Thursday, March 03, 2005

BEA touts Eclipse participation

BEA touts Eclipse participation
BEA Systems Inc. on Tuesday fleshed out plans to participate in the Eclipse Foundation for open-source development tools, citing intentions to base its integrated development environment (IDE) around Eclipse and make several contributions.

The San Jose-based company's decision to join Eclipse represents a turnabout, since the vendor had been one of the few holdouts. In explaining its change of heart, BEA officials cited IBM's divestiture of Eclipse, which has become a separate entity, and Eclipse scoring a market victory over the rival NetBeans open-source tools initiative led by Sun Microsystems Inc.

"BEA's joining the Eclipse Foundation ratifies the notion that Eclipse is a broad industry community," said Bill Roth, vice president of product marketing at BEA.

IBM founded Eclipse, and companies such as Oracle Corp. and Borland Software Corp. have participated previously. Borland next week is expected to make an announcement related to its participation in the organization, while Sybase Inc. did so Tuesday.

BEA is undertaking several key initiatives in its Eclipse venture. The BEA WebLogic Workshop IDE will be retooled around the Eclipse framework. Code-named Daybreak and due in fall 2005, the next version of Workshop will feature Eclipse functionality plus a framework for developing across the BEA WebLogic middleware stack, said Nils Gilman, director of product marketing for BEA. IDE plug-ins will be provided to Eclipse for functions such as connectivity to the WebLogic Portal and Integration products.

BEA will also offer a package that features the Eclipse framework, plug-ins and support, Gilman said.

In addition, BEA will serve as co-lead on the Eclipse Web Tools Platform project, which is intended to provide for building of Web-based tools. The company will donate eight full-time employees to the project. They will hold the ranks of high-level strategic developer and board member within Eclipse.

BEA is also merging its AspectWerkz project for aspect-oriented programming with the BEA AspectJ project. Version 5 of AspectJ is due this spring and will feature management of large numbers of objects in an object-oriented environment, Gilman said.

The company plans to contribute plug-ins to Eclipse based on memory leak monitoring technology used in the BEA JRockit Java Virtual Machine. BEA also has proposed starting a multilanguage compiler project within Eclipse based on the company's Javelin technology.

An analyst said BEA's participation in Eclipse was overdue. "It's about time," said Anne Thomas Manes, vice president and research director for application platform strategies at Burton Group.

BEA has had a tough time positioning Workshop against Eclipse, Manes said. "Nobody is building tools for anything other than Eclipse because Eclipse has just taken over as the market leader," Manes said.

Sybase, meanwhile, will elevate its status in Eclipse from member to strategic developer. "The importance of this is we are going to contribute and evolve a lot more with Eclipse from this point on," said David Tong, vice president of engineering at Dublin, Calif.-based Sybase.

The company intends to provide developer resources and propose a new Data Tools Project at Eclipse. The goal of the project is to develop a comprehensive data management tooling framework.

The EclipseCon 2005 technical conference will be held next week in Burlingame, Calif. Founded in 2001, the Eclipse Foundation said it has had more than 50 million downloads of its technology as of the end of 2004.

Read complete article. . .

No comments: