Does Eclipse Need New Wave of SOA Tools?

Iona has proposed an SOA Tooling Platform project for Eclipse. The goal is to provide devs a top-level SOA tooling framework to increase productivity and cut complexity. IDN looks at Iona's plan for helping Java devs improve their SOA design, build and test procedures.

Tags: Tooling, SOA, Eclipse, Open Source, Iona, Morton, Celtix,

The Eclipse Foundation continues to expand its Java tooling agenda, with additions for new wireless and SOA support, with a proposal from Iona Technologies.

Iona's proposed SOA Tooling Platform (STP) project for Eclipse is envisioned as a top-level tooling initiative to SOA that will include a wide range of add-in components. "An Eclipse SOA Tooling platform separates developers from the need to switch from one environment to another to develop the individual pieces that will ultimately comprise an SOA, ultimately increasing productivity and reducing complexity," Iona spokesperson Rob Morton told IDN.

Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst Massimo Pezzini said that it's time for a more aggressive Open Source approach to SOA tooling. "Open source tooling helps integrate the broad range of technologies needed to support a successful SOA deployment into a coherent framework," Pezzini said.

Inside Iona's SOA Tooling Plan
Iona's Eclipse proposal follows other Open Source-facing moves earlier this year, with the company's decision to include Eclipse support in its Artix 3.0, and its launch of the Open Source ESB project, called Celtix. "This Eclipse-based tooling will become the baseline code for the Celtix tooling sub-project and in subsequent releases of Artix, the open source code will replace the current proprietary Eclipse-based tooling," Morton said.

The easiest way to think the STP project [proposal] is to think of it as an umbrella project that addresses an area of development with specific and unique requirements," Morton said. This "open" infrastructure could include a wide range of sub-projects, Morton added, including Celtix tooling and JBI tooling. All of these sub-projects relate back to IONA's involvement with these technologies. Additionally, Iona plans to donate code for its Eclipse-based Artix tooling, which is currently available, to the STP project," Morton told IDN.

"Iona's membership in Eclipse is an important element of the company's overall Open Source strategy which began when we announced our sponsorship of the Celtix open source ESB project at ObjectWeb," Iona spokesperson Rob Morton told IDN. "As such, we view joining Eclipse and leading the proposed Eclipse top-level SOA Tooling Platform project as complementary to work Iona is doing in Celtix and other open source SOA infrastructure communities.

But, Iona's recent ESB focus doesn't mean Iona sees SOA being all about an ESB focus. "SOA infrastructure isn't just about ESB, and we anticipate that other's will join the STP project and propose sub-projects that address tooling for these other pieces of required infrastructure," Morton added.