NaturalONE is an Eclipse-based IDE for the language NATURAL by Software AG. It contains an utility called NATstyle which can check for coding standards in your programs. You can use this utility to define and check the coding standards.


Usage in NaturalONE

SW AG Demo.

Also see Eclipse/NaturalONE help topic Checking Natural Code with NATstyle.

NATstyle is an Eclipse plugin inside NaturalONE. In my edition it is in C:\ Natural-CE\ Designer\ eclipse\ plugins\ com.softwareag.naturalone.natural.natstyle_8.3.5.0000-0242.

Invoking NATstyle from Outside Eclipse

See my detailed article Using NATstyle from the commandline for more information.

Help output from invoking NATstyle's main method:

Usage: com.softwareag.naturalone.natural.natstyle.NATstyle [-options]

where options include:
    -projectpath <directory> Specify where to find the Natural project.
    -rootfolder              Library root folder support enabled.
    -c <file>                Specify the configuration file.
    -o <file>                Specify the output file. 
    -sourcefiles <srcList>   Specify list of source files to be loaded.
                             separated with ;
    -libraries <libList>     Specify list of libraries to be loaded.
                             separated with ;
    -exclude <libList>       Specify a list of libraries to exclude.
                             separated with ;
    -p <directory>           Specify where to find additional packages.
    -help                    Display command line options and exit.

It is important that the following classes can be found in your class path:


To have all needed classes available you need the following entries on the Classpath

  • Folder com.softwareag.naturalone.natural.natstyle_8.3.5.0000-0242
  • Jar com.softwareag.naturalone.natural.auxiliary_*.jar
  • Folder com.softwareag.naturalone.natural.common_8.3.5.0000-0242
  • Jar com.softwareag.naturalone.natural.parser_*.jar
  • Jar org.eclipse.equinox.common_*.jar

There might be other classes needed by components of NATstyle, the following Jars seem not to be needed:

  • org.eclipse.swt.win32.*.jar
  • org.eclipse.ui.console_*.jar

See run_natstyle_direct.bat for an example how to set the Classpath when NaturalONE is installed. Copying the needed folders and Jars to another machine works as well.

Invoking NATstyle from Ant

NaturalONE supports Ant for some automation tasks. There is no specific NATstyle Ant task, but calling it from Ant is straight forward. See ant_NatStyle.xml for an example how to do that. A new JVM needs to be forked because NATstyle calls System.exit at the end. All parameters are the same as for the command-line invocation.


See my detailed article Creating your own NATstyle rules for more information.

In the preferences the settings for NATstyle can be configured. Custom configurations are saved as NATstyle.xml and used when you run NATstyle from the popup menu. The existing rules are described in NaturalONE help topic Overview of NATstyle Rules, Error Messages and Solutions. My version 8.3 has 42 rules.

Multiple Rules

Some rules like Source/Regular expression for single source lines only allows a single regular expression. Using groups is a way to fix that. Also the element can be duplicated in the NATstyle.xml and executed from command line. See sameRuleTwice.xml and natstyle_sameRuleTwice.bat

Defining your own rules

There is no way to create new rules for NATstyle. All rules' classes are defined inside the NATstyle plugin. The configuration contains a class attribute, but that is just the short name, e.g. CheckRegExLine. This class lives in the package com.softwareag.naturalone.natural.natstyle.check.src.source where source is the group of the rules defined in the type attribute of the <checks> element. (The NATstyleConfigurationReader reads the configuration from NATstyle.xml. It gets passed in the base package and determines the sub package for the rule depending on its type. NatStyle main uses com.softwareag.naturalone.natural.natstyle, so all rules must be defined inside this name space.) Such rules cannot be configured in NaturalONE, but probably used when added to NATstyle.xml.

Source Rules

Source rules extend NATstyleCheckerSourceImpl which provides the lines of code. See FindInv02 and customSource.xml.

Parser rules extend NATstyleCheckerParserImpl. The parser traverses the AST of the NATURAL code. This is done using a visitor, the INaturalASTVisitor. The visitor is called for each node in the AST tree. (This is similar to PMD checks.) See DumpAstAsXml and customParser.xml.


NATstyle writes an XML reports of all found files and their rule violations.

        <error />

See the provided sample result which comes with NATstyle.

Using the provided NATstyleSimple.xsl this XML can be transformed in a human-readable report, e.g. NATstyleSimple.html. XSLT transformation is part of Ant and converting the XML to HTML is easy. See ant_NatStyleResultToHtml.xml for an example build script.

Custom Reports

See my detailed article NATstyle Custom Reports for more information how to convert the result XML to a suitable report, e.g. PMD's format.


New BSD License, see license.txt in repository. All NATURAL and NaturalONE content is Copyright (c) 2009-2015 Software AG, Darmstadt, Germany.