IntelliJ Platform SDK DevGuide

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Plugin Compatibility with IntelliJ Platform Products

All products based on IntelliJ Platform (IntelliJ IDEA, RubyMine, WebStorm, PhpStorm, PyCharm, AppCode, etc.) share the same underlying platform API. Thus, a plugin that does not use any Java-specific functionality may be marked as compatible with these other products in addition to IntelliJ IDEA. This is done by specifying module dependencies in the plugin.xml file.

A module dependency is a <depends> tag where the contents of the tag starts with com.intellij.modules.

For example:

<idea-plugin> ... <depends>com.intellij.modules.lang</depends> ... </idea-plugin>

If a plugin does not include any module dependency tags in its plugin.xml, it’s assumed to be a legacy plugin and is loaded only in IntelliJ IDEA.

If the plugin.xml includes one or more such tags, the plugin is loaded if the product contains all of the modules on which the plugin depends.

The following modules are currently available in all products based on IntelliJ Platform:

  • com.intellij.modules.platform
  • com.intellij.modules.lang
  • com.intellij.modules.vcs
  • com.intellij.modules.xml
  • com.intellij.modules.xdebugger

The following modules are only available in specific products:

Module Product IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio
com.intellij.modules.ultimate IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate Edition
com.intellij.modules.androidstudio Android Studio
com.intellij.modules.appcode AppCode
com.intellij.modules.cidr.lang AppCode, CLion
com.intellij.modules.cidr.debugger AppCode, CLion, RubyMotion
com.intellij.modules.clion CLion
com.intellij.modules.database IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate Edition, DataGrip, PhpStorm, PyCharm, RubyMine
com.intellij.modules.python PyCharm
com.intellij.modules.rider Rider
com.intellij.modules.ruby RubyMine

PhpStorm does not have any modules specific to itself, but it includes the PHP plugin, which you can also use as a dependency: com.jetbrains.php

If you want to add a dependency to a specific plugin, then add a module dependency tag based on its plugin name/ID to the plugin.xml. For example JavaScript or tslint. Note that some plugins are not included by default in the target SDK, so you also have to add their jars manually to the SDKs classpath to compile against their provided classes. Make sure that you add the plugin jars to the SDK and not to your plugin, else the jars will be bundled with your plugin.

You can also specify optional module dependencies. If your plugin works with all products but provides some Java-specific functionality, you can use a dependency tag like this:

<depends optional="true" config-file="my-java-features.xml"> </depends>

Before marking a plugin as compatible with all products, you should verify that it doesn’t use any APIs that are specific to IntelliJ IDEA. To do so, create an IntelliJ Platform SDK pointing to an installation of RubyMine, PyCharm, etc., compile your plugin against that SDK, and verify that everything compiles. Visit to check if your project is eligible for free Open Source Licenses of JetBrains products.

The IntelliJ plugin repository automatically detects the products with which a plugin is compatible, based on the rules above, and makes it available to users of those products.

API of IntelliJ Platform and bundled plugins may be changed between releases. The major changes which may break plugins are listed on Incompatible Changes in IntelliJ Platform and Plugins API page.

Last modified: 1 October 2017