Eclipse Foundation executive director Mike Milinkovich has welcomed the organization’s latest project, a Business Intelligence (BI) venture sponsored by Actuate Corp, as broadening both Eclipse’s scope and membership profile.
Milinkovich called the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project an excellent example of recruiting new companies as strategic developers to lead Eclipse into new project areas.
Actuate is committing code and seven engineers to BIRT, whose goal is to create open source tools for creating BI reports, design XML design format, and an engine to build reports.
Eclipse is broadening its membership and level of community participation, having spun out from parent IBM Corp’s control earlier this year. Despite Eclipse’s growing membership, a significant amount of projects still appear staffed and lead by IBM.
The group this week, though, announced that in the six months since independence membership has grown 30% and nine open source projects have been initiated.
Milinkovich called the strategy of recruiting companies, such as Actuate, to lead projects exactly the mode we hope to have going forward. BIRT is an excellent example, he said. Eclipse is also looking to interested individuals to lead projects, such as Eclipse author Scott Lewis, responsible for an open source project driving peer-to-peer communication between Eclipse tools.
Since spinning out from IBM, Eclipse has sought to diversify its project work, as well as membership. We are focused on building tools and frameworks that cover the entire application lifecycle. People think of Eclipse as the Java IDE [Integrated Development Environment] – we are much broader than that, Milinkovich told ComputerWire yesterday.
To further broaden its focus Eclipse plans to look at development frameworks and related tools serving the healthcare and automotive industries during the first half of 2005. These sectors have their own unique requirements in development tools and methodologies that often require tools companies to adapt. Telelogic AB, for example, specializes in serving automotive, aerospace and financial sectors.
In another example of diversity, one recent Eclipse project tackles embedded rich clients, providing the ability to build and deploy applications on mobile devices such as cell phones.
With such a burgeoning of projects – Eclipse currently has three, with 34 subprojects added since independence – Milinkovich is attempting to create a common vision around architecture and future direction, to ensure everything is headed in the same direction. That vision should be delivered during the first quarter of 2005.
Eclipse members are currently distilling that vision. Once articulated Milinkovich hopes to communicate that to developers and ISVs through new processes and activities, such as making Eclipse documents available on the group’s web site.