Modular software system

GRITS Toolbox a eclipse RCP application

GRITS Toolbox is a standalone Java application which is based on the Eclipse framework. Eclipse, although, mainly used as a integrated development environment (IDE) for Java code development, is also a framework for generating own Java application, so called Rich Client Platforms (RCP). It is used for the development of commercial software systems as well as for freely available products. Some open source examples can be seen here. GRITS Toolbox is such an eclipse RCP application. There are several benefits of using the eclipse framework over developing a own application from scratch:

  • Multi-platform (Windows, Linux, MacOS) products without the need of writing platform specific source code
  • As a framework eclipse provides a lot of already implemented functionality that can be reused rather than implemented from scratch
  • Eclipse is a well known IDE and framework with a large developer base implementing own eclipse plugins and RCPs
  • There is a large set of third party plugins and modules available that we can use or learn from


GRITS Toolbox and plugins

GRITS modules

GRITS Toolbox consists of the core application (implemented as eclipse RCP) and a set of modules, so called plugins, dealing with the different types of data (e.g. Project information, sample information, MS data, annotated MS data). Implementing the application as a set of modular plugins rather than one big monolithic application has the following advantages:

  • Plugins can be developed fairly independent from each other by different people
  • No in-depth knowledge about other plugins is needed since plugins communicate with each other and the core over well defined interfaces
  • It is quickly possible to create a specialized GRITS Toolbox version with only certain plugins rather than the entire set without code changes
  • It is possible to extend the functionality of GRITS Toolbox by third party plugins


GRITS Toolbox extensibility with third party plugins

It is possible to extend the functionality of GRITS Toolbox with third party plugins and take advantage of already implemented features. This saves implementation time since the already existing features do not have to be re-implemented as part of a new application. If you are interested in starting a collaboration and creating your own GRITS Toolbox extension please feel free to contact us.