Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

IoT & Edge Developer Priorities and Challenges

The results of the Eclipse Foundation’s seventh annual IoT & Edge Developer Survey have been compiled and the report is available to download. As in previous years, this year’s survey provides important insights into developer trends and challenges, platform choices, and target markets. 

Administered by the Eclipse IoT Working Group, the Edge Native Working Group, and the Sparkplug Working Group, this year’s survey was conducted over a period of seven weeks, starting in late August. We received responses from more than 660 developers, committers, architects, and decision-makers from a broad set of industries and organizations globally. 

What Technologies are Developers Choosing?

  • IoT and edge developers told us they’re using C and C++ for constrained devices, but prefer Python over Java for edge servers, IoT and edge gateways, and cloud platform development.
  • MQTT has emerged as the clear leader in industrial IoT (IIoT) communications protocols. It showed solid growth in adoption over the past year, while protocols such as REST, HTTP/HTTPS, and TCP/IP showed a significant decline in IIoT usage compared to 2020.
  • AWS IoT is the preferred middleware, with a significant lead over Microsoft Azure IoT and Google Cloud IoT Platform.
  • Artificial intelligence is still the most frequently selected edge computing workload.
  • While Arm continues to dominate hardware architectures for constrained devices, gateways, and edge servers, RISC-V and OpenHW Group CORE-V architectures are showing strong market share gains.

Industrial Automation Is the Top Industry Focus Area

While industrial automation has displaced smart agriculture as the leading industry focus area, that doesn’t mean efforts on smart agriculture applications are dropping off. In fact, developer focus on smart agriculture rose seven percent from the 2020 survey results. However, focus on industrial automation rose 13 percent, indicating a sharp increase in demand for these types of applications.

Building automation, emergency management, and smart cities rounded out the top five industry focus areas.

Security Is the Top Concern

Almost half of this year’s survey respondents cited security as their primary worry when developing IoT and edge applications. However, concerns about connectivity, deployment, and integration complexity also rose this year, painting a picture of a changing landscape.

The results underscore the challenges developers face in determining which are the right technologies for the job. They also indicate that more IoT and edge solutions are moving past the proof-of-concept phase as developers look for technologies that help them optimize and integrate production systems to deliver better user experiences.

Get Involved in Eclipse IoT & Edge Native Communities

To stay current with the happenings in the Eclipse IoT Working Group, join the mailing list here.

To join the Eclipse Edge Native Working Group conversation on Slack, click here.

Read the Full Report

For detailed insights, Download the IoT & Edge Developer Survey Results 

Written by Mike Milinkovich

December 16, 2021 at 9:00 am

Posted in Foundation

Celebrating Eclipse at 20

Today the Eclipse project and the Eclipse Foundation are shipping Eclipse IDE 2021‑12, the latest in a string of releases that go back to November 2001. How better to mark its 20th anniversary than to celebrate another release!

Last month we published a press release and a landing page to celebrate twenty years of Eclipse history, which we are augmenting today with a celebration video that includes great segments from Eclipse project leaders, both past and present. I highly recommend taking the time to watch it to learn about the history of this ground breaking open source project, as well as hearing where the community plans to take it in the future. And, definitely don’t miss the guitar solo at the end! I would like to thank the members of the original Eclipse project team who participated: Erich Gamma (Microsoft), John Duimovich (Red Hat), Steve Northover (IBM), and Paul Buck (Eclipse Foundation). I would also like to thank Sarika Sinha (IBM) and Mickael Istria (Red Hat), who joined the video to talk about the project today and who continue to make the Eclipse IDE a great platform for developers around the world. 

