Noob help installing Eclipse to code KNIME node

Hi all,

Noob at Eclipse, but I’ve been coding in Java for over two decades and IntelliJ for over one.

KNIME is amazing work (thanks!) and I’m eager to write my own nodes.

But following the directions here:

Things went smoothly until I got to the third bullet in step 4, the instruction:
" Double click the target platform definition file ( .target files In the imported org.knime.sdk.setup project)

It’s not clear where that file is! (I’m guessing trivially obvious to Eclipse or KNIME veterans…)


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OR, if anyone has created/installed/used custom nodes in IntelliJ and can point me to a startup resource there, that’s probably even better. (Already know way too many tools; finger-macro namespace collisions worsening… ; )

It would be a dreamy world could we use IntelliJ to do this development, but as far as i know, there are no IntelliJ extensions to handle Eclipse plugin building.

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The .target files should be viewable in your Project Explorer under the org.knime.sdk.setup project, like here:



To show what an utter Beginner I am at Eclipse, I can’t even find the Project Explorer…

Tried Window->Show View->Project Explorer, but no dice: left me looking at:

I infer that KNIME nodes are actually Eclipse plugins?

If so, neat; found this:

:- ) no worries - we all have stared at Eclipse like a chicken with a fork sometime in our lives. Click either the Workbench with an orange arrow box, or the little J icon in the collapsed left pane. Make sure you uncheck that “Always show the Welcome”… in the lower right first.


They are plugins - so you could give that a shot. You would lose the ability to launch KNIME from your IDE with and will need do a slightly more time consuming process of, for each execution of the plugin:

  • build the plugin
  • drop the plugin in the “dropins” folder of an existing KNIME
  • run KNIME

and in the past to cycle a new version of the plugin, i would need:

  • quit KNIME
  • delete the plugin jar from “dropins”
  • run KNIME
  • quit KNIME
  • then do the first section’s steps
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Good; I’ll park that now as an uncertain path toward more comfortable coding, and will report back if I’m successful.

Meanwhile, a little progress; got to the last bullet in 4, but
click Set as Active Target Platform (upper-right corner)
has me blocked.
It doesn’t seem to be there (hovered over every icon; “upper-right corner” with respect to what?)
Googled to find how to do that setting, but

expects me to know how to get to the Target Definition Editor
(Eclipse’s File->New->Other… doesn’t have the Plug-in Development
they expect.

I’m now staring at

It seems like you don’t have an Eclipse that is setup for plugin development - are you sure you downloaded the “RCP and RAP” development version?

Oops–hold it: didn’t install the RCP and RAP version.

Assuming that’ll take me forward. Will post again if I get blocked again.


Overlapped typing. Thanks!

Hooray: I’m now successfully formatting numbers,
having built the NumberFormatter extension node.

May never get to doing it in IntelliJ; I only need
small extensions and there’s considerable value
in using the same platform advisors are using…

I’ll look around for a way to close this thread.

Many thanks, again!


Since you sounded wistful and I also prefer IntelliJ, I followed up. Success! (Mostly…)

I followed the steps in the second, longer post by Justin here:

And had to chase down the location of the jar that contained the plugin and KNIME classes; may have included more than necessary (this is not my forte).

In the end I added these Global Libraries as well as the ECLIPSE one he suggests:

Since I’m on Windows 10, I couldn’t use a Bash command to launch KNIME from within IntelliJ, so I created a run config that uses PowerShell to call the batch file he suggests creating:

And I’m now able to compile and run my custom node (PoolProxySocket_00) in IntelliJ!

Home again; very pleasant.

Just wish I could debug; couldn’t get that to work, though Justin could.

Amazing my blind thrashing got me this far–perhaps someone who knows what they’re doing might build on this and take us that final step!



This is great - thanks!

Wow, great job!

Heretical and OT question: Has anyone here managed to set up VS Code for Eclipse plugin development? :slight_smile:

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8 posts were split to a new topic: Recommendation for KNIME Development