CollabNet Lets Coders Go Right To The Source

Open source developer CollabNet today announced it has bridged a major gap in its product line by allowing Java developers using Eclipse to directly interact with its source code management software.

The enhancement is known as CollabNet Desktop, Eclipse Edition. It will allow Eclipse developers to check in/check out code directly with Subversion, CollabNet’s open source project collaboration software.

Subversion is used on open source projects, such as those hosted on SourceForge, where the programming teams may be scattered all over the world instead of all in the same office. Many programmers have moved from CVS content management to Subversion, but some remain with it, so CollabNet Desktop will support CVS systems as well.

Up to now, open source developers working in Eclipse had to manually download source code through a Web browser, then load it into Eclipse, do their work, save it out, and upload it back with the browser. Eclipse Desktop eliminates that step through direct interaction between the code management server and Eclipse.

“Eclipse is a great IDE , but the idea of working in a geographically dispersed way hasn’t been available until now,” Bill Portelli, president and CEO of the company, told “What we’ve done in the last year is open our tool [Subversion] to third party tools in a more interesting bidirectional way.”

This enhancement will allow Eclipse developers to stay within their familiar environment and keep their project more up to date. As code is checked in and issues fixed or corrected, the project management software will be automatically updated to reflect that a change was made, and who made it.

Also, by working directly in the IDE, developers will be able to work together regardless of where they are physically located, because as they make changes, it will be checked into the server and the server will be more current on changes and updates.

Eclipse Desktop uses Eclipse Mylar, the task management UI to update and synchronize project tasks, issues, or artifacts that are stored in the CollabNet development platform. So as a known issue in source code is fixed, Mylar removes it from the issues list and notes, who fixed it and when.

Portelli said CollabNet is having discussions with Oracle  and Sun  about potentially adding similar functionality to JDeveloper and NetBeans, respectively. But that will take time to work out the details, he said.

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