It is impossible to overstate the impact that the Eclipse IDE has had on the software industry, the open source community, and the Java ecosystem. Envisioned originally as “a kind of universal tool platform – an open extensible IDE for anything and nothing in particular”, The Eclipse project and platform can be celebrated for many milestones. Here are just a few:

  • The technology itself was groundbreaking. Using the Java language, while utilizing the desktop UI frameworks, made the Eclipse IDE a fast and attractive solution for the enterprise developers of the day. Don’t forget that the original design intent was to compete with Microsoft’s Visual Studio and ensure that the Java ecosystem had an ecosystem of professional tools. Coupling that with the most extensible architecture ever seen in a tooling platform made the Eclipse IDE perfect for its time. No one can dispute that the Eclipse IDE was part of the overall value equation that allowed Java to become dominant in the enterprise.
  • The Eclipse Rich Client Platform was based on the insight that if you could build desktop-portable IDEs, you could re-use that platform for building desktop-portable applications. Pre-dating the Web 2.0 technologies that we now all use, RCP was the go-to technology for building portable desktop applications in the enterprise for a decade. RCP was used extensively in banking, insurance, and healthcare (to name just a few) as the basis for the applications that millions of people used every day.
  • Language support was another key Eclipse win. Although to this day many developers think of the Eclipse IDE as Java-centric, it was used to create language IDEs for almost every available programming language. Today the Eclipse C/C++ Development Tools (CDT) project remains the dominant platform used by the embedded and RTOS markets for their developer tools. Arm, Renesas, Xilinx, ST Micro, NXP, etc. all ship Eclipse IDE-based products today.
  • The “Eclipse Way” of development, first described by Erich Gamma and John Weigand at EclipseCon so many years ago, explained how an open source project could sustainably deliver high quality code on a predictable schedule. And those processes still work today, as we celebrate yet another Eclipse IDE release delivered on time to the day. For over 16 years now, that highly predictable schedule delivered by an open source community has been a marvel of mature development processes embraced by a community.
  • While commonplace today, the Eclipse project was one of the first (if not the first) projects to consciously create a consortium of industry players in support of an open source community. It is hard to overstate how novel this was in 2001, when the professionalization of open source was an entirely new idea. I can confirm that the experiment was a success.

But none of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of literally hundreds of people over the years. Initially created by the IBM subsidiary Object Technology International, the Eclipse IDE in its early days was very much an IBM-led project. The Eclipse Foundation was created in 2004 as a vendor-neutral home for the project in order to help build trust amongst potential adopters, and to steward a community. By all measures that strategy was a success, with many IBM competitors joining the Eclipse Foundation and creating tools on top of the platform. After a few years, Eclipse adopters were a who’s who of the industry at the time, including BEA Systems, Blackberry, Borland, Computer Associates, Compuware, HP, Intel, Motorola, Nokia, Oracle, SAP, Sybase, and Wind River. 

The success in growing the Eclipse ecosystem resulted in an increase in potential contributors, and today the Eclipse Project is incredibly diverse with over a dozen different companies supporting committers on the project. On behalf of the entire community, I would like to thank each and every one of the committers and contributors who have and continue to make the Eclipse IDE a success.

And finally, twenty years is a long time. I would also like to thank and remember the team members who I knew personally that are no longer with us to enjoy this moment. Jeem and Dani, you are missed.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

December 8, 2021 at 9:12 am

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

Introducing Oniro: A Vendor Neutral, Open Source OS for Next-Gen Devices

It’s a rare event when a new operating system comes along. And it’s even rarer to have the opportunity to influence the direction of that OS at its earliest stages. So I’m delighted to tell you that today we are announcing a new working group and top-level project that gives you that opportunity. The Oniro community will nurture and evolve the Oniro operating system, a transparent, vendor-neutral, and independent OS for the next generation of distributed systems.

The Oniro OS will provide a true, community-driven open source solution that runs on a wider spectrum of devices than today’s operating systems. And it will make it far easier to integrate different types of next-gen hardware and software.

Architected to Go Beyond Today’s Operating Systems

The Oniro OS can run on more devices than current operating systems because it features a multi-kernel architecture:

  • A Linux Yocto kernel allows the OS to run on larger embedded devices, such as Raspberry Pi-class devices 
  • A Zephyr kernel allows the OS to run on highly resource-constrained devices, such as a coffee maker or a thermostat

With the ability to run the same OS on different classes of devices, Oniro will provide an ideal solution to support the future of IoT, machine economy, edge, mobile, and other next-gen devices:

  • Consumers and adopters of the Oniro OS will have a more seamless experience than they have with the current generation of operating systems.
  • Devices will be able to directly connect to one another and share data, enabling a much higher degree of interoperability than is possible today.
  • Data exchanged between devices can flow directly to one another rather than always being shared via the cloud, enabling low latency architectures which are also inherently more secure and private. 

