IBM tightening Eclipse, Java, Linux links

IBM on Thursday announced the release of a free tools bundle for Eclipse to make it easier to deploy Java applications on Linux.

The package features the latest Eclipse open source SDK from, which is Version 3.0, plus the IBM Java Runtime Environment for Linux. This combination enables developers to build, test, and deploy Java applications with IBM's runtime, according to IBM.

"In addition to developing your app using the Eclipse SDK, you can now also take them into production and run on the Linux OS," said Gina Poole, IBM vice president for developer marketing and Web communities for ISV and developer relations.

Previously, developers had to download the SDK and runtime separately. "Now, we've made it much simpler. You can get both of them at the same time," Poole said.

Including the runtime with Eclipse also would help developers make the transition, if they choose, to more feature-rich commercial IBM developer tools bearing the WebSphere or Rational nameplates, because the runtime is the same, according to Poole. The Eclipse development package is available at ks/java/jdk/eclipse/.

An analyst cited IBM's self-interest in offering the package.

"In general, this is following a definite, and well thought-out, plan by IBM to help seed the market by increasing the common set of tools that Linux and Java developers have to build applications that would in turn leverage IBM's core product and services set," said Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink, in an email response to questions.

"The latest announcement furthers (IBM's) goal of advancing the 'state of the art' within the Linux and Java communities, and definitely will make it easier for IBM to sell technology such as WebSphere to the Linux audience while making it more difficult for other competitors with focused, niche, and developer-level products to sell theirs," Schmelzer said.

IBM also is offering a new version of its Linux Software Evaluation Kit DVD that includes updated trial versions of middleware such as DB2, WebSphere, Lotus, and Tivoli. The kit can be ordered from erWorks/speed/.

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