IBM EGL business language moves to open source

The project aims to develop and evolve a set of Eclipse-based tools for EGL in an effort to boost backing for the business app programming language

IBM unveiled plans this month for an open source Eclipse project based on the company's EGL business application programming language, in an effort to boost backing for EGL.

The project has been labeled EGL (Enterprise Generation Language) Development Tools Project and was submitted to the Eclipse Foundation. EGL itself will be open-sourced as well.

[ Also on InfoWorld: IBM last year offered its EGL CE (Community Edition) tool to aid developers coding in languages such as JavaScript. The Eclipse proposal is seeded with code for EGL CE. ]

"The project aims to develop and evolve a set of Eclipse-based tools for the EGL language," said William Smythe, a product line manager for IBM Rational, in an email. "Just like there is a C/C++ project on Eclipse for building tools for C/C++, there is now going to be a project on Eclipse for building tools for the EGL language. All the tools will be written in Java, just like everything else on Eclipse," Smythe said.

EGL is a modeling language that borrows from Unified Modeling Language. It is designed for building portable, cross-platform applications and services that can be deployed to runtime environments based on the evolving needs of business, IBM said.

IBM is open-sourcing the EGL language, compiler, generators for Java and JavaScript, as well as tools. By open-sourcing EGL, IBM looks to expand its reach.

"Developing EGL in the open allows the EGL language and tools to evolve and mature in a way that is not possible if developed only by IBM. EGL is a unique technology that is designed to be extended. Opening it will spur others to add new capabilities, which benefits everyone using the technology," according to an IBM FAQ.

"Opening the technology also opens EGL to a new audience of developers -- developers who would have been hesitant to try EGL before," IBM said.

"EGL is a programming language designed for developing business applications. EGL code compiles into other languages (Java, Cobol, and JavaScript), which allows developers to code in a single language but deploy into different environments," Smythe said. "One nice benefit of EGL is that developers can build JavaScript-based RIAs, but not actually have to code in JavaScript."

Eclipse was selected as the home for the EGL open source project because EGL tools already are built on Eclipse and EGL integrates with other Eclipse technologies such as BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools), Web Tools, and Data Tools, IBM said.

This article, "IBM EGL business language moves to open source," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter and on your mobile device at

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