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Eclipse Brings Web Services Tools to Light

The Eclipse Foundation issued its first open source Web services tools geared to make it easier and faster for developers to write and deploy Java software.

The tools are designed to help programmers create Web services , which make communication possible between multiple applications. They make sure the applications are conformant to standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization.

The release includes authoring tools for the W3C's Web Service Description Language (WSDL) , XML and XML schema standards, as well as wizards to ease Web service creation. To ensure authenticity of the tools, the group has also included the reference implementation of the WS-I validation tools.

Having Web services tools with guaranteed open source pedigree should be received as a boon to an industry unsure of the service-oriented architectures (SOA) offerings of some of the leading Web services vendors. Developers have been slow to adopt Web services for a variety of reasons, some of which the Eclipse tools should address.

The Web services utilities are part of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) Project, which will release WTP 1.0 this July.

New Eclipse member BEA co-leads the WTP project, which also boasts tools for Enterprise Java Beans , server control and data access.

The news comes during a busy week for the Foundation, in the midst of its second EclipseCon 2005 conference in Burlingame, Calif.

BEA's commitment last week as a strategic developer was a coup of sorts: it set off a chain reaction of membership additions. Sybase followed BEA last week, pledging to provide developer resources and proposing a new Data Tools Project.

Borland on Monday also joined as a strategic developer, agreeing to head up a software delivery optimization project. Computer Associates Tuesday committed to the strategic developer role, promising to lead a strategic enterprise management tools project.

In other Eclipse news, IBM announced tools to help software developers write code easily, including tools for building Apache Derby database applications in Eclipse and a series of Eclipse-based alpha technologies. IBM has also been appointed to lead the recently-created Eclipse Voice Tools Project.

The Foundation also teamed with Actuate to announce that all of the modules currently under development for the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools Project (BIRT) are now available. These tools enable the creation of open source reports to aid business intelligence efforts.