Trio Forms Eclipse Plug-In Portal

EPIC portal will offer diverse information for developers.

Three companies supporting the Eclipse open-source development platform community have united to create a new portal for developers using the platform.

The portal, called EPIC (Eclipse Plug-In Central), will be supported by Genuitec LLC, of Dallas; Instantiations Inc., of Portland, Ore.; and Innoopract Informationssysteme GmbH, of Karlsruhe, Germany—the three companies that make up the Eclipse Plug-In Central Alliance. EPIC will be announced this week at the EclipseCon conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Eclipse is a Java development framework backed by IBM, Borland Software Corp., Oracle Corp. and others as an open-source alternative to Microsoft Corp.s .Net. "We felt there was a need for the community to have this kind of thing," said Jochen Krause, founder and president of Innoopract. "Eclipse developers need more information. ... Right now, its hard to find the information you need."

EPIC will provide information about Eclipse plug-ins from all sources, including freeware and open-source and commercial software, said Mike Taylor, president and CEO of Instantiations. EPIC initially will include a plug-in directory, forums, plug-in ratings and reviews, and Eclipse and Java links and news, Taylor said. The portal will also offer information on Eclipse consulting, training, certification and services. Plug-in developers will provide much of the content, Krause said. "Ultimately, well provide a marketplace," he said.

Krause said roles will be shared, with Genuitec taking on much of the hosting capabilities, Innoopract working on the upcoming marketplace and Instantiations working on promoting the portal. Instantiations Taylor will give a presentation on the portal at EclipseCon.

"The Eclipse community has grown up, and there have been a few sites you could go to for information, but people were unsatisfied," Taylor said. "So we got together after an Eclipse board meeting and came up with this idea."

For open-source and freeware plug-ins, listing on is free, Taylor said, and commercial plug-ins, products and services may be listed for free for now.

"A portal for getting listings of Eclipse plug-ins and news and information on Eclipse plug-ins would be very useful," said Andrzej Delagacz, an Eclipse user and database analyst with Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, in Richmond. "However, I think there are alrerady at least a couple of sites that serve that purpose."