Creating Liferay projects is a straightforward process, similar to creating other Eclipse project types. Plugins for Liferay Portal must be created inside of a Liferay project. A Liferay project is essentially a root directory with a standardized structure containing the project’s (and each of its plugins’) necessary files. Since each plugin type requires a different folder and file structure, let’s create a project to illustrate the process.

If you’ve been following our Liferay IDE configuration instructions, your Plugins SDK and Liferay portal server have already been configured in Liferay IDE. Now let’s create a new Liferay plugin project in Liferay IDE. We’ll create the Event Listing portlet project, which we’ll use throughout this guide.

  1. Go to FileNewLiferay Plugin Project.

  2. In the project creation wizard, you’ll name and configure your project.

    We’ll create a plugin project that we’ll use throughout this guide. First, we’ll create a bare bones plugin project; then, we’ll manually add an additional plugin to the project and add additional configurations.

    2.1. Provide both a Project Name, which is used to name the project’s directory, and a Display Name, which is used to identify the plugin when adding it to a page in Liferay Portal. Our demonstration project will have the project name event-listing-portlet and the display name Event Listing.

    2.2. Leave the Use default location checkbox checked. By default, the default location is set to your current workspace. If you’d like to change where your plugin project is saved in your file system, uncheck the box and specify your alternate location.

    2.3. Select the Ant (liferay-plugins-sdk) option for your build type. If you’d like to use Maven for your build type, navigate to the Developing Plugins Using Maven section for details.

    2.4. Your newly configured SDK and Liferay Runtime should already be selected. If you haven’t yet pointed Liferay IDE to a Plugins SDK, click Configure SDKs to open the Installed Plugin SDKs management wizard. You can also access the New Server Runtime Environment wizard if you need to set up your runtime server; just click the New Liferay Runtime button next to the Liferay Portal Runtime dropdown menu.

    2.5. Under Plugin Type, indicate which plugin type your project will hold by selecting one from the list. You can choose from Portlet, Service Builder Portlet, Hook, Layout Template, Theme, or Ext. Liferay IDE provides handy wizards for creating new Liferay projects. Our demonstration project will hold service builder portlets for the Nose-ster organization, so make sure Service Builder Portlet is selected.


    Figure 10.5: The wizard for creating a new service builder portlet project uses the information you specify to customize various configuration files in the new project.

Great! You’ve created a Liferay portlet project!

You can find more information on Liferay’s plugin frameworks in the chapter on portlet development. In that chapter, we’ll discuss the plugin creation wizard in more detail.

Note: We’re creating the event-listing-portlet project now so that we can highlight how Liferay IDE simplifies project creation. For more information on creating portlets, please see the chapter of this guide on portlets. Similarly, for more information on themes, layout templates, hooks, or Ext plugins, please refer to the appropriate chapter of this guide.

Our event-listing-portlet plugin project should appear in the Eclipse package explorer. The project was created in the plugins SDK you configured, under the directory corresponding to the plugin type the project contains. Here’s the generalized directory structure for portlet projects created in Liferay IDE/Developer Studio:

    • docroot/WEB-INF/src
    • build.xml - Common project file
    • docroot/
      • css/
        • main.css
      • view.jsp
      • js/
        • main.js
      • META-INF/
        • MANIFEST.MF
      • WEB-INF/
        • lib/
        • tld/
          • aui.tld
          • liferay-portlet-ext.tld
          • liferay-portlet.tld
          • liferay-security.tld
          • liferay-theme.tld
          • liferay-ui.tld
          • liferay-util.tld
        • liferay-display.xml
        • - Common project file
        • liferay-portlet.xml
        • portlet.xml
        • web.xml
      • icon.png
      • view.jsp

All projects, regardless of type, are created with a build.xml and a file–we’ve highlighted each of them with the note Common project file in the directory structure above. The build.xml file allows Liferay IDE to use Ant to automatically compile and deploy your plugins. Another default file is This file contains important metadata for your project. Liferay IDE’s properties view gives you a simple interface to inspect or specify the file’s fields, including your project’s dependencies and deployment context, display name, and Liferay version. If you publish your project as an app to Liferay Marketplace, the value of the name property in is used as the app’s name. The value of the liferay-versions property is used on Liferay Marketplace to specify the versions of Liferay on which your application is intended to run.

If you’re following along with the creation of the event-listing-portlet, we’re not done yet! We still need to add additional plugins to our project, but first, let’s deploy your new plugin project to your Liferay Server.

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