Deploying Eclipse in IT

Posted by Documentation Tue, 09 Mar 2010 09:36:00 GMT

Integration of the HOB Windows Terminal Server clients HOBLink JWT and the 3270 client HOBLink J-Term in Eclipse

Originally, Eclipse was used in the development environment, i.e., as an application program for the development of software for the programming language Java. As the successor to IBM Visual Age for Java 4.0, the source code for Eclipse was released by IBM on 7 November 2001. On 2 February 2004, the Eclipse consortium, lead by IBM, decided to found the legally independent Eclipse Foundation, which since then has been responsible for the development of Eclipse. Eclipse is Open Source software and can be downloaded free of charge.

Due to its expansibility, Eclipse is also used for many other development tasks. There are many extensions from both open source and commercial providers.
Up to and including Version 2.1, Eclipse was designed as an IDE. Since Version 3.0, Eclipse is only the core that loads the individual plug-ins, which themselves supply the actual functionality. Eclipse and the plug-ins are completely implemented in Java. SWT is used to create the graphical user interface. For the display of the GUI components, SWT, similarly to AWT, uses the native GUI components of the corresponding operating system. The plug-ins can be installed either by downloading them directly from an update server or simply by unpacking them.

Increasingly more enterprises are deploying Java products and more and more often using Eclipse as the framework on the workstation computer due to the advantages thereof. A very popular and widely used application for deployment with Eclipse is Lotus Notes from IBM. With the Lotus Expeditor, the GUIs for Lotus Notes can be created and integrated on the basis of Eclipse (RCP, Rich Client Platform). Eclipse is itself written in Java and can therefore be used on any platform and on any client operating system.

The use of Eclipse as the framework on the workstation computers in an enterprise brings with it the following advantages:

  • A uniform base for the use of any application program as a Java plug-in in heterogeneous client environments

  • Very open and flexible design of the client’s GUI

  • All application programs used as plug-ins can be easily given a uniform display format

  • Standardized software interfaces allow the deployed plug-ins to be linked with each other, e.g., for data exchange, etc.
  • The integration of the individual application programs into the Eclipse framework simplifies the rollout to the work areas and, as a result, also the administrative work.

A disadvantage of this design is the fact that desired applications are not always available as Eclipse plug-ins. Early on, HOB recognized the need of enterprises for applications as Eclipse plug-ins and thus offers two important client applications as plug-ins for Eclipse:

HOBLink J-Term, the first and most performant 3270 emulations in Java
HOBLink JWT, the RDP client for Microsoft Terminal Server in Java

Both products are in use at well-known corporations. HOB has placed great importance on the providing the Eclipse plug-in versions with the same scope of functions as the native versions.
The “look and feel” and the performance range of the native versions and the Eclipse plug-in versions from HOB are absolutely identical. A user who has previously worked with a native version and switches to the Eclipse plug-in version can work with this version just as before.

For further information, please see:

25 February 2010

Klaus Weinbrenner



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