10 Best Plugins for Eclipse IDE

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One of the popular integrated development environments for programmers and developers around the world is Eclipse IDE. It's free, flexible and supports plugins to enhance the existing capabilities. Whether you're doing hardcore system programming in C or are developing web portals with CSS and HTML, Eclipse provides you with user-friendly environment to code and maintain your entire project. The default Eclipse bundle contains the core framework that can be customized with powerful plugins to develop the right kind of IDE suited to your needs. This helps you write bug-free code to deliver stable software that works without any hiccups. Although there are thousands of plugins for Eclipse, you must take every care to select only the most necessary plugins that really contributes in making your coding activity more productive and professional.

Tree diagram with nodes
nWire for PHP - Developers handling very large PHP projects will find this plugin very helpful in easily maintaining the code tree dispersed in multiple files. This plugin tracks every single component within your PHP code and lets you navigate in a graphical format. The graph contains nodes and connections that show inter-dependencies and associations between different components. This way, you can easily visualize the entire code base both at the macro and micro level without scrolling through thousands of lines of code. Teams working on a big project will find this plugin very handy to keep track of independent modules in an easy way.

C/C++ code
Bracketeer for C/C++ (CDT) - As the name implies, this plugin is made for C/C++ programmers. No matter what language you're using, one often uses multiple nested brackets in different conditions. It's not just the brackets, but use of nested curly brackets is also common while writing C code. Managing and finding the correct parenthesis for debugging or for adding new code can be a pain if the nesting level is deep and we have to scroll up and down to track the corresponding match. This plugin helps you keep track of all the brackets in your code. It provides automated helpful hints to track the associated bracket within the nested arrangement.

Query analyzer for DBMS
Tadpole for DB Tools - If your project involves database integration, you must install this plugin to save your time and to optimize your SQL routines. This powerful plugin provides you with an all-in-one tool to connect manage and maintain data hosted on all popular database management systems like MySQL, Oracle, MSSQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL and MongoDB. All the database management tools are opened in a web browser where you can manage and test all the related tasks with ease. The plugin lets you perform query analyzing, table management and debugging. You can also manage triggers, procedures and custom database routines through this plugin.

File selection dialogue window
EGit - Git is one of the most popular version control system available to developers today. This plugin lets you integrate the power of this flexible code maintenance platform with your Eclipse IDE. You can easily share and collaborate with geographically dispersed teams after activating this plugin. You can also maintain complete history and revisions of each of your files through this plugin. This helps in easily roll backing the software version or in identifying bugs in the newer versions. Companies and individuals already having a Git pro account can safely archive and distribute their proprietary code through this useful extension.

IDE project window
Google Plugin for Eclipse - This powerful plugin is a must-have for developers building applications using Google App Engine and Google Cloud. It provides a complete suite of tools to transform your IDE into a central hub of creating and deploying apps on Google Cloud. Through it, you can easily import latest Google APIs with advanced testing tools to create robust cloud-based apps. It also helps you develop Android apps based on Google App Engine. You can also use various code optimization tools provided by Google directly through this flexible extension. I highly recommend using this plugin if you're working with Google products.

Wireframe or prototype
WireframeSketcher - Nowadays rapid prototyping includes creating mockups and wireframes to quickly visualize different components. This excellent plugin integrates an array of prototyping features to your IDE to speed up the entire software creation process. You can easily share the wireframes with the team and can take feedback right within the IDE. It's not just the desktop applications, but you can also build prototypes for tablets and mobile apps. The drag and drop interface makes it very easy to complete the mockup creation along with working on the actual coding. It's a perfect plugin for delivering working prototypes to the team.

Log file viewer
LogViewer - This is an important plugin for collecting and viewing logs from different sources. You can search the log files through keywords or through regular expressions which makes it quite flexible in finding the bugs. The colored records help you easily detect alarming code execution sequences. Large projects often require you to monitor multiple sub-modules execution. Fortunately, this plugin lets you open more than one log file viewer with custom search conditions. The log files opened through this plugin automatically scrolls the records as per your settings letting you inspect the warnings and errors with ease.

Unit testing window
MoreUnit - Unit tests are one of the best ways to weed out bugs and performance related issues. This intuitive plugin lets you easily create unit tests for any programming language you're using with Eclipse. The test cases created through this plugin are tightly integrated with the production code and any changes made to the code are instantly reflected in the unit tests. It prominently highlights the code undergoing tests so that you can easily access and modify it. If you want to create a test stub for a specific routine in your code, simply mark it with a cursor, right-click your mouse button and create the unit test through the context menu option.

Data visualization tree
Data Hierarchy - Projects that involve heavy use of complex and advanced data structures can benefit from this unique plugin. It lets you view the data structure dependencies in a hierarchical tree format that can be expanded and collapsed easily. Developers can use this plugin to visualize and inspect how the data structures are loaded recursively during program execution. This may help in code optimization as well as in detecting common bugs related to improper use of data and variables. It's best suited for object oriented programming languages where multiple classes inherit an array of data throughout the nested hierarchy.

IDE primary toolbar
Eclipse Screen Video Capturing Plugin - Sometimes, the development team need to send the program execution video to the senior analyst or to a client for their feedback and suggestions. Generally, we can do it through a screen recorder installed separately from Eclipse. But this handy plugin directly integrates the window recording facility within the primary toolbar. Once recording is complete, you can directly send the video to YouTube and various other popular video hosting services. You can also configure it to automatically save the recording in various common video formats and that too in a compressed state to save the disk space.


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