Getting Eclipse IDE
We have completed all the lessons on the site using Java commands within a command prompt window so we could see how Java worked 'under the hood'. This is a great way to really understand how for example we get our source files to compile and how to point to different Jar files we need via the classpath.
In the real world Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are in common usage for developing code and automate a lot the implementation details for us. This helps make us more productive and now we know what is going on 'under the hood' is not something that will seem to happen magically, we will know it is just automated for us by the IDE.
One of the most popular IDEs that we can use to make development of our Java applications easier is the Eclipse IDE and the latest download is easy to get and totally free to use.
Eclipse Downloads Site
We can download the latest version of Ecipse from the Eclipse Downloads site where you can select your operating system specifics.
The following screenshot shows the home page for the Eclipse download site with Windows specified as the operating system:
We will want the Eclipse IDE for Java EE developers, which is for developing web applications using the Enterprise Edition of Java and at the time of writing the Eclipse IDE edition is called
As I am using a Windows 64 bit system this is the option I chose from the initial screen.
Clicking on the version you require for your operating system will bring up a screen with the nearest available mirror site for your location, similar to the following screenshot:
Download the appropriate Eclipse version for your system, which in my case is a 64-bit Windows system and is used as the example for the download, verification and installation. Once you have selected your mirror site you will be presented with a screen similar to the following (Windows 7):
Click on the Save File radio button and press OK.
With Eclipse downloaded we now need to verify our downloaded file. We are going to do this using an MD5 check summing utility. The following link Freeware Windows MD5 checksumming utility will allow us to get an MD5 utility so just click on the download for it on the page. On Windows 7, once the file is downloaded run the MD5 check summing utility and point it to wherever your download for Eclipse is and you will get a screenshot something like the following:
Go back to the Download Eclipse page and
click on the MD5 link next to the download you chose for Eclipse. From the link that appears cut and paste the MD5 checksum into the
Compare panel of the MD5 utility and press the
Compare button and hopefully you will see a screenshot similar to the following:
Although this method of verification is not cast iron, by getting the screenshot above we will assume security has been met and the file is valid.
With Eclipse verified we now need to install our download, so go back to the zipped file we downloaded for Eclipse. On Windows 7, right click the download and open the containing folder. Right click on the zip file and click the Extract All... option. Where you extract the distribution to is your choice, but I extracted the zip file to my hard drive as shown in the following screenshot:
On my Windows 7 system and using the above path the Eclipse application executable gets placed in the
C:\eclipse-jee-luna-SR2-win32-x86_64\eclipse directory, so wherever you see this file path used you just need to replace it with the directory you unzipped Eclipse to.
Lesson 1 Complete
In this lesson we downloaded and installed the Eclipse IDE.
In the next lesson we look at running Eclipse for the first time and configuring the IDE for use with our Java applications.