Kicking off the EclipseCon developer pow-wow in Santa Clara, CA, this week, Red Hat will announce Monday that it has partnered deeply with Exadel to open-source the Exadel Studio Pro, RichFaces and Ajax4jsf tools under the JBoss.org community.
Exadel Studio Pro provides a Web development environment for developers to work with multiple frameworks within a single environment. RichFaces and Ajax4jsf offer direct models for building rich Internet (RIA) and Web 2.0 applications.
The inclusion of significant open source Web and RIA tools into the Red Hat Linux and JBoss runtime and middleware mix fortifies the stack-oriented Red Hat offerings, allows for broader testing and certification benefits across a develop-and-deploy lifecycle, and unifies a wider portfolio of products to be managed and provisioned under the Red Hat Network.
While Exadel will remain a separate stand-alone company, the contribution of its code and tooling products gives it an expanded channel opportunity -- the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and JBoss Enterprise Middleware market -- for its continuing consulting and professional services solutions. Exadel's tool developers will move to the JBoss.org community and continue their efforts there. Red Hat's community developers will dig into the code base of the tools and work to integrate and optimize them for use with Red Hat and JBoss code distributions, as well as bundle them with JBoss Seam and Hibernate.
In essence, Exadel is ceding its tools product development to open source via GPL, partnering with Red Hat to do it within its community, and so gets to ride on the Red Hat market for Exadel professional services. Red Hat gets influence over and integration benefits from an Eclipse-oriented visual development set, along with RIA and Ajax tools. Seems like nice bedfellows.
Red Hat product manage Bryan Che told me that Hibernate and JBoss Seam founder Gavin King will take a lead role in the direction of the new projects within JBoss.org.
Ajax4jsf and RichFaces will immediately become available under LGPL, while Studio Pro will become available in the summer, as Red Hat Developer Studio, likely under GPL. The tools will be Eclipse framework plugins as GPL open source, which provides a visual development offering and associated runtime environment benefit in a pure open source. Red Hat says: "This move marks the first time that a high-caliber set of Eclipse-based developer tools will be available in open source."
That seems a slap at "proprietary" Eclipse plugins, eh? Che said Red Hat's ramping-up strategy is to offer the "best of both world's" -- a full deployment and middleware stack along with broad tools integration (like Microsoft!) but also fully open source.
The Exadel tools also were buddies with Struts and Spring, hence the multiple frameworks support horn-tooting. Hey, and there's still support for NetBeans from the JBoss runtime. The new tools also offer some nice flexibility in runtime targets, including the Windows Server System. Indeed, Red Hat has come quite a long way since just Linux distributions support.