The Plugins SDK can house all of your plugin projects enterprise-wide, or you can have separate Plugins SDK projects for each plugin. For example, if you have an internal Intranet using Liferay with some custom portlets, you can keep those portlets and themes in their own Plugins SDK project in your source code repository. If you also have an external instance of Liferay for your public Internet web site, you can have a separate Plugins SDK that also has those projects. Or, you can further separate your projects by having a different Plugins SDK project for each portlet or theme project.
It’s also possible to use use the Plugins SDK as a simple cross-platform project generator. Create a plugin project using the Plugins SDK and then copy the resulting project folder to your IDE of choice. You’ll have to manually modify the Ant scripts, but this process makes it possible to create plugins with the Plugins SDK while conforming to the strict standards some organizations have for their Java projects.
If you’ve read this far and aren’t sure you want to develop your plugins using the Plugins SDK, you also have the option to use Maven.
As an alternative to developing plugins using the SDK, you can leverage the Apache Maven build management framework. You’ll be happy to know that we have archetypes to help you build various types of plugins including Liferay portlets, themes, and layout templates.
To learn more about developing plugins using Maven, see Chapter 9.