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Eclipse launches Che 7 IDE for Kubernetes development

The Eclipse Foundation has introduced Eclipse Che 7, a new version of the Eclipse Che cloud-based integrated development environment aimed at creating applications on Kubernetes.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Eclipse Foundation has introduced Eclipse Che 7, a new developer workspace server and IDE to help developers build cloud-native, enterprise applications on Kubernetes.

The foundation debuted the new technology at the Oracle Code One conference here. Eclipse Che is essentially a cloud-based IDE built on technology Red Hat acquired from Codenvy, and Red Hat developers are still heavily involved with the Eclipse project. With a focus on Kubernetes, Eclipse Che 7 abstracts away some of the development complexities associated with Kubernetes and helps to close the gap between the development and operations environments, said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation.

"We think this is important because it's the first cloud-based IDE that tends to be natively Kubernetes," he said. "It provides all of the pieces that a cognitive developer needs to be able to build and deploy a Kubernetes application."

Eclipse Che 7 helps developers who may not be so familiar with Kubernetes by providing not just the IDE, but also its plug-ins and their dependencies. In addition, Che 7 automatically adds all the build and debugging tools developers need for their applications.

Mike MilinkovichMike Milinkovich

"It helps reduce the learning curve that's related to Kubernetes that a lot of developers struggle with, in terms of setting up Kubernetes and getting their first apps locations up and running on Kubernetes," Milinkovich said.

The technology can be deployed on a public Kubernetes cluster or an on-premises data center, and it provides centrally hosted private developer workspaces. In addition, the Eclipse Che IDE is based on an extended version of Eclipse Theia that provides an in-browser experience like Microsoft's Visual Studio Code, Milinkovich said.

Eclipse Che and Eclipse Theia are part of cloud-native offerings from vendors such as Google, IBM and Broadcom. And it lies at the core of Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces, a development for Red Hat OpenShift.

Moreover, Broadcom's CA Brightside product uses Eclipse Che to bring a modern, open approach to the mainframe platform. Che also integrates with IBM Codewind to provide a low barrier to entry for developing in a production container environment.

Kubernetes is hard to manage, so it will be helpful to have an out-of-the-box offering from an IDE vendor.
Holger MuellerAnalyst, Constellation Research

"It had to happen, and it happened sooner than later: The first IDE delivered inside Kubernetes," said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research.

There are benefits of having developers build software with the same mechanics and platforms on the IDE side as their target production environment, he explained, including similar experience and faster code deployments.

"And Kubernetes is hard to manage, so it will be helpful to have an out-of-the-box offering from an IDE vendor," Mueller said. "But nothing beats the advantage of being able to standardize and quickly launch uniform and consistent developer environments. This gives development team scale to build their next-gen applications and helps their enterprise accelerate."

Eclipse joins a group that includes major vendors that want to limit the complexity of Kubernetes. IBM and VMware recently introduced technology to reduce Kubernetes complexity for developers and operations staff.

For instance, IBM's Kabanero open source project to simplify development and deployment of apps on Kubernetes uses Che as its hosted IDE.

The future of developer tools will be cloud-based, Milinkovich said. "Because of the complexity of the application scenarios today, developers are spending a lot of their time and energy building out development environments when they could just move developer workspaces into containers," he said. "It's far easier to update the entire development team to new runtime requirements. And you can push out new tools across the entire development team."

The IDE is the last big piece of technology that developers use on a daily basis that has not moved into the cloud, so moving the IDE into the cloud is the next logical step, Milinkovich said.

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