IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK Help

Plugin Components

Plugin Components are a legacy feature supported for compatibility with plugins created for older versions of the IntelliJ Platform. Plugins using Components do not support dynamic loading (the ability to install, update, and uninstall plugins without restarting the IDE).

Plugin Components are defined in the <application-components>, <project-components>, and <module-components> sections in a Plugin Configuration File.


To migrate existing code from Components to more modern APIs, please see the following guidelines.

Manage State

To manage some state or logic that is only needed when the user performs a specific operation, use a Service.

Persisting State

To store the state of your plugin at the application or project level, use a Service, and implement the PersistentStateComponent interface. See Persisting State of Components for details.

Subscribing to Events

To subscribe to events, use a listener or create an extension for a dedicated extension point (for example, com.intellij.editorFactoryListener) if one exists for the event to subscribe to.

Application Startup

Executing code on application startup should be avoided whenever possible because it slows down startup. Plugin code should only be executed when projects are opened (see Project Open) or when the user invokes an action of a plugin. If this cannot be avoided, add a listener subscribing to the AppLifecycleListener topic.

To execute an activity in background on IDE startup (e.g., to warm up caches), use PreloadingActivity.

Project Open

To execute code when a project is being opened, use one of these two extensions:

StartupActivity for immediate execution on EDT. Implement DumbAware to indicate activity can run in background thread (in parallel with other such tasks).
StartupActivity.Background for execution with 5 seconds delay in background thread (2019.3 or later).

Any long-running or CPU intensive tasks should be made visible to users by using Access to indices must be wrapped with DumbService, see also General Threading Rules.

Application/Project Close

To execute code on project closing or application shutdown, implement the Disposable interface in a Service and place the code in the dispose() method. Alternatively, use Disposer.register() passing a Project or Application service instance as the parent argument (see Choosing a Disposable Parent ).

Last modified: 14 January 2021