The Eclipse programming environment is set to become the de facto standard for software developers who need an alternative to Microsoft's Visual Studio, analyst group Forrester Research has predicted.
Eclipse is a supplier-neutral, open source development platform that offers frameworks and extensible tools, known as the Eclipse Platform, for building and managing application development. It is designed to offer users an easy way to integrate tools and software components without the need for a fully integrated development tool.
Technology companies behind the project include Actuate, Ericsson, HP, IBM, Intel, MontaVista Software, QNX, SAP and Serena Software.
In a recent paper Forrester Research analyst Carl Zetie said Eclipse had become the most widespread Java development environment and is beginning to spread across the application development life cycle, which means there is a growing number of tools and plug-ins that are compatible with Eclipse.
Forrester said the most important aspect of Eclipse is the framework for integration: metadata, user interface, and automation. In a paper on Eclipse, Zetie listed the main benefits as:
- More granular components and frequent upgrades
- Tool integration that is driven by user demand
- No more compromising or trading off features
"This flexibility and control is one of the major reasons why users are turning to Eclipse," he said.