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Red Hat's Open Source IDE

Six months ago, Linux vendor Red Hat acquired the closed source Exadel Studio Pro IDE and pledged to turn it into a fully open source Red Hat product.

On Monday, Red Hat officially released JBoss Developer Studio (JBDS), based on the Exadel product as a 100 percent open source IDE . The new Eclipse based IDE offering from Red Hat's JBoss division will provide a development environment that will work on both Windows and Linux for Java middleware solutions from JBoss.

"Other commercial Eclipse-based offerings leverage open source technology like the Eclipse framework," Bryan Che, product manager at Red Hat told InternetNews.com. "But, they keep all their best stuff proprietary, and that is their incentive for developers to buy a license. Because JBoss Developer Studio is 100 percent open source, we offer developers a different and better value around integration and certification."

Among the other vendors that use Eclipse as a base for their IDE is IBM, which uses Eclipse as a base for its Rational IDE products. An IBM spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Che argued that unlike a pure Eclipse tooling product, when a developer installs JBDS, the developer gets an integrated environment that includes Eclipse, Eclipse Tooling and the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. All of the included components are also certified to work together.

"When new versions of technologies come out, the developer can upgrade via JBDS and know that all the new technologies and their dependencies will be certified to work together so that the developer's environment continues to work," Che explained.

Though, historically, JBoss users have had other IDE's they could use, Che was optimistic about JBDS and noted that Red Hat has seen substantial interest from JBoss users in JBDS.

The first beta of JBDS was released in August and since then, Red Hat claims the IDE has had over 100,000 downloads. Che said the beta process was great for providing feedback around bug reports and desired functionality in JBDS.

"We did not make dramatic changes in functionality," Che noted. "However, we did bring in updated features and capabilities in existing tools like additional Seam Tooling options."

Another interesting fact that emerged during the beta period was the platform that developers used for the IDE.

"The majority of the beta users were on Windows," Che noted.

While JBDS currently is available for both Windows and Linux, the plan, according to Che, is to add Mac OS support soon.

JBDS is licensed under the GPL version 2 open source license. Developers can download source code from JBoss as well as purchase a subscription-based product. Initial pricing for JBDS is $99.