IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK Help

Developing a Plugin

IntelliJ Platform plugins can be developed by using either IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition or IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate as your IDE. It is highly recommended to always use the latest available version, as the plugin development tooling support from Plugin DevKit continues supporting new features.

Before starting with the actual development, make sure to understand all requirements to achieve best Plugin User Experience (UX).

Gradle IntelliJ Plugin

The recommended solution for building IntelliJ Platform plugins is Gradle IntelliJ Plugin.

The IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate and Community editions provide the necessary plugins to support Gradle-based plugin development: Gradle and Plugin DevKit. To verify these plugins are installed and enabled, see the help section about Managing Plugins.

Plugin DevKit plugin is bundled with IntelliJ IDEA until 2023.2.

Gradle IntelliJ Plugin manages the dependencies of a plugin project - both the base IDE and other plugin dependencies. It provides tasks to run the IDE with your plugin and to package and publish your plugin to the JetBrains Marketplace. To make sure that a plugin is not affected by API changes, which may happen between major releases of the platform, you can quickly verify your plugin against other IDEs and releases.

There are two main ways of creating a new Gradle-based IntelliJ Platform plugin project:

  • dedicated generator available in the New Project Wizard - it creates a minimal plugin project with all the required files

  • IntelliJ Platform Plugin Template available on GitHub - in addition to the required project files, it includes configuration of the GitHub Actions CI workflows

This documentation section describes plugin structure generated with the New Project wizard, but the project generated with IntelliJ Platform Plugin Template covers all the described files and directories. See the IntelliJ Platform Plugin Template section for more information about the advantages of this approach and instructions on how to use it.

Plugin Development Workflow

Last modified: 26 February 2024