Google Re-Releases GWT Designer, Other Eclipse, Java Dev Tools; Offers Them Free

Google on Thursday announced that it is relaunching several products acquired in its August purchase of Instantiations under its own name and offering them to developers at no charge.

"We relaunching these major Instantiations products in a typical Google way," Brad Abrams, product manager in Google's developer tools group, told ADTmag. "Every developer with an Internet connection can take advantage of these tools at no cost."

Google is relaunching four Instantiations products today:

  • GWT Designer, a popular Eclipse-based GUI builder based on the Google Web Toolkit (GWT). The GWT is Google's free, open-source development framework aimed at Web application builders who want to use the Asynchronous JavaScript and XML technique (Ajax) without having to learn JavaScript. GWT Designer lets Java developers quickly create Ajax user interfaces using the GWT.
  • CodePro AnalytiX, an automated software code-quality-and-security analysis tools package, featuring more than 700 rules and metrics, which offers a set of continuous collaborative code analysis (C3A) tools for analyzing Java apps. CodePro AnalytiX integrates with Rational Developer, IBM WebSphere Studio or any Eclipse development environment.
  • WindowBuilder Pro, a Java-based, drag-and-drop GUI designer that works with a number of frameworks: Swing, XML Windowing Toolkit (XWT),Uthe Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT), RCP and, of course, GW. It supports Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, as well as the popular Ext GWT (GXT) library.
  • WindowTester Pro, a Java-based functional testing tool used to test Swing, SWT and Eclipse-based applications. The tool tests GUI interactions within Java client rich applications for the SWT and Swing UI frameworks

Why is Google giving these tools away for free? "These tools make it easier for developers -- particularly enterprise developers -- to build great Web applications," Abrams said. "Google is all about making the Web better, so we feel this helps in our general mission."

It's also about building in-house dev-tool expertise, said industry analyst Rob Enderle. "Google is in the platform business with Android and the Chrome OS, and in dire need of development tools and the people who know how to build them successfully," Enderle said at the time of the Instantiations acquisition. "This looks like they wanted to buy a team of folks who were already executing together in order to address the needs of their emerging platforms."

Google has been courting developers for some time with offerings such as the Google App Engine, a suite of the tools and services for building and scaling Web apps on Google's infrastructure. Applications developed using the App Engine Software Development Kit (SDK) can be uploaded and hosted by Google. Those apps can then use Google's bandwidth and computing power. A new Business version of the App Engine, launched last year, is designed to allow companies to build and maintain their own apps on Google's infrastructure.

"Google is an ambitious vendor," said Gartner Distinguished Analyst Yefim Natis. "They have Android, which is going to compete with Windows sooner or later, and they know that the operating system is only the bottom of the stack. They want to be able eventually to compete with the whole stack for the mass market customers."

Google made the announcement today in a blog posting by Google Developer Team member Bruce Johnson.

These tools are all available now for download.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].