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IBM Expands Support for Open Source Development

Developers building Eclipse-based apps will have sturdier shoulders to lean on later this year. At EclipseWorld, IBM announced new software that’ll support the building of open source IDEs.

IBM’s support service, called Rational Elite Support for Eclipse, offers vendor neutral assistance to those building Eclipse-based IDEs. And new software zeros in on open source dev tools and Eclipse Callisto–a product that improves dev productivity by balancing nearly a dozen projects simultaneously.

"A greater number of sheer developers are using Eclipse," said Gary Cernosek, offerings manager for IBM Rational.

Cernosek cites approximately 2.3 million developers building with Eclipse today. That growing interest laid the foundation for IBM’s increased support for open source, with new dev tools like Lotus Designer, which lets users develop and test apps with swifter speed and build new components to run on WebSphere Portal 6.0. An upgrade of a second tool, The IBM Rational Software Architect and Functional Tester, will provide functions that help developers deploy service-oriented architectures (SOA), systems development and geographically distributed apps.

"IBM is responding to the growing needs of customers and the open source development community, by addressing the requirement for commercial vendors to complement the current open source community model," said Ovum Senior Analyst Bola Rotibi in a statement.

According to Cernosek, the climate for Eclipse adoption is changing rather rapidly. While years ago orgs would dabble and experiment with Eclipse, few were fully adopting the Java IDE. Now he sees larger enterprises opting for open source, largely for its cost saving benefits and the high frequency of offered upgrades. Cernosek also gives some credit to new vendors that have jumped on the Java bandwagon by offering lower-end support tools. This has also helped jumpstart the validation of the Eclipse market.

Callisto resources will also be available on IBM’s developerWorks, a skills-swapping forum for developers. The community will include a new tool aimed to help Eclipse users expand their knowledge of version 3.2 enhancements through a "cheat sheet" tutorial that places Eclipse Workbench projects under the microscope for developers.

IBM will make Rational Elite available in the fourth quarter of this year. A free beta version of Lotus Designer, is due out at the end of the month. And IBM will open Rational Software Architect, and Rational Functional Tester to beta testing in October.

About the Author

Jason Turcotte is an assistant editor at Application Development Trends. He can be reached at jturcotte@1105media.com.

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