SANTA CLARA, Calif.—IBM on March 21 announced that it is starting a support offering for developers using Eclipse as their primary development environment.
Officials said the pilot program is aimed at customers who want their development teams using both open-source Eclipse and commercial Eclipse-based tools such as IBM Rational software. IBMs services and support team will assist developers and their managers working in mixed software development environments. IBM made the announcement at the EclipseCon 2006 conference here.
In 2001, IBM launched Eclipse as an open-source project after contributing more than $40 million in technology. Then at the first EclipseCon in February 2004, Eclipse became an independent entity, with Mike Milinkovich as executive director.
However, IBM continues to wield a great deal of power within the Eclipse organization. For instance, reinforcing its commitment to PHP, IBM and Zend Technologies are contributing code to the newly created PHP IDE subproject of the Eclipse Tools project. IBM and Zend have jointly developed a fully extensible PHP Development Environment framework.
“By maintaining a strong commitment to open source, encouraging innovation and engendering community growth, IBMs strategy of investing in open source has planted seeds that will continue to positively impact growth and pay future dividends,” John Kellerman, manager of Eclipse Strategy at IBM, said in a statement.
“We contribute world-class programming talent and technology to new and existing open-source projects. IBMs aim is to do so in a way that both meets our customers needs and contributes to the vitality of the open-source community. IBM is currently involved in more than 100 open-source projects.”
IBM also is contributing three tool kits to the Eclipse Test and Performance Tools Platform project to help developers apply operational management standards to their applications, including WSDM (Web Services Distributed Management), ARM (Application Response Measurement) and JMX (Java Management Extensions) standards.
IBM also is involved in the Core Framework for STP (SOA Tools Project), which provides core models and framework for other STP subprojects to build upon. The STP core framework is based on the SCA (Service Component Architecture), which is an emerging standard backed by many of the industry-leading vendors providing tooling and run times for SOA solutions.
The models and frameworks of STP provide the base on which the Rational design and constructions tools, such as Rational Application Developer and Rational System Architect, will be built, IBM officials said.
And IBM and Borland Software have proposed a new Eclipse top-level project named the Eclipse Modeling Project, which is dedicated to the development of modeling-related technologies. The proposed project will help the evolution of modeling within Eclipse as well as promote its use within the community. The planned modeling project technology will be the cornerstone on which Rational builds its commercial modeling capabilities, ones that show up, for example, in Rational Software Modeler, the company said.
IBM also is involved in the open-source identity management project known as the “Eclipse Project Higgins,” which is aimed at giving individuals more control over their personal online information like bank account numbers of medical records.
And IBM recently announced its contribution of a new API to the Eclipse Voice Tools project so Web developers can use popular browser tools to build, test and run new voice applications, speeding the adoption of VoiceXML applications in phones, handheld devices, cars and on the Web.
In addition, IBM has initiated the 2006 IBM Eclipse Innovation Award program, an international award competition designed to encourage the use of open-source and open standards-based tools for academic curricula and research. Awards are valued in the range of $10,000 to $30,000. For more information and to submit a proposal, click here.
Meanwhile, IBM has released some new Eclipse-based tools, including the Rational Data Architect, an enterprise data modeling and integration design tool; Workplace Forms Designer 2.6, an XML e-forms tool, currently in beta; and a new instant help interface plug-in built on Eclipse.
“IBM has been at the forefront of establishing Eclipse as a premier open-source platform, and their continued commitment and contributions is an important part of our growing community,” said Milinkovich in a statement.