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Updated Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse Aimed at Java Jocks

Oracle has released an update of its Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g, extending its support to more Fusion Middleware components, for the latest Eclipse 3.6 "Helios" release and for Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE) tools.

The Enterprise Pack for Eclipse is a component of Oracle's Fusion Middleware platform, which is essentially a family of application infrastructure products. The Enterprise Pack itself is a set of free Eclipse-based plugins designed to allow developers to build Java EE and Web Services apps for Fusion Middleware. Oracle calls Eclipse "the preferred" IDE for the platform.

Helios support in the new version of the Enterprise Pack allows developers to use new Java EE 6 tools, including JSF 2.0, which simplifies project configuration and supports XHTML editing, facelets and composite component development; the Java Persistence API 2.0 (JPA), which manages persistence and object-relational mapping for Java EE and Java SE environments; the EJB 3.1 specification; and the Servlet 3.0 spec.

This release also provides the first set of tools for Oracle Coherence. Coherence is an in-memory distributed data grid solution for clustered applications and application servers. The new tool set is designed to allow Eclipse users to develop, run and debug against it. The new tools include Oracle Coherence launch configurations to streamline debugging and deployment to Coherence from within Eclipse; the Coherence project facet, which enables project and library configuration; and the Coherence override descriptor editor with wizards, validation and integrated help for the Coherence Override configuration file.

The new Enterprise Pack also supports Glassfish, the open source Java EE app server, the stewardship of which came Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems. The Oracle GlassFish Server Tools are designed to enable server configuration, deployment and debugging for Eclipse projects.

This update also adds a number of WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST) features, including a full Jython/Python IDE based on PyDev. The IDE gives users full syntax highlighting, validation and code completion for WLST scripts. Definition and reuse of WLST templates is also supported, as is Oracle's WebLogic MBean Explorer, which visualizes the server MBean tree for easy drag and drop to the WLST script. Oracle has integrated the WLST console in this release, providing script execution and debugging tools from within Eclipse in both online and offline modes.

"Obviously most of the people using the tools that Oracle provides are using the Oracle stack," said Michael Coté, industry analyst at RedMonk. "It's not as though general Java developers who aren't developing for Oracle would be using those tools. But over the years Oracle has gobbled up a number of proprietary developer communities -- Siebel, PeopleSoft, BEA and now Sun. So they really have to make sure that there's good tooling available for those communities."

More information about this release is available on the Oracle Web site here.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].