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Embedding Eclipse Once, Enriching Many Apps

Eclipse is now for embedded developers too.

The Eclipse Device Software Development Platform (DSDP) project this week unleashed three milestone releases, Target Management 1.0, Embedded Rich Client Platform (eRCP, release version 1.0 and Mobile Tools for the Java Platform (MTJ) release version 0.7.

DSDP was founded as a top-level Eclipse project in 2005 as an effort to create an open standards based development platform for embedded software developers.

The Target Management (TM), project is all about the creation of frameworks and data models that help to manage and configure embedded systems connections and services. The TM project uses an open source version of IBM Remote System Explorer as its technology base. In addition to IBM, Symbian, MontaVista and Wind River are listed contributors to the effort.

One of the fastest growing Eclipse projects is Eclipse RCP (Rich Client Platform) which enables developers to create application that will run across multiple platforms. Eclipse RCP is the technology behind IBM's recent Lotus Notes and Sametime releases for Linux. Eclipse RCP is now coming to the embedded space with the Embedded Rich Client Platform (eRCP), release version 1.0.

The express goal of the eRCP project is to extend the Eclipse Rich Client Platform to embedded devices. The eRCP project provides a mobile device optimized subset of RCP components. IBM, Nokia and Motorola are contributing to the effort.

With the Mobile Tools for the Java Platform (MTJ), contributors Nokia, IBM and SonyEricsson are extending Eclipse to mobile java application development.

Over the course of its five year history Eclipse hasn't had much of a dedicated focus on the embedded space. That's not to say however that embedded developers haven't been using the core Eclipse platform, because they have.

"The reality with device software vendors like Wind River and anyone else you'd see at an embedded systems conference is that almost every single vendor is building on Eclipse and has been for a couple of years," Doug Gaff, leader of the DSDP Project Management Committee (PMC) and a Wind River employee told internetnews.com.

Gaff noted that the development process in Eclipse is extremely well structured for pretty much any technical direction a developer might want to pursue.

"It's already become the de facto standard and it's just natural that now stuff is starting to fall out," Gaff said. "Developers are now saying this is a commodity and we should really collaborate on it and that's what you're seeing in DSDP today."