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InfoQ Homepage News MyEclipse 5.0 Released - InfoQ Interview With Genuitec

MyEclipse 5.0 Released - InfoQ Interview With Genuitec

Genuitec has released MyEclipse 5.0 Enterprise Workbench. This is the first release version that supports the new Eclipse 3.2 platform. MyEclipse installs as a feature inside Eclipse enhancing the open source IDE with support for common development technologies and processes not found in the base Eclipse development distribution.  A trial version is available for download on the MyEclipse website. Enhancements in 5.0 include:

  • Integration of the popular Matisse4MyEclipse Swing UI designer directly into MyEclipse, thereby enabling developers build sophisticated graphical user interfaces for their applications.
  • Web Service Support including template-based web development factory that allows developers to generate an entire web application from user interface through backend configuration and databases infrastructure with almost no written code.
  • Hibernate 3.1 and Spring 2.X support includes new wizards to create and drop database tables, indexes, and foreign key relationships. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Web 2.0 Tools extensions allow developers to more easily create rich and dynamic Web applications based on AJAX technologies. Also Instant-on JavaScript Debugging that extends the integrated MyEclipse local JavaScript debugger to allow the user to debug remote JavaScript applications.
  • Extended database support for Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase features which enables users to view triggers, functions, and procedures in DB Explorer and generate and edit the DDL for triggers and procedures.
  • Struts 1.2 with Shale and Tiles frameworks support includes a re-architecture of the existing Struts designer tools with numerous enhancements, along with Struts support for JSF.
  • Visual Web Designer tools are available on Linux and Mac OS/X.
  • AJAX Tools are available on Linux and Mac OS/X.
  • New Websphere 6.1, Sun Java Application Server System 9.0, and Glassfish 1.0 application server connectors
  • Customizable server launch configurations

InfoQ sat down with Genuitec President Maher Masri to discuss MyEclipse 5.0. Genuitec originally developed a number Websphere and Weblogic plugins which received strong interest from developers. They were continually asked for additional features. As a result in 2003 the first version of MyEclipse Enterprise Workbench was released including features such as the first JSP debugger for Eclipse. Since then MyEclipse releases have been about every 10 weeks. Today MyEclipse contains roughly 1200 features and is a larger download than the Eclipse Platform itself.

InfoQ asked Masri about the relationship between Eclipse being an open source IDE and MyEclipse as a commercial enhancement:

Genuitec is a founding member of the Eclipse Foundation and our VP of technology, Todd Williams, is a board member. The more Eclipse grows the easier it is to enhance. We can focus on adding more and more value in terms of features. We see open source as an ally. We each make the other stronger.
In response to how Genuitec chooses to integrate open source plugs versus implementing their own new plugins for features:

We consider all available open source solutions. Around 50% of features involve have part that leverages an existing open source API such as Matisse or WTP (Web Tools Project). We have a heavy integration layer in MyEclipse. As a result we adapt open source solutions to our layers in an effort to provide the most reliable user experience. Any bug fixes we make in an open source plugin or library are contributed back.

Masri went on to explain how the integration of the Matisse feature set into MyEclipse came to be:

Our customers asked for a UI builder solution. The dominant UI toolkit they desired support for was Swing. We responded by asking for an example of a builder with functionality similar to what they desired.  Our users mentioned the Matisse UI builder functionality in the Netbeans IDE. Therefore it made sense to simply incorporate Matisse instead of creating our own solution from scratch. We worked with Sun throughout the process that followed.
Masri finished by saying that MyEclipse features are driven by their customers in terms of polls and comments. Currently there are over 285k users in 9000 companies. Future enhancements being considered for upcoming versions of MyEclipse include additional Ajax support for specific Ajax frameworks, webservices SOA and ESB features, and more visual editing enhancements for JSF and UI development.

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