Getting Xcore to work in Bndtools

This example project shows how Xcore can work within Bndtools. It’s divided into two sub-goals:

  • Get Xcore to work via the Eclipse UI with Bndtools
  • Get Xcore to work via Bnd Gradle Plugin on the command line

Getting Xcore to Work via Eclipse UI

High level:

  • Create and configure an Xcore project
  • Add Xcore-related repositories and dependencies using Bndtools semantics
  • Customize for Equinox runtime
  • Compile and test the Xcore model

Create and Configure Xcore Project

(Note: the example uses the project name and package name of com.example.bndtools.xcore.model.)

  • Create a Bnd workspace based on the GitHub “bndtools/workspace” template
  • Create a new project: “Bnd OSGi Project” → “OSGi Standard Templates” → “Component Development”. Consider this the “Xcore project”
  • Via context menu on above project, select “Configure” → “Convert to Xtext Project”
  • Via context menu root project (which contains “cnf”), select “Configure” → “Convert to Gradle Project”
  • Create the following basic Xcore model in the Xcore project, saved in the “model/Model.xcore” file. (Note: the “model” directory is not a source directory.)
    package com.example.bndtools.xcore.model
    class One
      refers Two two opposite one 
    class Two
      refers One one opposite two

Add repositories and dependencies using bndtools semantics

  • Resolve the Xcore dependencies (i.e. @GenModel annotation) by adding the following repositories to build.bnd cnf project:
    -plugin.5.Xtext: \
      aQute.bnd.repository.p2.provider.P2Repository; \
        url =; \
        name = Xtext
    -plugin.6.EmfCore: \
      aQute.bnd.repository.p2.provider.P2Repository; \
        url =; \
        name = EmfCore
    -plugin.7.EmfBase: \
      aQute.bnd.repository.p2.provider.P2Repository; \
        url =; \
        name = EmfBase
    -plugin.8.EmfXcore: \
      aQute.bnd.repository.p2.provider.P2Repository; \
        url =; \
        name = EmfXcore
    # Downloads everything, will be slow
    # Currently only needed for the one JDT dependency 
    -plugin.9.Neon: \
      aQute.bnd.repository.p2.provider.P2Repository; \
        url =; \
        name = Neon
  • Add the following build dependencies to the Xcore project’s bnd.bnd:
    • org.eclipse.emf.ecore
    • org.eclipse.xtext.xbase.lib
    • org.eclipse.emf.ecore.xcore.lib
    • org.eclipse.emf.common
    • org.eclipse.xtext.ecore
    • org.eclipse.emf.codegen.ecore.xtext
    • org.eclipse.emf.ecore.xcore
    • org.eclipse.xtext
    • org.eclipse.xtext.xbase
    • org.eclipse.emf.codegen.ecore
    • org.eclipse.jdt.core

Customize For Equinox Runtime

  • Modify the Xcore bnd.bnd to include the following:
    # plugin.xml and its properties are needed
    # To generate these, edit and save Xcore model
    # Model not needed for runtime
    Include-Resource: plugin.xml,, OSGI-OPT/model=model
    # The bsn needs to specify the singleton attribute
    Bundle-SymbolicName: ${p};singleton:=true
  • Export all of the auto-generated packages:
    # Mirrors what the auto-generated plugin.xml declares
    Export-Package: \

Compile and test the Xcore model

After saving bnd.bnd, which triggers a build, Xcore should auto-generate the following source and related files:

  • src/com.example.bndtools.xcore.model.* Java files
  • plugin.xml

Note: Xcore shouldn’t add any additional libraries to the Xcore project build path.

Unit Test

Refer to the Testing the Provider with %28Standard%29 JUnit section for background on unit testing in Bndtools.

  • In the Xcore project, add the following to test/com.example.bndtools.xcore.model/
    public void testXcore() {
      One one = ModelFactory.eINSTANCE.createOne();
      Two two = ModelFactory.eINSTANCE.createTwo();
      assertEquals(one, two.getOne());

Running the above as a standard JUnit test should successfully execute.

Integration Test

Refer to the Testing in OSGi section for background on integration testing in bndtools.

By default, Xcore uses the package name of the model as the EMF namespace URI (nsURI). Xcore registers this nsURI using the Equinox Extension Registry, declared in the Xcore project’s plugin.xml file. The nsURI is registered in the EMF Package Registry.

