The Eclipse Che project, a cloud IDE and developer workspace server that also provides an open source alternative to the popular JetBrains IntelliJ Java IDE, has moved to beta release status.
Che features a workspace composed of projects and associated runtimes, or environments. Workspace configuration is persisted as versionable assets, and users can migrate workspace projects and runtimes to other Che instances, whether hosted locally or in the cloud.
The IDE manages a workspace lifecycle, dealing with orchestrating project state and suspending, imaging, stopping, or destroying workspace runtime environments. A Che environment is composed of machines powered by Docker or localhost.
"We are building a world where anyone anywhere can contribute to a project without installing software. Essential to this is an on-demand IDE where both the tooling and its workspace runtime can be dynamically provisioned," said Tyler Jewell, CEO of Codenvy, which has participated in Che's development. "Existing IDEs are not up to this task: complex per-computer installations, non-portable localhost workspaces that lead to 'but it works on my machine' issues, and limited shared collaboration services."
For developers, Che can be used as a desktop IDE for any framework or programming language. Product owners can use Che to host on-demand workspaces, and plug-in providers can use Che to build hosted tooling farms.
"Product teams can use Che as a workspace server, with access to a rich REST and Java library for controlling workspaces and building plug-ins," Jewell said.
Che is part of the Eclipse Cloud Development top-level project, for delivering tools and platforms necessary for cloud development. This top-level project was rolled out in 2014.