Eclipse Platform

Definition - What does Eclipse Platform mean?

The Eclipse platform is a generic integrated development environment (IDE) foundation without a specific programming language. The platform contains IDE functionality and is built with components creating applications by using component subsets. Developers create, share and edit generic projects and files in the platform, while participating within a multiple team development environment repository.

The platform’s primary function is to provide mechanisms and rules to software vendors, allowing smooth software integration between different vendors.

Techopedia explains Eclipse Platform

The design and structure of the platform has the following functions:

  • Construction of varied application development tools
  • Support of unrestricted tool provider sets, such as independent software vendors (ISVs)
  • Manipulation of content types, such as HyperText Markup Language (HTML), Java, C, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), Extensible Markup Language (XML) and graphics interchange format (GIF)
  • Facilitation of seamless tool integration of different content types and providers
  • Support of development environments for graphical user interface (GUI) and non-GUI applications
  • Execution within varied operating systems, including Windows, LinuxTM, Mac OS X, Solaris, AIX and HP-UX
  • Use of Java programming language

IBM created the Eclipse platform to address complaints about IBM’s tooling. Clients and software developers were growing tired of integrating and deconstructing tools to enable tool function within different environments. IBM’s donation of the platform to the open source community enabled software developers to create integrated tools which functioned together. As an open source initiative, the platform allowed software developers to improve their existing platform through contributing new plug-ins.

The platform’s success is attributable to the following groups:

  • Committers: This group is responsible for developing the official Eclipse tooling. A committer example is the Eclipse Web Tools Platform Project Team.
  • Plug-in Developers: This group extended the platform to create useful tooling such as the Eclipse Plug-in Central, which consists of many plug-in developers.
  • Users: This group uses the tools developed by committers and plug-in developers.
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