The integration test below queries the EMF Package Registry for the model’s nsURI. If found, it implies the bundle was able to register its extension point to the Equinox Extension Registry and register the model’s nsURI to the EMF Package Registry.

  • Create a new project: “Bnd OSGi Project” → “OSGi Standard Templates” → “Integration Testing”. Consider this the ITest project.
  • Add the following to the Build Path in the ITest bnd.bnd:
    • org.eclipse.emf.ecore
    • org.eclipse.emf.common
    • com.example.bndtools.xcore.model
  • Modify the following in the bnd.bnd Run configuration:
    • In the “Core Runtime” section:
      • “OSGi Framework”: org.eclipse.osgi. Do not choose Felix since Equinox-specific extensions are used.
      • Execution Env: JavaSE-1.8 or similar
    • In the “Run Requirements”:
      • The model and test bundles
      • org.eclipse.emf.ecore
      • org.eclipse.emf.common
      • org.eclipse.xtext.xbase.lib
      • org.eclipse.emf.ecore.xcore.lib
      • org.eclipse.core.resources
    • Click on the “Resolve” button and save
  • Add the following test to /com.example.bndtools.xcore.test/src/com/example/bndtools/xcore/test/
    public void shouldBeRegistered() {
      String nsURI = "com.example.bndtools.xcore.model";
      EPackage.Registry registry = EPackage.Registry.INSTANCE;
      EPackage ePackage = registry.getEPackage(nsURI);
  • Via the context menu on the ITest project, select “Run As” → “Bnd OSGi Test Launcher (JUnit)”.

This should successfully execute.

Get Xcore to work via Gradle on the command line

  • Create “build.gradle”
  • Build jar
  • Add plugin as dependency

Create “build.gradle”

Per the Bnd Gradle Plugin README:

If special Gradle build behavior is needed, beyond changes to the project’s bnd.bnd file, then you should place a build.gradle file in the root of the project and place your customizations in there.

  • Create a new build.gradle file in the Xcore project with the following:
plugins {
    id 'org.xtext.builder' version '1.0.12'

// Needed for plugin repository
repositories {

ext.xtextVersion = "2.10.0"

// Non-plugin dependencies managed via bnd.bnd
dependencies {
    compile "org.eclipse.xtext:org.eclipse.xtext:${xtextVersion}"
    compile "org.eclipse.xtext:org.eclipse.xtext.xbase:${xtextVersion}"
    compile 'org.eclipse.emf:org.eclipse.emf.ecore.xcore.lib:+'

    xtextLanguages 'org.eclipse.emf:org.eclipse.emf.ecore.xcore:+'
    xtextLanguages 'org.eclipse.emf:org.eclipse.emf.ecore.xcore.lib:+'
    xtextLanguages 'org.eclipse.emf:org.eclipse.emf.codegen.ecore:+'
    xtextLanguages 'org.eclipse.emf:org.eclipse.emf.codegen.ecore.xtext:+'
    xtextLanguages "org.eclipse.xtext:org.eclipse.xtext.ecore:${xtextVersion}"
    xtextLanguages 'org.eclipse.jdt:org.eclipse.jdt.core:+'

xtext {
    version = "${xtextVersion}"
    languages {
        ecore {
            setup = 'org.eclipse.xtext.ecore.EcoreSupport'
        codegen {
            setup = 'org.eclipse.emf.codegen.ecore.xtext.GenModelSupport'
        xcore {
            setup = 'org.eclipse.emf.ecore.xcore.XcoreStandaloneSetup'
            generator.outlet.producesJava = true
    sourceSets {
        main {
            srcDir 'model'
            // Move the generated Xcore output to the src directory
            output {
                dir(xtext.languages.xcore.generator.outlet, 'src')

Notes on the above:

  • The added repository section is needed for plugin dependency resolution
  • The compile and xtextLanguages dependencies are managed via the Xcore project’s bnd.bnd file
  • The srcDir 'model' directive tells Xtext to use the model directory as its source directory
  • The generated source output is moved to Bndtools’s default source directory

Build jar

The below uses Buildship to visually control Gradle.

  • Install Buildship
  • Open “Gradle Executions” and “Gradle Tasks” views
  • In “Gradle Tasks”, select the Xcore project, “build” folder, “jar” task, execute it:
:com.example.bndtools.xcore.model:processResources UP-TO-DATE


Total time: 14.425 secs

You should see something similar to the above.