Java Tools Community Effort Back on Track

According to sources, the plan to build an ecosystem of Java tool frameworks based on open standards appears to be finally gathering steam with new support from tools vendors.

The effort to build a tight-knit organization to support advancements in Java development is set to take off next month, and possibly as early as next week, sources said.

The effort, initially reported in eWEEK and originally known as the Java Tools Community (JTC), will feature several leading Java tool vendors working to link their frameworks together. The vendors, including leaders BEA Systems Inc., Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc., hope the creation of an ecosystem of Java tool frameworks based on open standards will battle more effectively against Microsoft Corp. and its .Net Framework and Visual Studio .Net integrated development environment (IDE).

The effort was to launch in September, but stalled as the nascent organization pressed to get more companies involved. Now, with increased support, not only of technology provider companies, but also of user organizations, the JTC is ready to launch, sources said.

In addition, the group will prominently feature Java Community Process (JCP) support, sources said. "We lobbied to make sure this initiative was aligned with the JCP," said a source at one of the companies involved in the effort.

/zimages/1/28571.gif•JBoss Group this fall joined the Java Community Process. Click here to read more about the issues surrounding JTCs efforts to promote the Java platform and Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE).

Meanwhile, Sun, which recently declined an invite to join the IBM-led Eclipse Java development environment effort, is heavily involved with the JTC, which now could become larger than Eclipse, some said.

Rich Green, Sun vice president of developer tools and Java software, said that during lengthy discussions related to joining Eclipse, the company "moved from how does Sun join to how do we coalesce the two communities and platforms."

Yet, in the end, Sun decided "we couldnt do it equitably or evenly...and we decided to keep distinct and going forward," he said.

However, Green said Sun believes "tool and plug-in interoperability is good stuff," but the industry needs to unite at a broader level.

Though he would not be more specific about Suns plans, Green said: "My hope is everybody should participate in this—and my hope is we can get every tools vendor and open source group to contribute and participate."

Next Page: An invitation is extended to other key players.