Announced at the EclipseWorld 2006 conference here, the new offerings will help software development teams build Eclipse-based, open, integrated development environments that are technologically diverse and vendor-neutral, IBM officials said.
IBM announced new software and resources to help developers embrace open source and the recently released Eclipse 3.2 platform. The new software includes IBM Lotus Designer, a rapid application development tool that helps developers quickly build new components that run in WebSphere Portal 6.0. IBM plans to release a no-charge public downloadable beta in late-September from developerWorks here.
Meanwhile, by mid-October, IBM will open up IBM Rational Software Architect and IBM Rational Functional Tester Version 7 for beta testing. Developers in the beta program will be able to use new and improved features that help implement service-oriented architectures, systems development and geographically distributed applications. To preregister for the open beta, go here.
In addition, developerWorks, the skills-building hub of IBMs developer community, which has 5.5 million registered users, offers a wide range of free Eclipse-focused tools to help developers build and maintain their Eclipse skill set. As the latest addition to its portfolio of Eclipse resources, developerWorks recently released the "Building Cheat Sheets in Eclipse V3.2" tutorial.
Also on Sept. 7, IBM announced a new customer-support program, IBM Rational Elite Support for Eclipse. This program will provide hands-on technical assistance to the more than 2.3 million users of Eclipse worldwide. Under the program, which will become available in the fourth quarter of this year, users of Eclipse-based tools will be able to purchase support for Eclipse, IBM officials said.
"IBM is responding to the growing needs of customers and the open source development community by addressing the requirement for commercial vendors to complement the current open-source community model," said Bola Rotibi, London-based senior analyst at Ovum, in a statement.
"With this announcement, IBM continues to help clients enhance the value of their investments in open source by delivering enterprise-class tooling based on the latest distributions of Eclipse and by providing the first enterprise-class support offering for organizations heavily invested in Eclipse," said Danny Sabbah, general manager of Rational Software for IBM Software Group, in a statement.