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Are you sure that "readExternal" is getting called before "run"? Without seeing more of your code there is no way to know. Your implementation for "readExternal" looks correct. But I see "writeExternal" is empty. IDEA tends to call both "read" and "write" often. Having an empty "writeExternal" will result in all your elements disappearing.

I suggest you add a log message at the start of both "readExternal" and "writeExternal" to see if and when they are called.

Rick

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Plug-In Components Lifecycle
The components are loaded in the following order:

1. Creation - constructor is invoked
Initialization - the initComponent method is invoked
2. Configuration - the readExternal method is invoked (if component implements JDOMExternalizable interface) <- invoked
For module components, the moduleAdded method is invoked to notify that a module has been added to the project
For project components, the projectOpened method is invoked to notify that a project has been loaded
The components are unloaded in the following order:

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