IBM Bundles Run Time with Eclipse

IBM officials announced the company is bundling the Eclipse software development kit
with its own version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

The donation of the JRE for Linux — and Windows-based operating systems —
available on Big Blue’s Developerworks Web site — isn’t just an exercise in
giving more to the open source community. After all, it’s been freely
available to developers for some time now, through IBM’s Developer Kit for
Linux and IBM Developer Kit for Windows.

Essentially, it’s an opportunity to sell developers on IBM tools, such as
Rational and WebSphere Studio, while weaning people away from Sun
Microsystems’ software bundle.

JREs provide a critical component for anyone using Java-based applications,
because users can’t run a program otherwise. Normally, JREs are bundled along
with the SDK and installed at the same time.

Recently, Sun
started bundling its NetBeans 3.6 IDE
with the J2SE SDK, which gave
developers a one-stop download for the IDE, SDK and JRE. Sun, as the shepherd
of the Java Community Process (JCP), has the luxury of being able to bundle
its IDE with the SDK (which comes with a JRE) of the popular programming
language. IBM does not have this, so it is bundling its own
JRE with the Eclipse IDE.

Sun plans to include support for J2EE 1.4 in future versions of NetBeans. Company
officials say an early access release of that support will be available in
October after the launch of NetBeans 4.0, which is available for download
as a beta version today.

Sun and the Eclipse Foundation share a rocky past. At one time Sun and IBM,
which founded the open source organization, tried to work out a deal to
bring NetBeans into the Eclipse fold, but talks collapsed late last year.

IBM’s bundling effort also fulfills another purpose — wooing Linux
developers onto its own software tools platform for creating software
applications on the J2EE framework. The company is distributing
free copies of its Linux Software Evaluation Kit DVD, which includes trial
versions of WebSphere Studio Application Developer and other middleware
offerings for its DB2, WebSphere and Tivoli product lines.

“Linux developers need productive and integrated tools, as well as support
for deploying applications to Linux servers,” said Gina Poole, IBM vice
president of developer marketing and Web communities for ISV
and developer relations, in a statement.

Developers using the IBM JRE who decide to upgrade to Rational or Tivoli
products will not have to switch out JREs, because they’re already compatible,
she added in the statement.

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