Genuitec brightens up Eclipse
MyEclipse 5.0 gives developers broad, but not deep, toolset for building Java apps
The market-share leader among Java IDEs is unquestionably Eclipse, the platform freely available from the Eclipse Foundation. Its success stems from several factors: the foundation’s vendor independence, its considerable ability to forge partnerships, and a key product design decision.
Just before the 2004 release of Version 3.0 of the IDE, IBM -- then-owner of Eclipse -- decided to migrate the platform to a new plug-in architecture called OSGi (Open Services Gateway initiative). The OSGi framework provides the automotive industry with a simple, reliable software backplane for plugging in modules to customize features of various car models on the market today. By choosing OSGi, Eclipse gave developers an elegant and well-designed plug-in interface. Since that release, hundreds of plug-ins have come to market and greatly expanded the capabilities of Eclipse.
Genuitec has been particularly active in porting and developing these plug-ins for Eclipse, and it just released Version 5.0 of its signature product, MyEclipse. This productized collection of plug-ins smoothly expands Eclipse functionality at a competitive price. I found few things to complain about, save for the fact that many of the plug-ins provide only basic functionality.
InfoWorld reviewed Version 3.83 of MyEclipse Enterprise Workbench in early 2005 and found it to be a useful, well integrated set of plug-ins. Back then, a developer could re-create the package by downloading the individual plug-ins and importing them into Eclipse.
Today, that’s no longer true. Most of the functionality available today is developed in-house or ported by engineers at Genuitec, so the plug-ins are not commonly available from other sources. In fact, Genuitec relies on this added value to distinguish its products from the greater universe of Eclipse plug-ins.
The new version of Workbench ships as an annual subscription with two levels: the standard edition at $29.95 plus a weird 6 percent handling fee (rather odd for a downloadable product), or the Professional Edition at $49.95 (plus that 6 percent fee) per year. Most developers will want the full functionality of the Professional Edition, which is what I review here.
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