Eclipse RCP Adoption Nearly Triples

A new survey shows that developer adoption of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform has nearly tripled since last year.

The Eclipse Foundation announced the results of a recent survey on Sept. 5 that shows a dramatic increase in adoption of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform.

On the eve of the EclipseWorld conference that runs Sept. 6-8 in Cambridge, Mass., the Ottawa-based Eclipse Foundation unveiled the survey that showed that about 22 percent of respondents said they are building rich-client applications on Eclipse RCP.

Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said Eclipse commissioned Evans Data, of Santa Cruz, Calif., to do a survey and there were more than 380 respondents. The 22 percent adoption figure is an increase of more than 130 percent over the 2005 study Evans did for the Eclipse Foundation. Moreover, Milinkovich said the survey indicates strong future growth and interest in Eclipse RCP, with 68 percent of respondents saying they will be using it in the next six months.

Eclipse RCP is a platform for building and deploying rich-client applications, Eclipse officials said.

The Eclipse RCP platform includes Equinox, a component framework based on the OSGi (Open Services Gateway Initiative) standard; the ability to deploy native graphical user interface applications to a variety of desktop operating systems including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X; and an integrated update mechanism for deploying desktop applications from a central server, Eclipse officials said

"We have been very impressed with the awareness and growth of Eclipse as a platform for building end-user applications," said John Andrews, president of Evans Data, in a statement. "It is clear that Eclipse RCP is being considered as one of the main platforms for building desktop applications. Its unique value of providing portability between Windows, Linux and Mac OS X differentiates it from other solutions."

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In an interview with eWEEK, Eclipses Milinkovich said the Evans survey "confirms our belief that RCP adoption has been growing. The thing that grabbed our attention is the 130 percent growth in developers using RCP."

In addition, Milinkovich said he sees an ecosystem cropping up around Eclipse RCP. And companies such as IBM, SAS Institute, Instantiations and others are beginning to build products around RCP, he said.

"SAS is using Eclipse RCP as the foundation for many of our new Java desktop solutions," said Rich Main, director of Java development environments at SAS, in Cary, N.C., in a statement. "With Eclipse RCP, we can develop more consistent, native-looking Java applications while taking advantage of the underlying Eclipse plug-in model to share key application features across a wide array of products. This allows us to devote more of our energy to providing unique business value for our customers."

Also in a statement, Mike Taylor, chief executive of Portland, Ore.-based Instantiations and chair of the Eclipse working group that worked with Evans Data on the study, said of the survey results: "This provides a great opportunity for companies, like Instantiations, to target their solutions and services to a growing community of RCP developers."

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