SOURCE: IBM

March 21, 2006 08:00 ET

IBM Continues Open Source Drive With Eclipse Services and Software Commitments

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 21, 2006 -- Today at EclipseCon 2006, IBM is continuing its significant investment and commitment to Eclipse by announcing new services, software, tools and support designed to improve the Eclipse platform, frameworks and to broaden the community initiatives around this leading development platform.

Four and a half years ago, IBM led the creation of the Eclipse open source project with a 40 million USD contribution of technology. In 2004, IBM helped launch the Eclipse Foundation as an independent not-for-profit organization.

Recognizing the massive growth in the number of software developers worldwide now utilizing Eclipse and its associated open source projects and plug-ins, IBM today is announcing it is piloting a support offering for developers using Eclipse as their primary development environment. The pilot program is aimed at customers who want their development teams using both open source Eclipse and commercial Eclipse-based tools such as IBM Rational software. IBM's experienced customer support professionals will help individual developers work in a mixed software development environment, while providing the focus and support for management teams looking to govern their software development process.

IBM is also unveiling the following software tools and program updates to the marketplace:

--  2006 IBM Eclipse Innovation Award program -- An international award
    competition designed to encourage the use of open source and open standards-
    based tools for academic curricula and research.  Qualified faculty and
    researchers may submit proposals for work with applications in teaching,
    research or community building around Eclipse.  Awards are valued in the
    range of US$10,000 to $30,000. For more information and to submit a
    proposal, visit http://www.ibm.com/university/eclipseinnovation
--  New enterprise data modeling and integration design tool -- Built on
    Eclipse, Rational Data Architect helps data architects understand the
    information assets they have, map data assets to each other, and create
    database and integration schemas. Now available, Rational Data Architect
    makes it easier to design anything from a simple relational database to a
    complex federated database.
--  New e-forms tool -- Workplace Forms Designer 2.6, currently in beta,
    is built on Eclipse 3.1. It allows form designers to easily create XML e-
    forms for automating business processes on a variety of middleware
    platforms. The tool will be available in June of this year.
--  New "instant" help interface plug-in built on Eclipse -- Software
    built and designed for Eclipse that helps developers save time and costs
    associated with delivering a help system for their applications. This
    multilingual, cross-platform, open source help system can be run off a CD,
    local     installation, or delivered via a hosted (network) model, helping
    Java developers create an "instant" online help system for their
    applications that can run on many different operating systems or even
    across a network. The technology is available on alphaWorks at
    http://alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/iehs.
    
"By maintaining a strong commitment to open source, encouraging innovation, and engendering community growth, IBM's strategy of investing in open source has planted seeds that will continue to positively impact growth and pay future dividends," said John Kellerman, Manager, Eclipse Strategy, IBM. "We contribute world class programming talent and technology to new and existing open source projects. IBM's aim is to do so in a way that both meets our customers' needs and contributes to the vitality of the open source community. IBM is currently involved in more than one hundred open source projects."

"IBM has been at the forefront of establishing Eclipse as a premier open source platform and their continued commitment and contributions is an important part of our growing community," said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director, Eclipse Foundation.

IBM Leadership Continues

IBM is one of nearly 130 companies contributing to Eclipse as part of an effort to provide a universal platform of frameworks and exemplary tools that make it easy and cost-effective to build and deploy software in today's connected and unconnected world. IBM views contributions to Eclipse and other open source projects as value enhancements to its commercial software and middleware offerings through community growth and expanded commercial product adoption. As an example, IBM Rational's ClearQuest product will use Eclipse rich client technology in forthcoming releases to bring enhanced workflow management and IT governance capabilities to customers.

Reinforcing IBM's commitment to PHP, IBM and Zend are contributing code to the newly created PHP IDE sub-project of the Eclipse Tools project. IBM and Zend have jointly developed a fully extensible PHP Development Environment framework. This code leverages the existing Web Tools Project in providing developers with PHP capabilities. The PHP IDE is composed of a set of extensible features covering the development life cycle of PHP including functionality that deals with developing, deploying, documenting, debugging and testing PHP-based applications.

IBM is contributing three toolkits to the Eclipse Test and Performance Tools Platform project to help developers apply operational management standards to their applications, including the Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM), Application Response Measurement (ARM) and Java Management Extensions (JMX) standards. Previously, the process of implementing management standards while writing application code could take weeks, now developers can quickly generate code to build management standards into their applications without being management experts. The tools can run in any Eclipse Workbench environment that includes the Test and Performance Tools Platform, such as IBM Rational Application Developer. IBM will add more capabilities to these toolkits over the next several months.

In addition, Eclipse has approved IBM's recent contribution of the Ajax Toolkit Framework, which aims to help developers create and efficiently debug Ajax applications. The new Eclipse Ajax Toolkit Framework is the first approach that supports multiple Ajax runtime toolkits. With the help of Eclipse, the toolkit offers universal compatibility with any computer device, application, desktop or operating system, and easy incorporation into new and existing software programs.

Another such example of IBM's support for Eclipse includes upcoming contribution of Core Framework for SOA Tools Project (STP), which provides core models and framework for other STP subprojects to build upon. The STP core framework is based on the Service Component Architecture (SCA) which is an emerging standard backed by many of the industry leading vendors providing tooling and runtimes for SOA solutions. The models and frameworks of STP provide the base on which the Rational design and constructions tools, such as Rational Application Developer and Rational System Architect, will be built.

IBM, in collaboration with Borland, proposed the creation of a new Eclipse top-level project named the "Eclipse Modeling Project" dedicated to the development of modeling-related technologies. The proposed project will help the evolution of modeling within Eclipse as well as promote its use within the community. The planned Modeling project technology will be the cornerstone on which Rational builds its commercial modeling capabilities, ones that show up, for example, in Rational Software Modeller.

Further examples of IBM's continuing support for Eclipse and industry leadership for open source projects include "Eclipse Project Higgins," which is aimed at giving individuals more control over their personal online information like bank account numbers of medical records. IBM, Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Novell and Parity Communications are involved with the project, which will enable the development of software for "user-centric" identity management -- an emerging trend in security software. Higgins is the first user-centric identity management effort to follow the open source software model. In addition to contributing newly created code, IBM plans to support Higgins with commercial Tivoli identity management software next year with added support by independent software vendors and IBM's consulting services division.

IBM also recently announced its contribution of a new Application Programming Interface to the Eclipse Voice Tools project so Web developers can use popular browser tools to build, test and run new voice applications, speeding the adoption of VoiceXML applications in phones, handheld devices, cars and on the Web. IBM also released its multimodal tools for Eclipse on its alphaWorks website to create multimodal speech-enabled Web applications written in XHTML+Voice (X+V) markup language. These voice applications can run on IBM's WebSphere Voice Server.

Last week, IDC's "Worldwide Developer Programs 2006" positioned IBM as a leader in its efforts with the developer community. According to this report, IBM's focus on emerging markets and open source technologies will result in even higher levels of developer participation in the coming year.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key IBM Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of on demand business. For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com.

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