Documentum Composer and Ganymede

Release 6.5 of Documentum Composer contains bug fixes to allow it to run on Ganymede (Eclipse 3.4).  Just to be absolutely clear this isn’t a platform that will be supported by our Tech Support organization because Composer hasn’t actually been certified on it; i.e. it hasn’t been through QA in this configuration.  But I checked in the bug fixes and I’ve been developing and running Composer on it for 3 or 4 months now.  I haven’t found a problem yet so I am pretty confident that it will work for you.

To upgrade to Ganymede, download and unzip the Eclipse IDE for Java EE from here.

Launch it and use the new (p2) Update Manager to download EMF Validations, which is the only dependency required by Composer not included in the Java EE package.  Help ->Software Updates->Available Software->Ganymede->Uncategorized->EMF Validation Framework SDK 1.2.0.

Eclipse will now restart.

Once it restarted close it again.  Now copy all folders and jars beginning “com.emc.ide%” from the features and plugins folders of your existing Composer 6.5 install into the dropins folder of your Eclipse for Java EE install.  Note that prior to Eclipse 3.4 we used to drop these resources into the the corresponding features and plugins folders.  However, Eclipse 3.4 introduced a new provisioning system called p2 and a new configurator.  These have deprecated the capability to just drop features and plugins into these corresponding folders.  These were deprecated in favour of this new “dropins” folder.

That’s it.  You should be all set.

Happy Composing.

26 thoughts on “Documentum Composer and Ganymede

  1. I’ve seen in an earlier post that you run composer in Mac. Can you also run Process Builder & Forms Builder under Mac (& Linux)? I would quite like to stay in a Linux VM image for all Documentum development but several Documentum products are only packaged for Windows.



    • Hi Mark,
      I am not an expert on either of those products I’m afraid.

      If they are D6-based codelines; i.e. java dmcl, and they dont use any other native code then I would say it would be very possible to run them both on a Mac. If you do encounter problems (case sensitivity issues with paths for example) then I would encourage you to log bugs to have these fixed, as it all helps in the long run. However, assuming they certify on at least one unix-based platform anyway I would assume the chances of success are relatively high.

      You can always give it a go and post to the EDN forums for help. That is what it is there for.


      • I had asked David Louie at the time and he pointed out that there is one binary dependency being dmbasic.exe.
        Composer on a Mac… interesting… do tell… 🙂
        I think someone should open a blog and discuss things that people do which are not officially support. I am sure there would be quite a few gems in there.

      • I am sure. I will try to post more “unsupported but useful” topics in the future. Thanks for the feedback.

        Reference Mac. Composer (& eclipse) are just java applications therefore theoretically run on any platform. Badly coded apps often run into path problems where the original developer made assumptions about an O.S. Composer is fine on this front (AFAIK).

        Composer uses dmbasic.exe during migration of a docapp and during installs that use pre/post-install procedures. And currently Composer only ships with a windows version of dmbasic (i.e. dmbasic.exe). Now if you don’t do either of these things then this dependency is irrelevant. If you do then you can add a version of dmbasic compliant with your Content Servers (dmbasic ships is bundled Content Server).

        Over time we may do one of two things; we may started shipping dmbasics for other operating systems or we may allow developer to associate a dmbasic install with their Composer (in the same sort of way that you associate a JDK with a java project for example).


  2. Have you updated to Eclipse 3.4.2 yet? I seem to have difficulties running it like that (fresh setup). (No support request but simply trying to figure if it works at all in this config) 🙂


      • When I launch it, I get the following:

        org.eclipse.equinox.internal.provisional.p2.core.ProvisionException: No repository found at file:/C:/Dev/eclipse/dropins/com.emc.ide.artifact.feature_1.0.0/

        – the same for all of the features.

        (Install now only offers 1.2.1 of the EMF Validation Framework via Uncategorized – 1.2.0 can be reached via Enabling Features but with the same result – figured I try it before I get back to you.)

        Looks like Eclipse is running using JRE 1.6.0_13


      • Thanks Paul, it works now.

        How would you suggest to create web projects (webtop , rpsa, da, etc) in this environment: documentum or dynamic web project type, create from existing webtop project or build it from scratch, etc?

        Also where can we get source code for jar files that are located in the web-inf/lib?

        Any help on this will be greatly appreciated since our team never had any exposure to wdk development.

        thank you


      • My personal preference (and the way I think things are going anyway) is to view a solution as a set of projects and not as any one single project, Documentum or otherwise.

        I’m of the opinion that if you were to try and fit everything into a single project or if we were to try make a Documentum project all things to all men then we will all fail, or at least end up with a terrible development experience.

        Hence over time I think you will see Documentum/Composer move towards a development paradigm spread across many smaller, linked projects; artifact projects, bof projects, web project, ear projects, services projects, xdb projects, etc. Typically these will be aligned to their unit of deployment.

        Therefore my recommendation would be to create a web project for you web resources, a Documentum project for your Repository artifacts, etc.

        As for the other questions;
        – Typically we don’t ship source code. With respect to some products this is a shame IMO but this particular decision is definitely above my pay grade. You need to Mark Lewis on that one 🙂
        – It is possible to import a .war file to create a web project from it. This may bootstrap you but at some point you will definitely need to take control of the project and drive it yourself.


    • Hi,
      could you, please, explain how you downloded EMF Validation Framework via Uncategorized – 1.2.0 via Enabling Features?

      thank you


      • What I did in my recent test for Ingo was this:-

        1. Navigate to Help->Software Updates->Available Software
        2. Expand ‘Ganymede Update Site’
        3. Under that expand ‘Uncategorized’
        4. Under that select ‘EMF Validation Framework SDK’
        5. Click Install


  3. Launching Eclipse with Java 5 made no difference (easy test, nothing else expected) 😦

    Did you guys make up site.xml or something?

    • Nope, reinstall of Eclipse 3.4.2 + EMF Valid. SDK 1.2.1.v200807161729 brought the only difference of the exceptions now showing up within Eclipse (proabably didn’t seem them before -> Error.log).

      • Hi Ingo,

        In amongst a bunch of other tasks I’ve re-installed Composer on eclipse 3.4.2 this morning. Here is the process I followed:-

        1. Installed eclipse 3.4.2
        2. Launched eclipse and used Software Updates & Ganymede Update Site to install EMF Validations SDK 1.2.1 (1.2.1. is fine BTW).
        3. Under eclispe/dropins folder created /composer/eclipse/features & /composer/eclipse/plugins folder structures
        4. Copied composer features into step 3 features folder
        5. Copied composer plugins into step 3 plugins folder
        6. Launched eclipse which registered the composer features & plugins.

        I double checked this in Help->About->Plugins where you should see them listed. And I also created a Documentum Project.

        Incidentally, you should run Composer on a JDK, not a JRE.

        Note that features don’t appear in Help->About->Features but they are there. If you check the p2 (eclispe 3.4’s software updates mechanism) profile you will find them listed.


      • Wiped everything “wipeable” (.metadata, workspace, eclipse config) and it seems to be working now (EMF installed had timed out once).

        It must have picked up a JDK somewhere as it did compile my Java sample code.

        Thanks for all your help and the updates.


  4. Hi Paul,
    I followed all your steps for installing Composer on eclipse 3.4.2 but it didn’t work: I don’t see the documentum features listed under the features and correspondindly don’t see an option to create documentum project.
    The error window shows multiple errors refering to missing features, like
    “No repository found at file:/C:/Eclipse-JEE-ganymede-SR2 with Composer 3.4.2/eclipse/dropins/com.emc.ide.infrastructureui.feature_1.0.0/.”
    No repository found at file:/C:/Eclipse-JEE-ganymede-SR2 with Composer 3.4.2/eclipse/dropins/com.emc.ide.artifactui.feature_1.0.0/.
    (I checked the folders and there is feature.xml file there).

    I tried both java 1.5 and java 1.6, also tried to put
    features and plugins under composer/eclipse/features and composer/eclipse/plugins or in dropins root without composer/eclipse/ folders, but still no luck.

    Any help on this will be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Rima,

      Note that eclipse tries to keep a very tight control on what’s installed into it. Unfortunately once things have gone wrong, repeated attempts to install (by restructuring dropins folder for example) may simply be unsuccessful because eclipse has got its records in a bit of a muddle.

      You probably need to rollback eclipse to a known state pre-composer install. Best thing to do is re-install eclipse it if you can. Or if you cant you’ll have to delete the erroneous p2 profiles that will have been created. These live under /p2/org.eclipse.equinox.p2.engine/profileRegistry/PlatformProfile.profile/. One of these .profile files gets created every install op. The latest being the current. If you delete your errorenous ones and then restart eclipse will pick itself up from the remaining latest. This should give you a fresh start point. I would recommend doing this before every new attempt. But hopefully once you reset to a known state and retry you will have more success.


  5. Hi Paul, Just wanted to say a big thank you. Yours and Dons postings have been very helpful. Remembered reading this a while back. Just used it now to get D6.6 Composer files work in Eclipse Helios (eclipse-jee-helios-win32-x86_64).
    Was really missing my svn tools in the out of the box Composer.

    1. Navigate to Help->Install New Software
    2. In “Work With” Select “–All Available Sites–”
    3. Enter “EMF Validation” as field “type filter text”
    4. Select ‘EMF Validation Framework SDK’
    5. Click Install

    Then copied in the EMC files as detailed in your blog

  6. Hello Paul
    this article is wonderful really. But I am having problem with eclipse Galileo. It just cant even install documentum. any suggestion will be appriciates !!!!

    • Hi Auddrey,

      Thanks for reading.

      An ‘-console -consoleLog’ arguments to your commandline when you launch eclipse. That should yeild a command window that eclipse/p2 will log to and you should see the root cause of your problems.


  7. Hey Paul,

    i tried these steps and so far they are working good…except for the part where “Import” option in COmposer shows “Import Artifacts from Repository” which does not come up in Eclipse. any tips ?

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