Frontier IDE


Welcome to the Frontier® IDE User's Guide. This document describes the Parabon® Frontier Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Plug-in, an Eclipse plug-in that enables you to load and run the sample applications included with the Frontier SDK, browse the SDK documentation and tutorial from within the Eclipse environment, and access the Frontier JavaDocs from your source code as you create distributed, compute-intensive applications that run on the Frontier grid platform.

The document is designed to:

  • Provide instructions on the installation and setup of the Frontier IDE.
  • Provide an overview of the Frontier IDE features.

For more information on developing applications for Frontier, see The Frontier SDK User's Guide & Tutorial and read The Frontier API White Paper , which explains many of the concepts the tutorial explores.

About This Document

This document is divided into the following sections:

Section Description
Introduction Provides an introduction to the Frontier® IDE Plug-in, and document and Technical Support contact information.
Plug-in Setup Provides procedures for installing and setting up the Frontier IDE Plug-in.
Sample Applications Provides an overview of the Frontier IDE features and sample applications.

Typographical Conventions

The following typographical conventions are used in this document:

Typeface Description Example
FixedWidth Application and task code, program output, file, and class names. To create a task we must first create and populate a TaskSpec object.
Bold Exact commands and characters typed by the user. The command

  prime -listen

launches the "prime" sample application in "monitor" mode.
Indicates a placeholder that should be replaced by the actual value. To build the sample, enter the following commands, replacing app_name with the name of the lesson's sample application (e.g., "local" for Lesson 1):
  1. cd frontier-sdk-home/demo/app_name/src
  2. ant

Related Documents

Technical Support

For technical support, troubleshooting, and other questions concerning Frontier application development, please feel free to email or call the technical contacts provided by Parabon or fill out and submit our email form at

Plug-in Setup

This section describes the steps necessary to install and configure the Frontier IDE to run Frontier applications from within Eclipse.

Plug-in Installation

To run the sample applications and your custom applications in remote mode, you must also perform the procedures for Remote Setup documented in The Frontier SDK User's Guide & Tutorial

  1. From Eclipse, select the Help > Software Updates > Find and Install... menu option.

    Help Menu

  2. From the Install/Update dialog box, select the Search for new features to install radio button, and click Next.

    Install/Update Dialog

  3. The Install dialog box will vary depending on the features you have already installed. Click the New Remote Site... button. If you are behind a proxy and the Eclipse install mechanism does not work, then you can download a zipped version of the update site and choose the New Local Site... option instead.

    Install Dialog

  4. Fill in the Edit Remote Site dialog box with the following settings, and click OK.

    Name: Frontier IDE
    New Remote Site Dialog

  5. When you return to the Install dialog box, the Frontier IDE site that you just added will not be selected. Be sure to select it before clicking Next.

    Install Dialog

  6. The Updates dialog box displays the Frontier IDE features that are available to install. Select the top-level Frontier IDE feature, and click Next.

    Updates Dialog

  7. Accept the terms of the license agreement, and click Next .

    License Agreement Dialog

  8. Confirm the installation location of the Frontier IDE Plug-in, and click Finish. The default location, which is the directory of your Eclipse installation, is acceptable.

    Installation Location Dialog

  9. When the Feature Verification dialog box is displayed, click the Install All button.

    Verification Dialog

  10. Finally, when prompted to restart Eclipse after installing the Frontier IDE Plug-in, click Yes. Eclipse will then be restarted, and the Frontier IDE Plug-in installation will complete.

    Restart Confirmation Dialog

Plug-in Configuration

  1. Please refer to and complete the procedure for Runtime Configuration as documented in The Frontier SDK User's Guide & Tutorial before continuing with the plug-in configuration.

  2. From Eclipse, open the Preferences dialog box and set the Frontier IDE preferences with the following values:

  3. Frontier SDK Home: frontier-sdk-install
      where frontier-sdk-install is the location of your Frontier SDK installation. If you do not set the Frontier SDK Home preference at this time, you will be prompted to set it from the Sample Application Wizard before you will be able to load and run any of the Frontier sample applications.
    Preferences Dialog

Sample Applications

The Frontier® IDE provides a Sample Application Wizard to create the sample applications included with the Frontier SDK as Eclipse projects, generating all the necessary files to load and launch the samples as Frontier applications.

Loading Sample Applications

  1. Open the Sample Application Wizard by selecting the File > New > Example menu option.

    New Example Dialog

  2. Select which Frontier sample applications you would like to load. These samples correspond to the tutorial included with the Frontier SDK. You may choose to load one or more applications by checking the box to the left of the application name.

    Frontier Sample Applications Wizard

  3. If you did not already set the location of your Frontier SDK installation, you will be prompted to set it before the sample applications can be loaded.

    Preferences Dialog

  4. After the sample applications are loaded, the new Frontier projects will appear in the Eclipse Package Explorer View. Each sample application will be created with a Frontier nature as indicated by the Frontier icon on the project folder. Additionally, the Frontier SDK will be included in the build path as the FRONTIER_SDK_LIB variable, and default launch configurations will be created for each sample to run both locally and remotely.

    Package Explorer View

Running Sample Applications

  1. To quickly launch a sample application, expand one of your newly created project folders in the Package Explorer View, right click the src folder, and select Run As > Frontier Application. Like running any Java application, this will search the selected resource for any classes with a main method to run. If there is more than one eligible class, you will be prompted to choose which one you would like to run. If there is only one, which is the case the Frontier sample applications, the Java application launcher searches for any corresponding launch configurations and runs the application.

    Note: If you select Run As with the top-level project folder selected, the Java application launcher will search the entire classpath for eligible classes to run. Because the classpath includes the JRE and Frontier SDK libraries, this can be a somewhat lengthy process, which is why we recommend selecting the src folder before running as a Frontier Application.

    Src Run As Menu Option

  2. Each Frontier sample application has two pre-configured launch configurations-one to run the application locally, and another to run it remotely. Choose whether you would like to run the sample locally on your computer or on a remote grid system.

    Select Launch Configuration Dialog

  3. Each sample application takes one or more command line arguments. The default arguments are provided by the Frontier application launch configuration.

    Application Arguments Prompt

  4. If you choose to run the application remotely, you will need to have completed the remote mode setup procedures. You will be prompted for your password every time you connect to a remote server if you choose not to store your password in the frontier-sdk-install /conf/ file.

    Password Prompt Dialog

  5. If you choose to run the application locally, the Frontier Grid Simulator will execute your job as if it were running on a grid and executing your tasks on multiple engines. Additional feedback from the application can be viewed in the Eclipse Console View.

    Grid Simulator

Launch Configurations

When you generate the sample projects from the Sample Application Wizard, two default Frontier Application launch configurations are created for each sample-one to run the application locally, and another to run the application remotely. These launch configurations can be viewed and edited by selecting the Run > Run... or Debug... menu option in Eclipse.

Debug/Run Dialog

These configurations automatically set and/or prompt for all the required program and VM arguments. The system property, com.parabon.util.passwordPrompterClass, must be set for any application that will connect to a remote grid. If it is not specified, it is automatically set by the Frontier Application launcher to com.parabon.util.PasswordDialog, which can be seen in the VM arguments list on the Arguments tab.

VM Arguments

Help System

The Frontier SDK documentation is included in the Eclipse Help System, accessible via the Help > Help Contents menu option.

Install screen