OpenOffice NetBeans Integration

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The intention of the StarOffice/ NetBeans Integration is to simplify the development of office extensions. StarOffice/ offers an API to program with or for the office and allows to automate tasks even remote or in process and allows to extend the office with completely new functionality. The NetBeans integration should simplify the access and usage of the API in new projects and should simplify the task of creating complete office extension packages (comparable to NetBeans plugin modules).


The current preview (version 0.8) supports four project types, one client application wizard, a Calc Add-In wizard, a wizard for general UNO components and an Add-On wizard. The Calc Add-In allows the definition of new Calc build-in functions for the spreadsheet application which can be directly used from the build-in functions wizard. The user doesn't need any knowledge of the underlying UNO technology and can define new functions on a higher level. The general UNO component wizard requires some more UNO base knowledge but simplifies the initial creation of a new component enormously. The Add-On wizard supports the definition of new top-level menus and toolbars and generates the appropriate code skeleton and the necessary config files. The generated project can be used as a starting point to extend it to a more coomplex Add-On.
Once you have installed the plugin manually you will be able to update to future releases easily by using the integrated Update Center in NetBeans. The plugin comes with its own Preview Updated Center where we will provide future previews.


The plugin org-openoffice-extensions.nbm works only in combination with an installed StarOffice/ installation and an appropriate StarOffice/ Software Development Kit (SDK).

For the Add-on wizard you require the latest version of the uno-skeletonmaker (comes with SDK 2.2.0) and you can download a precompiled binary from the file section of the API project (Linux-x86, Solaris-Sparc, Solaris-x86, Windows)


The current version of the NetBeans plugin is a first preview and has to be installed manually as a normal NetBeans plugin over the “Update Center” in NetBeans. The manual installation is only necessary the first time and then you can use the integrated Preview Update Center. Simply choose

  • NetBeans -> Tools -> Update Center -> Install Manually Downloaded Modules (.nbm Files)

select the downloaded module and follow the wizard to install it.


Before you can use the new project types you have to configure the plugin because it needs an installed office and SDK installation.

The current version of the plugin ask during the installation for an office and SDK installation but you also configure or change both programs later. But note that if you change the office or SDK installation these changes are effective for new created projects only. This will be changed in the future and you will be asked if you want accept these changes for existing projects also.

For changing the office and SDK installation please choose

  • Tools -> Options -> Miscellaneous -> StarOffice/ Extensions

and select a valid office and SDK installation.

OpenOffice Extensions Plugin Options.png

The configuration step installs automatically a new office library which can be used in other projects directly to support the office API. Including this library in own projects enables context sensitive help and code completion automatically.

Working with new Project Types

The plugin integrates four new project types under the category StarOffice/

  • StarOffice/ Calc Add-On
  • StarOffice/ Calc Add-Ins
  • StarOffice/ Client Application
  • StarOffice/ Component

The wizards will collect the necessary information to create the new projects and should follow the NetBeans philosophy. You can simply choose

  • File -> New Project -> StarOffice/ -> <project_type>

For more details about the project types please take a look at

Known Problems and Missing Features

  • context sensitive help doesn't work on Linux (Solaris not yet tested), even the javadoc generated Java UNO runtime reference documentation doesn't work on Linux. Under Windows both work as expected.
  • the integrated update center module doesn't work on Unix systems (known bug 72960 in NetBeans which is fixed in NetBeans 6.0). Workaround is to install NetBeans locally where you have write access.
  • the backward compatibility mode for Calc Add-Ins creates still an .oxt extension package. This of course makes no sense for older office versions because this file extension is introduced in 2.0.4 first. Please simply rename it to .uno.pkg
  • projects are currently not platform independent. If you want to build a project on a different platfrom you have to adapt the <projectname>/nbproject/ file by hand.

Quality Assurance

If you find bugs please submit a new issue in the category sdk and the subcomponent netbeans-integration

Things to be done


This is a preview only and the whole stuff is under development and needs to be improved. Feedback is welcome and highly appreciated and we would like to invite you to discuss it on (Note: you have to be subscribed on the mailing list).

You can also submit new feature or enhancement requests in the issue tracker in the category sdk and the subcomponent netbeans-integration

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