As Published In
Oracle Magazine
July/August 2009

AT ORACLE: Interview

Plugging It In

By Tom Haunert

New features in Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g simplify development.

Eclipse is a popular integrated development environment (IDE), and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse enhances productivity for Eclipse developers. Tom Haunert, Oracle Magazine editor in chief, talked with Duncan Mills, senior director of product management at Oracle, about the recent release of Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g. The following is an excerpt from that interview. Download the full podcast at

Oracle Magazine: What is Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g?

Mills: It’s a set of Eclipse plug-ins that are configured to work optimally with Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server. We deliver those through the Eclipse update site, or you can download a version of Eclipse 3.4 with the plug-ins preinstalled.

Oracle Magazine: What are some of these key plug-ins?

Mills: The first one is an Oracle WebLogic Server plug-in, which provides structured editors for Oracle WebLogic Server configuration files, allowing developers to set options and access documentation quickly. There’s full deployment support for Oracle WebLogic Server, and you can also debug both locally and remotely. This takes advantage of the Oracle WebLogic Server FastSwap capability to redefine code as you debug and have it automatically redeployed to the server.

There’s also an Oracle Database plug-in that supports Oracle-specific constructs such as materialized views. Developers can browse schema objects, edit them, and even export data. We’ve added a built-in database diagram for tables as well, providing a view of the schema relationships.

The third plug-in supports object-relational mapping, working with the EJB [Enterprise JavaBeans] standard and Java Persistence API [JPA]. With the capabilities we’ve added into Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse, developers can reverse-engineer the database very easily into JPA entities. You can diagram the entities as well, providing a nice visual model of all of the relationships.

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The fourth plug-in focuses on Web services. We’ve added a lot of tooling for working with the JAX-WS [Java API for XML Web Services] and JAXB [Java Architecture for XML Binding] standards in the context of Oracle WebLogic Server. These cover all the standard tasks, such as generating a Web service from a Java class or a WSDL document and generating test clients to help with unit testing.

Oracle Magazine: How does the new Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g address development complexity?

Mills: Our mission is to help developers be as productive as possible with the Oracle platform. It’s all about abstracting and automating boilerplate tasks and providing access to the information they need in a timely manner. The features we’ve discussed, such as structured editors and diagrams, all work toward this goal.

Oracle Magazine: What other kinds of support does Oracle provide to Eclipse?

Mills: Oracle is a strategic member of the Eclipse Foundation. The area where we’ve been involved the longest is in object-relational mapping and persistence, which culminated in moving Oracle TopLink into the Eclipse runtime platform as EclipseLink, the reference implementation for the JPA 2.0 standard. We’re also working on several projects within the Eclipse IDE, and we’re the second-largest contributor of committers to the Eclipse Foundation.

Oracle Magazine: Oracle supports different IDEs. What should Oracle application developers consider when choosing one?

Mills: We want to give developers the best productivity no matter which IDE they choose. Oracle JDeveloper and the Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse provide broadly equivalent functionality in core enterprise development coding tasks. The major difference comes in the broader middleware platform. Oracle JDeveloper supports the whole platform including SOA, Oracle WebCenter, and Oracle Application Development Framework, areas that Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse does not cover. But for core Java enterprise development, you can choose either route.


Tom Haunert is editor in chief of Oracle Magazine.

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