Why SpringSource Brews Best Enterprise Java

SpringSource shows its swagger in the enterprise Java space with a new Code2Cloud offering that puts necessary lifecycle tools in a cloud environment for developers to use.

CHICAGO-While the rest of the enterprise Java world, including Java steward Oracle, sort of plods along, VMware's SpringSource division is making moves that legitimize its claims of becoming the de facto standard for enterprise Java development.

SpringSource was able to entice mega Java backer Google to attend its annual developer event here, and to be a major-read platinum-sponsor. Google, for various reasons, including legal issues with Oracle, declined to participate in Oracle's JavaOne conference-which some developers have disparagingly referred to as "JavaHalf" because it did not live up to the expectations of previous years' events. SpringSource also did not participate in JavaOne.

However, on Oct. 19, VMware's SpringSource division announced a new set of cloud-based development and collaboration tools aimed at simplifying the entire application-development process.

At its SpringOne 2GX developer conference here, VMware announced a new set of cloud-based tools developed in partnership with Tasktop Technologies, a leading provider of task-focused development and ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) integration solutions. The new tools, known as Code2Cloud, build on leading open source development projects to provide a unified, setup-free development infrastructure delivered as a cloud service, said Rod Johnson, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's SpringSource product division.

"This is the single biggest announcement we've made to date; we think this is going to be a big deal," Johnson told eWEEK. Moreover, this year's SpringOne 2GX event is the biggest SpringSource has held yet, with more than 1,000 developers in attendance, Johnson said.

Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop Technologies and the creator of the Eclipse Mylyn project, said Code2Cloud allows developers to focus on what is important-business logic and writing great code. By removing the distractions of configuring development environments, setting up code repositories, and continuous integration and seamlessly incorporating issue-tracking systems, Code2Cloud removes much of the complexity and headaches from the application-development process, Kersten said. Code2Cloud is delivered as a service with no setup, and no hardware or software to manage to the more than 2.5 million members of the SpringSource developer community.

"For the past decade, SpringSource has always focused on improving developer productivity-from the creation of the Spring Framework and our rapid application-development tools, Grails and Roo, to the most complete Eclipse-based IDE, SpringSource Tool Suite (STS)," Johnson said in a statement. "Now, along with Tasktop Technologies, SpringSource will bring the same innovation to application lifecycle tools. To help our developer community prepare for the cloud, we are bringing the cloud to them with a complete set of development tools-to make every developer more productive."

Taking advantage of the cloud for development infrastructure is a great first step for developers and IT organizations to move forward with their public cloud strategy, Kersten said. While developers and application owners will be able to use Code2Cloud for the entire build process, it also enables a choice of Java cloud deployment destinations easily targeted at internal infrastructure, or public PAAS (Platform as a Service) offerings, like the enterprise-ready VMforce, a joint offering between VMware and Salesforce, or Google.

"We believe having a unified view of the process will give developers a chance for breakthrough innovation," Johnson said. "We plan to make the Spring model the natural value proposition for Java cloud computing," he added.

The software development tool chain has always been tedious to set up and integrate, Red Monk analyst Michael Cote, said in a statement. "While cloud-based development promises to make application delivery, deployment and use easier, I haven't seen excellent unified application-management approaches that take full advantage of cloud.

"VMware's SpringSource Code2Cloud is an ambitious attempt at moving much of the development management stack into the cloud and hopefully vacuuming up those tedious application-management tasks. It'll be fun to watch this idea evolve as more and more people and applications start taking advantage of cloud computing," Cote continued.

Code2Cloud builds on open source projects, including Eclipse Mylyn task management, STS (SpringSource Tool Suite IDE, Hudson continuous integration and Git source control, Kersten said. It provides a new cloud-centric issue tracker that is compatible with the popular Bugzilla bug-tracking system, as well as a dashboard for managing applications and development teams. The solution leverages the Tasktop Certified ecosystem of Agile and ALM integrations, ensuring interoperability with existing ALM (AppWare Loadable Module) tools and support for best-of-breed Agile technologies.

"Developers live and breathe inside their IDE," Kersten said. "With Code2Cloud, once the developer fixes a defect within Eclipse, the hosted code is instantly built, tested and deployed. Any issues detected at run time immediately show in the issue tracker and IDE with the full context of the failure, ensuring an unprecedented degree of integration between the running application and the day-to-day activity of the development team."

Between the open source Spring ecosystem and now Code2Cloud, developers have a destination for their tooling, their programming model, their deployment destination and now their application lifecycle tools, Kersten said. Much like the Spring Framework allowed enterprises to leverage their existing investments in software infrastructure but provided modern developer-friendly tools to access that infrastructure, Code2Cloud will be highly extensible to other ALM solutions via its implementation of the Eclipse Mylyn framework and of the OSLC (Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration) Web service standard.

Kersten demonstrated Code2Cloud during the opening keynote of the SpringOne G2X developer conference. The technology will be available as a developer preview in the first quarter of 2011. And when it becomes generally available, Tasktop will provide enterprise support and integrations with third-party Agile and ALM solutions.