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RIA & Ajax: Article

Web Tools at EclipseWorld 2006

Unlike EclipseCon, which has been targetted to plug-in developers, EclipseWorld is targetted to application developers

EclipseWorld was recently held in Cambridge, MA, overlooking the Charles River down the road from MIT. The view of the Boston skyline was spectacular and the fresh river air provided a pleasant contrast to the exciting, but marginally breathable, Manhattan atmosphere of last year's event. Next year the event moves to Reston, Virginia.

Mike Milinkovich, the Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation, gave the keynote presentation on "Why Eclipse Matters". The main message was that the Eclipse Foundation had created an ecosystem that enabled competitors to cooperate on Stuff That Does Not Matter (STDNM), and compete on Stuff That Matters (STM). This formula enables businesses to focus a larger proportion of their resources on STM which is what differentiates them from the competition. Of course STDNM is extremely important too, since it forms the basis of STM. It may seem paradoxical to put Eclipse in the STDNM bucket, but since it is freely available, it is not a differentiator. Instead it dramatically lowers the barriers to entry for small vendors and enables them to innovate.

Unlike EclipseCon, which has been traditionally targetted to plug-in developers, EclipseWorld is primarily targetted to application developers. In fact, a significant number of attendees to the Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) talks were in the planning stages of modernizing their legacy client-server applications, and were trying to make a decision bewteen Web and RCP clients. With Web 2.0 technologies like AJAX, Rich Internet Applications (RIA) are closing the gap between Web and desktop GUIs. My advice to people is to move to Web applications that include a Web service interface so multiple client types, e.g. RIA, RCP, PDA, Form, etc., can be accomodated. With an attendance of 350, EclipseWorld is also smaller than EclipseCon. We'll know that Eclipse is truly successful when that situation is reversed, i.e. when the application developer conferences become larger than the plug-in developer conferences.

The conference program featured a virtual track devoted to the WTP project. I gave three talks, and have posted the slides and programming examples at the WTP presentation archive:

101 Quick Tour of WTP presentation and examples
201 Developing Java Web Applictions with WTP presentation and examples
501 Developing Java Web Services with WTP presentation and examples

WTP expert and author Chris Judd outdid me again this year with four sessions including an all-day tutorial. His materials are also posted at the WTP archive:

T-4 Develop Better J2EE Applications with the Web Tools Platform presentation and source code
204 Interacting with Relational Databases presentation
401 Consuming and Producing Web Services with Web Tools presentation
706 Step by Step: Making Enterprise JavaBeans with J2EE Standard Tools presentation

Watch for other presenters to post their material too. Anyone who presented on WTP at EclipseWorld 2006 and would like to make their materials available can attach them to bug 156597 and I'll add them to the presentation archive.

More Stories By Arthur Ryman

Arthur Ryman is a Senior Technical Staff Member and Development Manager at the IBM Toronto Lab. He is currently the lead of the Web Standard Tools subproject of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform project. His previous development projects include Rational Application Developer, WebSphere Studio Application Developer, and VisualAge for Java. He is a member of the W3C Web Services Description Working Group and is an editor of the Web Services Description Language 2.0 specification. He is a co-author of the book, "Java Web Services Unleashed".

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n d 09/18/06 04:14:31 PM EDT

EclipseWorld was recently held in Cambridge, MA, overlooking the Charles River down the road from MIT. The view of the Boston skyline was spectacular and the fresh river air provided a pleasant contrast to the exciting, but marginally breathable, Manhattan atmosphere of last year's event. Next year the event moves to Reston, Virginia.