While EGL CE is new, it is derived from technology that IBM (NYSE: IBM) has been shipping for several years in its Rational Business Developer (RBD) solution.
Smythe added that a visual designer and intelligent editor is included as well as a common debugger for both browser and service-based processing. The commercial RBD product includes the ability to generate COBOL and RPG-based business processes which are not part of EGL CE.
Freely available, but not open source
IBM is making EGL CE freely available to developers, but the technology itself is not yet open source.
“EGL Community Edition is the first phase of our long-term Free and Open strategy,” Smythe said. “The goal of the first phase (Free) is to increase adoption and usage of EGL by providing a free, Eclipse-base tool for building fully capable applications. The second phase (Open) is where we will make components of EGL available as open source projects (like Eclipse.org) or open commercial (like Jazz.net) projects.”
As to why IBM has decided to make EGL CE freely available at this time, Smythe stated that IBM’s view is that the market now demands free access to languages.
And because IBM Rational Business Developer already has the capabilities provided by EGL CE, plus more, EGL CE doesn’t have a commercial roadmap, Smythe said.
There is a development roadmap, however. Smythe noted that IBM is still working through the plan, but it expects to deliver enhancements in a number of areas.
For instance, future enhancements could focus on “extending the capabilities delivered in our EGL Widget set, integration to the EGL Cafe enabling rapid interaction and exchange within the broader EGL Developer community, and open-language-based API’s that can facilitate extensions by third parties,” Smythe said.