The new version of the platform includes technology to create and deploy Java EE 4 applications, support deep integration with Java SE 5, build rich client applications, and scale up, develop, extend, create and validate Web services and Web applications.
Eclipse Platform 3.1 also allows the user to streamline testing and performance tuning, create user interfaces for rich client platform applications, add enhanced support for Ant build scripts and leverage aspect–oriented programming, said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation.
Meanwhile, the Eclipse Foundation also released Eclipse RCP (Rich Client Platform) 3.1. The new version features improved performance, expanded tools support, automatic delivery and new visual editor support, Eclipse officials said.
Developers are already expressing interest in the updated platform. "The fact that Eclipse RCP offers a native look and feel and has a built-in remote update mechanism made the decision to use it as the foundation for our application a no-brainer," said Jon Smith, president of RPC Software, in a statement.
"As our ERP [enterprise resource planning] application matures, Eclipses plug-in architecture allows us to integrate and rapidly release customized updates for our customers without touching the systems base source code. RCP gives immediate benefits as the foundation for Java application development and is the perfect alternative to other proprietary and expensive application platforms," Smith said.
Lee Nackman, vice president of product development for IBM Rational, said in a statement, "Eclipse 3.1 demonstrates the growing importance and influence of Eclipse in the software industry. Eclipse 3.1 not only expands support for Java and Web development, but is also a big step toward its vision of becoming the next-generation platform for integrating tools across the development life cycle.
"IBM continues its major commitment to Eclipse—both in our leading role in contributing to Eclipse development and in Eclipses role as the integration platform for IBMs Software Development Platform products," Nackman said.
"Because of our shared open-source roots and vision of bringing open source to enterprise IT, Eclipse and JBoss are a natural fit," said Shaun Connolly, vice president of product management, JBoss Inc., also in a statement. "JBoss has already made the Eclipse IDE and J2EE tools central to the JBoss Enterprise Middleware System and will continue to support Eclipse as an independent platform for development."
Meanwhile, in conjunction with the general release of Eclipse 3.1, Innoopract Informationssysteme GmbH, of Karlsruhe, Germany, announced the release of Yoxos 2.0, a distribution of Eclipse 3.1 with 168 installable features and plug-ins.
Jochen Krause, president of Innoopract, said developers can start the Yoxos Install Manager from a browser and begin selecting plug-ins for installation that have undergone quality and compatibility testing.
Yoxos plug-ins are organized by development tasks, are accompanied by descriptions, download size, links and license information, and are automatically checked for dependencies. Installation occurs with a single click, and the Eclipse environment is ready to go with all the latest code.
"The main advantage to Yoxos for developers is that we have taken a lot of hard work out of the process of extending an Eclipse installation and keeping it updated," Krause said in a statement. "With Yoxos it is possible for developers to work with the latest software regardless of the release cycle or naming conventions, and still be able to update the software from a single source with the reassurance that the updates have been tested on the latest version of Eclipse."
In an interview with eWEEK.com, Krause added: "Eclipse continues to deliver world-class Java tooling—and is going extend its leadership for Java tooling. With this new release Eclipse is also getting serious about RCP. If we can lower the entry bar for developing RCP applications even further, Eclipse has a great chance to become a leading application platform within the next two years."
Meanwhile, Oracle Corp. announced that it is proposing to lead a tooling project for the BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) standard within the Eclipse Foundation open-source community.
Finally, the Eclipse Foundation announced that its membership has reached the milestone of 100 member organizations. NEC Corp. is the 100th organization to join the Eclipse Foundation and will join as an Add-in Provider member. NEC plans to introduce new Eclipse-based tools and plug-ins for the C++ and Java development environments.