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The new Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group seeks to accelerate the creation of cloud-based developer tools.

The cloud developer landscape is changing rapidly. Every day, there are new tools, new patterns, new technologies, and new frameworks for developers to learn and use. In cloud-native development, cloud architectural patterns like microservices require that developers rethink how they develop applications. Testing environments are more complex. Requirements for consistency in production environments and even basic setup and configuration for developer environments can be time-consuming operations. Developers need better tools to keep up with this quickly changing landscape.

That’s why we’ve joined a new working group at the Eclipse Foundation — the Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group — whose goal is to accelerate the creation of those cloud-based developer tools. This is a vendor-neutral working group with members from a broad set of companies who work together to define standards for creating and using cloud-based developer tools.

We are working together to:

  • Define de-facto standards to drive broad adoption of cloud IDEs and container-based development tools
  • Enable an ecosystem for extenders and developer tool providers via these standards
  • Integrate with key enablers for cloud native development, CI, and test automation

Why do standards matter?

While standards may sound counter to rapid innovation, they are key enablers of extensibility, and interoperability. There are de-facto standards emerging for cloud-based tools in workspace definitions, extensions for languages support, tracing, and debugging. Our work group focuses on getting developers to adopt these standards. In turn, this will make the cloud-based developer tools interoperable with other cloud technologies. I believe that once we establish cloud development tools standards, it will enable a marketplace ecosystem for extensions which in turn benefits users and our customers.

Cloud native is a new way for developers to think

Developers are always trying to develop applications faster. Cloud-native tools, running in the cloud, will give developers new capabilities that leverage and exploit cloud capabilities from the very start of their development process. In turn, this lets developers test, build, monitor, and deploy applications faster in an environment that mirrors their production systems. This high fidelity development environment will enable productivity, so developers can focus on their work and innovate faster.

Some use cases where I can see how cloud-native developer tools will speed and improve development include:

  • Simpler setup and installation of development dependencies
  • Accessible, easy-to-use tools for A/B testing, always-on monitoring, and testing experimental aspects of development
  • Browser-based development to lower the barriers of entry for developers working in the cloud

The way that this will enhance how developers can get started and quickly create, test, monitor, and deploy applications is hard to overstate.

An example of cloud-native tools that we’ll champion in this group

One of the Eclipse projects that I’m excited to see championed through this new workgroup is Eclipse Codewind. This tool is an IDE extension that bundles performance and monitoring tools and enables you to develop in containers within your own IDE. You can make changes against all of your apps using the simple extension and instantly see how those changes perform in your development cluster. Tools like Codewind will help you develop better-performing, error-free applications faster than ever.

The working group is just getting started, and their are a lot of great things we are going to accomplish. The participants are from leading companies and their developers work in many exciting projects at Eclipse, so working together on standards will benefit all of our companies.

Get involved

If you are interested in promoting interoperative tools that run in the cloud, standards that allow those tools to be extended into any cloud, and an ecosystem to support the adoption of the standards and cloud-native hosted tools, view our Charter and ECD Working Group Participation Agreement (WPGA), or join the ECD Tools mailing list.

If you’re a developer who wants to enhance cloud-native development tools, check out the projects at the Eclipse Foundation. I’d say that for cloud tools as well as other projects, there a a bunch of great projects doing innovative things in open source at Eclipse. It’s a great way to work, and a great group of developers driving key innovations.