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SOA tools preview set for Eclipse World

Architects and developers will get a first look at components of the Eclipse SOA Tools Platform (STP) at the Eclipse Foundations East Coast conference this week.

The first demo of components of the Eclipse SOA Tools Platform (STP) project will be one of the highlights as the Eclipse Foundation opens its East Coast conference in Cambridge, Mass. today with more than 60 technical sessions.

 We'll have a sort of one-stop shop for people who want to assemble Web services and deploy them in one chunk.
Oisin Hurley
EngineerIona Technologies Inc.

While the STP project isn't scheduled for a downloadable preview release for several months, Oisin Hurley, distinquished engineer at Iona Technologies Inc. will show off some of the key components in a session on Thursday titled "Developing and Deploying Services Using the SOA Tools Platform."

"We're going to show a few little demos during the presentation," he said. The demos will include a demonstration of the deployment framework, the Business Process Engineering Language (BPEL) component and how the JAX-WS standard will fit in, as well as perhaps a few recent additions to the project.

Hurley promises to drill down into how STP will work once all the pieces of code are integrated and available for developers to download.

"We'll have a sort of one-stop shop for people who want to assemble Web services and deploy them in one chunk," he said. "If you take the way people develop Web services now with the tools that are available you can develop different projects and you can have a Web service in each project and you can deploy them. But the SOA tools project will give a much more cohesive view into that. What it will do is allow you to import services that you have already, allow you to create new ones and then it will allow you to bring them together using the Service Component Architecture (SCA) assembly model, which is a way you can describe how services will talk to each other. It will give you a visualization of what your service interactions are like and what the impact of your service-oriented architecture is going to be. Then it should allow you to deploy that pretty much as the click of a button."

Besides the components Hurley will be demonstrating, most of the code for STP has come in from the major vendors supporting the project including code from IBM, Sybase Inc., Iona, BEA Systems, Intalio Inc. and the ObjectWeb Consortium. What is needed now are volunteers to help integrate the various parts into a whole, he said. He is hoping that the demos and his presentation will "fire up" some of the developers attending Eclipse World to volunteer their time to the integration project.

"I'm going to be talking about integration a lot," he said, joking that he thought of getting a t-shirt printed with "Integration" on it to help get his message across. T-shirt or no, he said he will definitely call for volunteers.

"I'm never shy about asking for help," he said.

Survey finds Eclipse use growing

On the eve of the conference, which runs through Friday, Sept. 8, the Eclipse Foundation released a survey by Evans Data Corp. that showed 22 percent of developers responding to the poll said they are building applications on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP). This represents a 130 percent increase over last year's results. In addition, 68 percent of respondents said they are planning to start using the Eclipse RCP in the next six months.

Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, who will deliver the keynote address for Eclipse World on Thursday evening, said the survey indicates growing interest among developers in building next generation applications on the Eclipse RCP.

For more information

Check out our brand new Eclipse Learning Guide

Read our Eclipse SOA Tools Project update

Vendors including Borland, IBM plan announcements

As the conference opens today Borland Software Corp. plans to announce that its Together® 2006 modeling tool is now based on Eclipse and supports modeling for SOA projects. Together 2006 for Eclipse Release 2 is based on the Eclipse 3.2 framework for software development and works directly inside the Eclipse 3.2 shell. Borland pledged to continue to update its Together project to match future releases from the Eclipse Modeling Project, which it co-leads with IBM.

IBM, the original founder of Eclipse and a major sponsor of the foundation, will be showing off the Web 2.0 capabilities of Lotus Sametime 7.5, the next major release of IBM Lotus Notes. Sametime 7.5, which provides instant messaging and conferencing for collaboration, is based on the Eclipse framework.

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