Nokia Expands Eclipse Role

The communications vendor signs on as board member and agrees to lead a project to create a framework for mobile Java developer tools.

Nokia Corp. Monday is expected to announce it has joined the Eclipse Foundation as a Strategic Developer and board member, becoming the second major company to announce this level of membership in Eclipse in two weeks.

Nokia officials said the mobile communications giant will contribute software and developers to the open source application development platform and will head a new Eclipse project. Iona Technologies announced membership as a Strategic Developer and board member of the Eclipse Foundation last week.

Officials at Nokia said their company, based in Espoo, Finland, will lead a project to create a framework for mobile Java developer tools, including complete tooling support for J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition). For instance, Nokia officials said the company will donate several components of its Java development tool set and build new tools for building MIDP- (Mobile Information Device Profile) and CDC- (Connected Device Configuration) based mobile Java applications.

Nokia has been an Eclipse user for some time, announcing enhanced support for the Eclipse Platform last year at the JavaOne 2004 conference. Pertti Korhonen, chief technology officer at Nokia, delivered a keynote presentation at the conference highlighting the companys commitment to Java. However, at the time, DArcy Salzmann, senior manager of product management and tools partners at Nokia, said the company was possibly interested in other facets of the Eclipse platform.

"We started this investigation into Eclipse at the grass-roots level, and the end result is we have our first products here," Salzmann said. "Were also looking at Eclipse as a C++ development environment."

Indeed, Nokias 2004 initiatives included support for the Eclipse platform in the Nokia Developers Suite for J2ME and the Nokia Mobile Server Services SDK (software development kit). The company also contributed to the Eclipse Foundations Embedded Rich Client Platform (eRCP) project.

/zimages/2/28571.gifEclipse makes moves to pass Microsofts Visual Studio. Click here to read more.

Going forward, Nokia officials said the company will enable developers to integrate any Nokia platform SDK supporting MIDP into the Eclipse environment. And Nokia plans to make additional Eclipse tools announcements later this year as part of its plan to host the majority of its tools offerings in Eclipse, company officials said. Moreover, Nokia reiterated its plans to use and promote the Eclipse platform beyond the scope of Java.

"By tightly integrating with Eclipse and proposing a new open source mobile development tools project, we are able to provide the more than two million registered developers in our Forum Nokia program with complete integrated tool packages optimized for Nokia platforms, helping them improve productivity when creating new mobile applications," said Korhonen in a statement. "Developers will significantly benefit from using the same Integrated Development Environment for multiple programming languages and software platforms."

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