Running a program in a JPanel
As part of my PhD i am constructing an application for analysing data. The data taken in is parsed into an XML format and stored in a working directory. The analytical tools consist of fairly self contained modules each of which are allotted a tab in a Jtabbedpane. They interact through altering the XMLdata files in the working directory and/or altering a config file.
The next logical step would seem to be to allow the addition of 'plugins', each provided with a tab of their own (and added as a JPanel) - thus allowing the program to easily updated and modified after i finish my course and move on.
I cannot find any way of doing this without someone delving into my code, altering it and re-compiling - this seems like a very ugly (& surely unnecessary) solution.
Is it possible to open and run a program inside a JPanel? Does anyone know an example of this being done? If this were possible - then additions to the program could be done by simply altering a config file (to point to and provide the commands for running the program/plugin/new tab in question). It would even be possible (though possibly heretical) for someone to add a tab programmed in another language.
Any thoughts/ advice regarding this or alternate solutions will be much appreciated.