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Eclipse rules at IBM

[JUNE 17, 2002] - IBM last week formally disclosed plans to standardize developer tools for its WebSphere and Lotus integration middleware, WebSphere tools and related systems and the eServer iSeries products on the Eclipse open-source platform.

The new Eclipse-based tools support WebSphere, Lotus Domino, CrossWorlds, DB2, Tivoli, MQ and IBM eServer iSeries. The disclosure coincided with the unveiling of two Eclipse-based WebSphere tools -- the Business Components Composer for building retail banking applications and WebSphere Commerce for delivering B2B and B2C transactional-based Web sites.

IBM launched Eclipse in November 2001 as an open-source "workbench" into which developers could plug proprietary tools and run them simultaneously without having to toggle between different tool GUIs. That same month, the company announced its first Eclipse-based app development environment, WebSphere Studio. In March, the company rebuilt its VisualAge for Java tools on Eclipse and rebranded them under the WebSphere name, integrating them into WebSphere Studio.

Officials said the move to extend Eclipse support unifies IBM's entire middleware portfolio around a single development environment, which gives the firm an advantage in attracting the all-important corporate developer.

IBM said new Eclipse-based plug-ins for WebSphere Studio include Lotus Domino, CrossWorlds integration tools, the DB2 line of database management systems, the Tivoli systems management toolsets the MQ Series messaging middleware, the eServer iSeries systems, the new WebSphere Business Components Composer and the WebSphere Commerce Studio.

A consortium of tool vendors manages the Eclipse Project. The 12-member board includes executives from Borland, Fujitsu, IBM, Merant, QNX Software Systems, Rational Software, RedHat, Serena Software, SuSE, Sybase, TogetherSoft and WebGain. More than 175 other tool vendors have, or plan to build tools on the Eclipse platform, IBM said.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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