Eclipse Launches Cloud Community

The Eclipse Foundation today announced a new initiative to create an open source community focused on cloud development -- specifically, the "technologies, platforms, and tools necessary to enable the delivery of highly integrated cloud development and cloud developer environments."

Dubbed Eclipse Cloud Development (ECD), the initiative is coming into the world as a top-level project and already has more than 65 developers and eight companies participating, including Red Hat Inc., IBM Corp., Pivotal, Codenvy, SAP, Tasktop, eXo Platform and WSO2. Codenvy, IBM, Pivotal and SAP are set to staff the project steering committee.

Project participants are expected to develop three types of open source solutions: industry-oriented developer environments; platforms for hosting and connecting developer environments; and tools to extend these platforms. To establish common building blocks, protocols, and APIs to facilitate interoperability among these solutions, the ECD is bringing together several Eclipse projects, both existing and proposed, including Eclipse Orion (a cloud IDE with services for JavaScript and dynamic languages); Eclipse Flux (a messaging bus that enables interoperability among desktop and cloud dev tools and development micro-services); Eclipse Che (a project in the proposal phase for an extensible platform for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) developer environments that provisions, shares and scales projects); and Eclipse Dirigible (a proposed project for creating a cloud IDE that supports "a full development lifecycle of on-demand apps leveraging in-system programming models and rapid application development techniques").

This is the second big initiative announced by the Eclipse Foundation this fall to address major industry trends. In September, the foundation announced an Open Internet of Things (IoT) Stack for Java Developers (see more on that here). The foundation's Eclipse IoT initiative now includes 15 projects collectively aiming to reduce the complexity of developing IoT/M2M solutions.

"Software development in the cloud is definitely a big part of the future for developer tools and services," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, in a statement. "This is why we are excited to bring together companies like SAP, Pivotal, IBM and Codenvy to collaborate on creating the building blocks to enable the next generation of software development in the cloud. This builds on the vision laid out three years ago when the Orion project was introduced at Eclipse by IBM."

IBM, a longtime Eclipse supporter, is particularly interested in the project's potential for continuing to raise the "visibility" of Eclipse Orion, which the company considers a key part of its DevOps Services for the Bluemix cloud development platform, said Angel Diaz, IBM's vice president of Open Technology and Cloud Performance Solutions. "As the Eclipse initiative evolves, the tech and development communities will continue to benefit from these additional cloud development resources," she said in a statement.

Red Had is another longtime supporter of Eclipse with a big investment in open source. The company is participating in the ECD project as part of its effort to ensure "that open source technology continues to define and dominate the software development landscape as we enter the era of open, hybrid cloud," said Rich Sharples, director of product management in the Red Hat Middleware group.

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].