This weeks EclipseCon conference will be something of a lovefest among Java toolmakers, with Borland Software Corp. and BEA Systems committing more support for the Eclipse open-source development platform.
This week at the conference in Burlingame, Calif., Borland will announce its expanded role as an Eclipse strategic developer. Last week, BEA announced it is joining the Eclipse Foundation as a strategic developer, along with Sybase Inc.
Borland will also continue to focus on application lifecycle management with its SDO (Software Delivery Optimization) strategy, under which some of its ALM products are Eclipse-based. In addition, Borland has proposed and will lead a new modeling tools project within the Eclipse Foundation.
These moves are seen as good for Borland, BEA and the Java tools community at large, as Eclipse will now be the core framework for much of the Java tools world. Toolmakers can simply write Eclipse plug-ins rather than having to deliver versions of their software for myriad IDEs (integrated development environments).
"Eclipse is now the most important player in the Java tools market," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Ottawa-based Eclipse Foundation. "BEA and Borlands increased participation ends any debate. Now the focus is on completing our vision of creating a strong ecosystem."
Raaj Shinde, vice president of product strategy and architecture at Borland, said the Scotts Valley, Calif., company is sticking to its roots in this endeavor. "Were the Switzerland of software development," Shinde said, noting that Borland plans to support developers through its proprietary JBuilder IDE, Eclipse-based tools, and Microsoft Corp. .Net and Visual Studio tool sets. Shinde said Borland will continue to support the JBuilder IDE.
Borland, BEA and Sybase will become Eclipse board members and strategic developers, which means the companies will pay up to $250,000 annually, lead an Eclipse project and commit a minimum of eight developers.
Sybase, of Burlingame, will lead the new Data Tools Project at Eclipse, Milinkovich said. That project will deliver data management frameworks for Eclipse.
BEA, of San Jose, Calif., will lead the Eclipse Web Tools Platform Project, designed to deliver tooling infrastructure for J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) and Web application development, Milinkovich said. BEA also will move the next version of WebLogic Workshop tool set, code-named Daybreak, to the Eclipse platform, officials said.
The Borland and BEA news leaves Sun Microsystems Inc. as an outsider among major Java supporters by its unwillingness to support Eclipse.
Sun, of Santa Clara, Calif., had been in talks with the Eclipse organizations leadership about how the company could support Eclipse or possibly join the organization, but it decided to focus on its NetBeans open-source development platform, which competes with Eclipse.
"I think it really highlights how Sun is losing mind share and thought leadership when it comes to software development, specifically regarding Java," said Joe Lindsay, chief technology officer at eBuilt Inc., of Costa Mesa, Calif.