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Typically, when you set up a Java project in Eclipse, the Eclipse IDE adds a default Java Build Nature, and the project is configured for default automatic building. Eclipse though is capable of incorporating multiple build natures. Please the Eclipse Article on Natures for more information about build natures as a technology. This article is focused on utilizing this capability in Pentaho projects to make the development process easier.


The screen shot attached to this article is from Eclipse 3.2.2. This capability has been in Eclipse since Eclipse 3.0. Versions of Eclipse other than 3.2.2 may have different ways to define a new build nature. It is also assumed that a project has been downloaded from subversion into Eclipse.


  1. Right-click on the project in Eclipse and choose P+r+operties on the context menu.
  2. In the left panel, select Builders.
  3. In the right-panel, select +N+ew...
  4. Select Ant Build and click the OK button
  5. Fill out the tabbed dialog with information as follows:
    • Main Tab
      • You can select the build file using Browse Workspace, but what gets put in is a hard-coded file reference. Instead, it's better to use variables and set it manually. This is important if the file will be checked into SVN. As an example, use ${project_loc}/common_build.xml or ${project_loc}/build.xml if there's no common_build.xml.
      • In the Base Directory field, instead of the hard-coded project location, change the field to say ${project_loc}.
    • Refresh Tab
      • Select the check-box "Refresh resources upon completion."
      • Select the "The project containing the selected resource
    • Targets Tab
      • For the After a "Clean" box, choose the publish-local target.
      • For the Manual Build box, choose the publish-local target
      • For the During a Clean box, choose the clean-dist and clean-jars targets


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