Red Hat looks to entice developers

Exadel partnership leverages JBoss

Red Hat and Exadel are joining forces to try to make the open source Red Hat platform more of a destination for software developers.

The two companies will offer Eclipse-based developer tools for building applications for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware, Red Hat and Exadel said.

"If you take a look at where Red Hat's business was a couple years ago, it was primarily around migration of production systems to Enterprise Linux," said Brian Che, Red Hat product manager. But now, Red Hat wants developers to build new applications, Che said. This week's announcement follows last year's purchase of JBoss as part of Red Hat's strategy.

Through an arrangement being announced at the EclipseCon conference in Santa Clara, Calif., on Monday, Exadel will open source all of its products, including the Exadel Studio Pro Web development environment and the RichFaces AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) components platform. Exadel Studio Pro, which is based on the Eclipse platform, will be renamed Red Hat Developer Studio.

Also, Exadel's Ajax4jsf, which is a framework for JavaServer Faces applications that use AJAX, will be consolidated under the umbrella. Red Hat will work with Exadel to drive development of these projects and integrate them with JBoss middleware technologies such as the JBoss Seam application framework.

In offering its products via open source, Exadel is seeking to increase awareness of its technologies and sell application-building services around them. "We believe that this gives us more visibility," said Donna Burke, Exadel vice president. Red Hat, meanwhile, will support the products itself.

The Red Hat and Exadel arrangement provides a new twist on partnerships in that it is not an acquisition and provides just a potential for future revenues from services, said Raven Zachary, senior analyst with The 451 Group.

"Here you've got two commercial firms exchanging IP (intellectual property) with only a promise of revenue-sharing in the future. It's a fascinating model," Zachary said.

"There's a risk here for Exadel," in giving away its IP, but Exadel believes the move provides greater opportunities, Zachary said.

RichFaces and Ajax4jsf provide models for building rich Internet and Web 2.0 applications, Red Hat said. When combining these Exadel developer tools with JBoss Enterprise Middleware, Red Hat can offer a development and deployment platform for developers to assemble SOA components and Web 2.0 applications with less coding, Red Hat and Exadel said.

RichFaces and Ajax4jsf are available now as JBoss RichFaces and JBoss Ajax4jsf on under the LGPL (Lesser GNU General Public License). Red Hat is working to open source Exadel Studio Pro as Red Hat Developer Studio under the GNU GPL (General Public License), with availability planned for later in the first half of 2007.

Red Hat also plans to introduce a Red Hat developer assistance program. The effort will feature a developer portal that at present has been known by the code name of 108.

Also at EclipseCon, AccuRev plans to announce enhancements to its AccuBridge for Eclipse plug, allowing Eclipse developers to access AccuRev software configuration management functionality from within the Eclipse IDE.

Performance and usability enhancements in version 4.5.1 of the plug-in include the ability to synchronize a local development workspace with other developers' changes, a customizable AccuRev perspective to view the collection of windows most important to developers, and support for the Eclipse Update Manager.

AccuRev also plans to announce it has hired David Jabs as vice president of engineering. He was a founding architect of IBM Rational ClearCase while at Atria Software, AccuRev said.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.