Preventing “Build Automatically” Via Policy

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As one of the first steps in XPages training I cover making configuration and settings changes to Domino Designer to optimise your experience. One of those is switching off Build Automatically. Unless your day-to-day ID only has Editor or below access to applications, sooner or later having Build Automatically enabled will cause problems.

Its enabled by default in Eclipse standard, but that’s because developers using Eclipse typically have to go through a build-and-deploy process, putting compiled code on the live environment. With war files or jar files – same as with your OSGi plugins in the Update Site database – to look at the code that’s running on a production environment you cross-reference the version with your source code and look at the uncompiled and undeployed code. And development is done against a local environment only, so performance is not an issue. So it makes sense for Build Automatically to be enabled in standard Eclipse.

However, because of the RADD strengths of Domino, it’s not. So my recommendation has always been to disable it.

But that’s a manual step.

However, it turns out you can automate it.

Searching brought me to a way to set it in the plugin_customization.ini, by setting org.eclipse.core.resources/description.autobuilding=false. That file is in <notes>\framework\rcp. But this would require changing that file in all installations and just sets the default value. If you’ve modified it, it’s changed in <notes>\Data\workspace\.metadata\.plugins\org.eclipse.core.runtime\.settings\org.eclipse.core.resources.prefs.

The good news is that this – and any Eclipse preference – can be set via a Desktop policy. You’ll need to create a Desktop Policy to apply to anyone who has Domino Designer. Then, the Eclipse settings can be set on the Custom Settings tab, Managed Settings sub-tab.

As you can see and as you should be able to work out from above, the setting is description.autobuilding, the setting is false, and the plugin is org.eclipse.core runtime. In the dialog to add the setting, and assuming you want to enforce it, it would be this:

Now when the Desktop Policy is deployed and takes effect, Build Automatically will be switched off. The policy doesn’t take immediate effect, for me it was changed in the afternoon and had kicked in the following morning. But this will ensure new Domino Designer installations don’t accidentally have Build Automatically still enabled.

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