Setting up your MobileFirst development environment

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In this tutorial, you learn the basics of the IBM MobileFirst development environment: supported Eclipse versions, installation of Eclipse and MobileFirst Studio, a tour of the Eclipse UI, and a review of some of the possibilities for using MobileFirst Studio.

Development environment: choice of operating system

MobileFirst Studio is supported on the following operating systems:

  • Windows
  • OS X
  • Linux

Note: Using MobileFirst Studio, it is possible to create projects and applications for iOS also on Windows or Linux. However, due to restrictions set by Apple you can compile an iOS applications only in OS X using the Xcode IDE.

Introduction to Eclipse

Eclipse features:

  • A multipurpose integrated development environment (IDE)
  • Open source
  • Development efficiency:
    • Editor
    • Debugger
    • Source Control

Introduction to MobileFirst Platform Studio

MobileFirst Studio is an Eclipse plug-in that supports the development of rich, mobile web, native, and hybrid apps. It contains an embedded version of MobileFirst Server.
You use MobileFirst Studio to:

  • Create and modify applications
  • Deploy applications to the embedded MobileFirst Server
  • Preview and manage applications by using MobileFirst Console
  • Create custom server-side Java code that can be used by MobileFirst adapters
  • Create and modify MobileFirst adapters
  • Deploy MobileFirst adapters to the embedded MobileFirst Server
  • Test MobileFirst adapter procedures

Downloading Eclipse and MobileFirst Platform Studio

Before you install MobileFirst Studio you must install Eclipse. Instructions for installing a supported version of eclipse and the MobileFirst Studio plug-in are included with the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Edition:

Get the Developer Edition

For more information about downloading and installing the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Consumer Edition and the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Enterprise Edition, visit the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation user documentation website.

Eclipse Overview

The following screen captures depict the Eclipse interface.
Click on an image to see a larger version.



The term workspace is used to describe the environment where all of your work is done. The workspace contains the menu bar, toolbars, and one or more perspectives.

Menubar and toolbar

Comply with typical graphical user interface (GUI) applications. Provide the commands to perform standard tasks such as saving and editing files.


A perspective is a special layout of particular views and tools that you need to use in your work. The currently open perspective occupies most of the Eclipse workbench. You can have more than one perspective open at a time, but only the active one is visible. You can access other open perspectives by using the toolbar on the upper-right side of the workbench.


Views are designed to support interaction with information in your workbench. Eclipse is extensible, so that views can be designed to show nearly any information. Most common views are views of the file system, program output, and text files (generally dealt with in a special view called an editor). To add a view, select Window > Show View.


Editors are a special view, which is designed for viewing and editing data. One of the most common uses of an editor is for editing source code.


If you are working on a Windows platform, before you begin to create projects and work with your Eclipse installation, go to Window > Preferences > General > Workspace, and change the text file encoding to UTF-8.



CTRL + F: find
CTRL + K: find next
CTRL + J: incremental find next
CTRL + L: go to line
CTRL + SHIFT + R: open resource
CTRL + Q: last edit location
ALT + ← (left): back
ALT + → (right): forward

Note: The CTRL key is for Linux and Windows. On a Mac computer, use the CMD key instead.

Last modified on December 02, 2015