First reported in eWEEK in November, the effort, known as the Java Tools Community, or JTC, is backed by several Java tool vendors working to link their frameworks in an effort to create an ecosystem of Java tool frameworks based on open standards. Leaders of the group include BEA Systems Inc., Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.
The effort was to debut in September but stalled as the budding organization pressed to get more companies involved. Now, with increased support from technology provider companies and from user organizations, the JTC is ready to launch, sources said. The group will feature the backing of the JCP (Java Community Process) as well, sources said. “We lobbied to make sure this initiative was aligned with the JCP,” said a source at one of the companies involved.
Meanwhile, Sun, which declined an invitation to join the IBM-led Eclipse Java development tools group, is involved with the JTC.
According to sources, besides the leaders, other companies involved and invited to participate in the JTC are Compuware Corp., SAP AG, Sybase Inc., SAS Institute Inc. and Telelogic AB. In addition, sources said invitations went out to Java tools heavyweights Borland Software Corp. and IBM, whose participation could make or break the effort. So far, neither company has agreed to join.
Officials from both companies said they are still considering whether and how to participate. BEA, Oracle and Sun officials would not comment officially on the JTC. “The group is looking to tackle fragmentation in the Java market from the tools perspective, not the platform perspective,” said a source at one of the companies involved.
“It obviously makes sense that tools vendors who see the benefits in increased interoperability among various Java tools would be interested in coming up with some sort of a plan that wouldn’t necessarily call for the extreme nature of Eclipse—and largely commoditizing it and removing the IP [intellectual property] equation, yet significantly increasing interoperability,” said Mark Driver, an analyst with Gartner Inc., in Stamford, Conn.