Eclipse unveils modelling framework

Open source firm Eclipse has released two new tools to help developers create and integrate development tools and applications...

Open source firm Eclipse has released two new tools to help developers create and integrate development tools and applications more easily.

Eclipse, which is backed by IBM, has released details of the Eclipse Modelling Framework (EMF) and a new technology dubbed XML Infoset.

EMF allows developers to better define the model of an application or tool as well as to automatically produce a significant portion of that application or tool, saving developers time and money, according to IBM executives.

"EMF allows you to generate much of the Java code and XML serialisation that needs to be in place so developers can focus more on what the tool or application can uniquely do, as opposed to the mechanics or basics of how Java and XML should work," said Sridhar Iyengar, an IBM engineer with the company's application and integration Middleware group.

The technology's other benefit is it makes it easier for a wide variety of partners and developers to use different programming models to create products among themselves that can work seamlessly with Eclipse and, eventually, IBM's WebSphere application server.

"At the end of the day users are buying something like WebSphere and other complete applications that can run compatibly and solve their problems," Iyengar said.

Eclipse has also announced a technology called XML Infoset that essentially allows any two or more developers to use Java and XML together, thereby providing a standard way of recognising and creating XML-based schemas.

The new technology makes it possible, for instance, for Web services developers to build Web services development tools in a standard way. This sets the stage for Web services developers to create Web services development tools that can be more easily integrated with XML-based schema.

"What's important to note here is the open source community is beginning to eat its own dog food," Iyengar said. "EMS is an infrastructure that allows you to use modelling to generate precise optimised Java code and this technology has already been used to implement some very complicated XML schema and automate significant parts of it," Iyengar added.

Currently the Eclipse organisation is supported by approximately 150 companies, including leading tools makers such as Borland Software and Rational Software, and supports a range of programming languages such as Java, C++ and C#.

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