As Published In
Oracle Magazine
March/April 2007

DEVELOPER: Open Source

Delivering Productivity with Choice

By Rich Schwerin

Oracle is not just a member of the Eclipse Foundation, but a leader in Eclipse development.

One of the more extensive examples of Oracle's commitment to open source involves Eclipse, an open source community whose projects focus on providing a vendor-neutral open development platform and application framework.

"Oracle is committed to its leading Java and service-oriented architecture development environment, Oracle JDeveloper. At the same time, we are also committed to offering developers productivity with choice. For developers who choose to use Eclipse, Oracle is committed to delivering the same productivity that customers using Oracle JDeveloper experience," explains Omar Tazi, Oracle's chief open source evangelist.

And the Eclipse Foundation recognizes this commitment and its impact. "Oracle's long-standing involvement with Eclipse absolutely benefits the Eclipse community," says Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation.

Eclipse Projects

As a charter member of Eclipse, Oracle has a long history of contribution to the community as a plug-in provider and a committer to a variety of Eclipse projects. Oracle is currently contributing developers and leadership to three projects at Eclipse: the Dali JPA Tools Project (Project Dali), which concerns tools for Java Persistence API-style object-relational mapping; the JavaServer Faces (JSF) Tooling Project, which involves simplifying development and deployment of JSF applications; and the BPEL Project, which focuses on adding comprehensive support to Eclipse for key WS-BPEL (Web Services Business Process Execution Language) 2.0 processes.

Project Dali. Project Dali is an Oracle-led Eclipse project that builds extensible frameworks and tools for the definition and editing of object-relational (O/R) mappings for Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) 3.0 Java Persistence API (JPA) entities. JPA is part of the new Java EE 5 EJB 3.0 specification and defines a vendor-neutral standard for O/R mapping.

The project provides tools for developing JPA applications targeted at either Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE), or Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE), and supports top-down, bottom-up, and meet-in-the-middle development approaches. "Whether developers want to persist an existing Java object model, manipulate data in an existing database, or connect existing Java classes with an existing database, Project Dali improves productivity and helps ensure that developers don't waste time in an endless edit/deploy/run/debug cycle," says Tazi.

JavaServer Faces Tooling Project. JSF is a server-side user interface component framework for Java-based Web applications. The goal of the JSF Tooling Project is to add comprehensive support to the Eclipse Web Tools Project to simplify development and deployment of JSF applications. The project is planned to include a set of plug-ins that enable other groups or vendors to further extend and customize the plug-in functionality in a well-defined manner.

"The JSF Tooling Project is all about building extensible frameworks and tools that support the full lifecycle of building a JSF-based Web application," explains Tazi. "Oracle has committed to providing project leadership and developer resources for this project. We continue to proactively approach interested parties to invite their contributions of code and development resources."

BPEL Project. WS-BPEL, or BPEL, is a vendor-neutral specification developed by OASIS to specify business processes as a set of interactions between Web services. The goal of the BPEL Project is to add comprehensive support to Eclipse for defining, authoring, editing, deploying, testing, and debugging WS-BPEL 2.0 processes. 

Next Steps

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"The Oracle-led BPEL Project will offer Eclipse users features to orchestrate their services and build modern composite applications to automate their business processes," explains Tazi.

More Choice, More Productivity

"Oracle has a very strong engineering culture and has strong technical leadership in many areas, and its contributions have been very important to the continuing innovation and evolution of the Eclipse platform," adds the Eclipse Foundation's Milinkovich.

"Oracle remains solidly committed to enabling, adopting, promoting, and developing viable open source technologies, and to back that up, we invest significant resources in testing, optimizing, enhancing, and supporting dozens of open source technologies and projects," says Tazi. "It's all about providing the best opportunities for our customers to run their organizations more effectively and efficiently."


Rich Schwerin ( is a product marketing manager with Oracle technology marketing.

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