Eclipse Snags Microsoft, Launches Che IDE for the Cloud

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-03-08 Print this article Print
Microsoft Eclipse

"The company's stance on open source was curiously schizoid under former CEO Steve Ballmer," King said. "On one side, you had Ballmer calling Linux 'a cancer' and the company pressuring customers to indemnify themselves against Linux code they insisted had been stolen. But a while after that, Microsoft initiated an open-source program managed by Sam Ramji [now CEO of Cloud Foundry]. I think this new announcement continues a drumbeat that began when Satya Nadella become CEO and provides a counterpoint to inevitable changes in the industry.

"The fact is that 10 to 15 years ago, value was determined by how many customers a vendor had locked into its proprietary platforms. In today's cloud-defined world, where lightweight services define innovation and drive market opportunity, maximally engaging with developer communities is a key to success," King continued.

In any event, this is clearly not the first time Microsoft has worked with Eclipse, but by becoming a foundation member, Microsoft is demonstrating a deeper commitment to open-source processes and will also be able to provide input on future plans and projects, King said.

Niyogi joined Tyler Jewell, CEO of Codenvy, onstage at EclipseCon to announce new Azure and Visual Studio Team Services interoperability with Codenvy's workspace automation tools, built on Eclipse Che.

"With Visual Studio Team Services, Azure and Codenvy, software development teams can collaborate more easily than ever before," Niyogi said. "Codenvy's new Visual Studio Team Services extension activates Codenvy workspaces on-demand from within Microsoft's tools, creating a natural workflow that aligns with agile methodologies and principles. The Azure VM Marketplace now includes a virtual machine preconfigured with Codenvy, so developers can instantly provision private Codenvy workspaces on Azure."

At EclipseCon, Microsoft also announced it was open-sourcing the Team Explorer Everywhere Plug-in for Eclipse on GitHub, adding Azure IoT Suite support in the Kura framework for IoT gateways, adding Azure Java WebApp support in the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse and updating the Azure Java Dev Center. Niyogi also said with the Java Tools Challenge, Microsoft is inviting Java developers to build apps and extensions for VSTS.

Meanwhile, also at EclipseCon, the Eclipse Foundation announced the initial release of Eclipse Che, its new IDE platform. The Eclipse Che ecosystem is a community-driven open-source cloud IDE, workspace server, and plug-in platform supported by Codenvy, Microsoft, Red Hat and SAP.

Codenvy's Jewell said a key value of Che is that it provides a universal workspace for developers. He said portable workspaces enable developers with on-demand development environments that support Agile processes. With workspace portability, developers can work from any location, whether a desktop, mobile device or the cloud.

Eclipse Che workspaces are composed of projects and Docker container-powered runtimes. Che features a collaborative workspace server, a cloud IDE, a plug-in framework and a stack library to build projects for any programming language or framework.

"Eclipse Che is rethinking the way IDEs are built and used by developers," Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said in a statement. "It uses Docker, Java and JavaScript to create a more flexible and dynamic developer work experience. The initial feedback on Eclipse Che has been outstanding. The number of downloads and external contributions all point to Che being an incredibly successful open-source project."

Gartner's Murphy said, ironically, Che is like some existing Microsoft technology. "Most IDEs are working their way to being browser-based at a minimum and cloud-based, so Che is the Eclipse version of—or maybe the other way around—Visual Studio Online."

Eclipse Che is available for download at and contributors can get involved at

"The Eclipse Che IDE is a cloud IDE and developer work space server that supports any framework or programming language," King said. "Plus, users can easily migrate projects and associated runtimes, or environments to other local or cloud-based Che instances. In essence, Che is designed to enhance collaborative processes by making them more flexible and adaptable to the needs of given projects and groups. As such, it could and should enhance a range of Microsoft projects, including those associated with Azure."



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