Eclipse Release to Sync Web Development

The Eclipse Foundation wants to help Web application and Java software vendors agree on technology.

The foundation this week will make Web Tools Platform (WTP) 1.0 available for download. Version 1.0 standardizes Web and Java EE development applications and will help vendors build an industry-wide consensus on the technologies used to create Web applications.

The goal of the WTP is to build a platform that allows for a high level of re-use and extensibility so users can go from one vendor to another — say IBM WebSphere to BEA WebLogic — without needing to institute widespread changes or add components from one application to the other.

“This release really starts to deliver on the vision of the Web Tools Platform,” Mike Milinkovich, Eclipse Foundation director, said in a statement. “Providing a strong platform for companies to leverage when building Web and J2EE tools is a critical component of Eclipse’s strategy for providing a universal development platform for tools integration.”

Version 1.0’s enhancements are mostly around making WTP easier to adopt for Web application tools vendors.

WTP 1.0 has been broken down into components, called features, so vendors can select subsets of functionality they want to incorporate. Project members also future-proofed the platform by coordinating project-model changes with changes to the overall Eclipse platform. The update also fixes a number of stability, performance and scalability bugs.

The project has three goals: defining the WTP API ; staying current with the Eclipse platform; and keeping in step with Java standards, such as Java 5.0 and WSDL.

Version 1.0 works on two of those goals: defining the API and aligning with the Eclipse platform. Officials said future releases will focus on the third — staying in line with Java standards.

Software vendors such as Borland , IBM , BEA Systems and JBoss have already been using the platform as a base for their own software-based Web development tools.

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