The new tools, unveiled at the EclipseWorld conference, include Eclipse Callisto-based software development tools to help users quickly design, develop and test applications, and IBM Lotus Designer, a rapid application development tool that helps clients to quickly build new components that run in WebSphere Portal 6.0.
IBM has also added Eclipse tools to its DeveloperWorks skills-building hub, including an educational tool designed to help Eclipse users learn about V3.2 enhancements.
IBM will also launch a new customer support programme, IBM Rational Elite Support, for the estimated 2.3 million users of Eclipse worldwide.
The programme will provide hands-on technical assistance to IBM and non-IBM sourced tools, a service which no other major software vendor currently provides. The programme should be available later this year.
Eclipse was originally developed by IBM as the successor to its VisualAge family of tools, but control of the IDE was moved out of IBM to a software consortium in 2003.
It is now managed by the Eclipse Foundation, an independent not-for-profit consortium of software industry vendors.
IBM plans to release a no-charge public downloadable beta of its Eclipse tools in late September from DeveloperWorks.
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