Many Eclipse plugins provide their own project type to replace the Java Project type. This is often quite restrictive if you need to start using a plugin's feature mid-project, because you need to re-create the Eclipse project from scratch—something that requires considerable effort. To avoid this problem, Spring IDE is packaged as a nature, which acts as a sort of decorator for project types, extending the feature set provided by the project type in question. This means that you can use Spring IDE with a wide variety of different project types, including the built-in Java Project.
To add the Spring IDE nature to an existing Java project, simply right-click the project icon in Navigator and choose Add Spring Beans Project Nature from the drop-down menu, as shown in Figure C-7.
Figure C-7: Adding Spring Beans Nature to a project
If you decide later that you do not want to use Spring IDE for your project, you can remove the Spring Beans Project Nature by right-clicking the Project icon and choosing Remove Spring Beans Project Nature.