IBM provides support for Eclipse developers

IBM announced a new customer support program Thursday for developers who use open-source tools offered by the Eclipse Foundation and other providers.

Scott Hebner, vice president of marketing and strategy at IBM Rational, said the move to provide commercial-level technical support to developers who are building applications using Eclipse is based on a growing awareness by IT managers of the popularity of Eclipse among developers.

"There are individual developers that are using open-source-based tooling they download off the Web," he said. "That does not necessarily mean they have any enterprise-class support to go along with it. [The new program] will help the managers of that effort have a more unified approach to ensuring value is extracted from [the] software development cycle."

In related news, IBM on Tuesday announced several new development tools based on Eclipse 3.2, the latest version of the open-source development tool set. Later this month, IBM will offer a beta version of its IBM Lotus Designer, a rapid application tool for building components that run in WebSphere Portal 6.0.

Also, by mid-October, IBM plans to release beta versions of IBM Rational Software Architect and IBM Rational Functional Tester with support for Eclipse 3.2.