Oracle joined the Eclipse Foundation's board on Tuesday and celebrated its new position by announcing plans to open-source and donate its Java persistence framework, Oracle TopLink, to seed a new Eclipse Persistence Platform Project.
Oracle previously released a portion of its TopLink technology to the Java Community Process: Its "TopLink Essentials" open-source software is the reference implementation of the EJB 3.0 Java Persistence API, one of the key advances in Java Enterprise Edition 5.
This new move throws the floodgates open. Oracle Vice President of Software Development Dennis Leung said the Eclipse donation will be a superset of the technology given over to the JCP; while TopLink Essentials is an entry-level offering, Oracle intends the Eclipse Persistence Platform to be commercial-grade software subsuming all of the functionality in TopLink.
Oracle's donation reunites Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich with a technology he knows well. Milinkovich previously worked at TopLink, and did a stint at Oracle after it acquired the technology in 2002.
The move expands Eclipse's software arsenal and highlights an evolution Milinkovich evangelizes, Eclipse's expanding scope. Still best known for its Java Development Tools IDE, Eclipse has quietly gained momentum behind initiatives outside its core focus, including runtime projects.
"We no longer look at is it a tooling platform," Milinkovich said Tuesday at EclipseCon, the Eclipse Foundation's annual user conference, which opened Tuesday in Santa Clara, Calif. "When we evaluate new projects, we look at three things: Will it enhance the Eclipse platform? Is it based on Eclipse plug-ins? Does it help developers?"
The Eclipse Rich Client Platform, used as a foundation for developing rich-client applications, is one of the organization's most visible forays beyond the Java IDE, but the Eclipse Foundation supports other unexpected projects like the Aperi Storage Management Project, one of the dozen or so projects Eclipse has added in the past year. The Foundation now oversees 76 projects and includes 163 member organizations.
Eclipse participants and partners took advantage of the show to unleash new projects and products.
Java support tools developer Exadel announced that it will open source its commercial RichFaces and Studio Pro products and rebrand them under a partnership with Red Hat, which will integrate Exadel's tools with its own JBoss platform and community. The move gives developers a rich Eclipse-based toolset, and furthers JBoss's "grand unification" goal of streamlining the management, tooling and programming model of its JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite, JBoss CTO Sacha Labourey wrote in a blog entry.
Start-up Krugle went live with a beta version of a tool for searching publicly available source code, while Instantiations released WindowTester Pro 2.0, an application for testing Java GUIs. Network management software developer AlterPoint hit milestone 2 for its ZipTie framework for network inventory management.