial services to middleware in the IP television field. He currently works for Google as a software engineer. He is a Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP).
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