We expect the initial use cases for Oniro will be in the IoT and industrial IoT domains with applications for mobile devices coming later as the community evolves, grows, and establishes its roadmap.

Enabling the Global Ecosystem for OpenHarmony

Oniro is an independent open source implementatio of OpenAtom’s OpenHarmony. To deliver on the promise of Oniro, the community will deliver an independent, but compatible implementation of the OpenHarmony specifications, tailored for the global market. OpenHarmony is based on HarmonyOS, a multi-kernel OS that was developed by Huawei and contributed to the OpenAtom Foundation last year. In the future Oniro will also deliver additional specifications to help drive global adoption.

By creating a compatible implementation of OpenHarmony, the Oniro community can ensure that applications built for Oniro will run on OpenHarmony and vice versa. This interoperability will allow the Oniro community to create a global ecosystem and marketplace for applications and services that can be used across both operating systems, anywhere in the world. 

Join an Innovative Open Source Community

I truly believe that Oniro is open source done right. It’s a huge opportunity to build an operating system that rethinks how devices across many different device classes can interoperate in a secure and privacy-preserving way. 

Because Oniro’s evolution is being guided by an open and vendor-neutral community using the Eclipse Development Process, openness and transparency are a given. This will go a long way towards building the engagement and stakeholder trust necessary to create the global ecosystem.

The founding members of the Oniro Working Group include telecom giant, Huawei, Arm software experts Linaro, and industrial IoT specialists Seco. As more organizations become aware of Oniro, we expect the community to encompass organizations of all sizes and from all industries. 

I strongly encourage everyone with an interest in next-gen devices — corporations, academics, individuals — to take the opportunity to get involved in Oniro in its earliest stages. To get started, join the Oniro conversation by subscribing to the Oniro working group list.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

October 26, 2021 at 8:01 am

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

Tagged with , , ,

What Cloud Developers Want

The results of our first-ever Cloud Developer Survey are in, providing important insight into the development tools being used today, the role of open source, and the capabilities developers are looking for in next generation cloud-based tools and IDEs.  

The Cloud Developer Survey was conducted April 22-May 1, 2021, with more than 300 software developers, DevOps specialists, architects, and IT leaders in the US, UK, France, and Germany being interviewed. It’s important to point out that this survey was fielded by an independent team of analysts with the express purpose of minimizing bias, and to provide a clear market perspective to our member community. 

In commissioning this research project, our primary objective was to gain a better understanding of cloud-based developer trends by identifying the requirements, priorities, and challenges faced by organizations that deploy and use cloud-based development solutions, including those based on open source technologies. Our expectation is that through these findings, we can better ensure developers have the tools and technologies they need for cloud native application development.

An interesting finding is that more than 40 percent of survey respondents indicated that their company’s most important applications are now cloud native. And only three percent said their company has no cloud migration plans for important on-premise applications. This bodes well for the growth in cloud-based tools to help accelerate this trend and migration.

Developers Expect Open Source Tools and Technologies

One of the most significant trends revealed by the survey is the extremely high value developers place on open source. This is a rare number to see in survey results, but 100 percent of participating organizations said they allow their developers to use open source technologies for software development; though 62 percent do place at least some restrictions on usage.

Looking ahead, developers expect open source to continue to grow in popularity, with more than 80 saying they consider open source to be important both now and in the future. With the focus on cloud native applications and growing reliance on open source, it’s safe to say that open source and cloud development go hand-in-hand, and are here to stay.

Flexibility, Better Integrations, and Innovation are Attractive 

The Cloud Developer Survey also revealed that while developers use a variety of tools, they prefer using those with which they’re already familiar. This is reflected by the fact that 57 percent of survey respondents are still using desktop IDEs, including the Eclipse IDE. What this means is that there remains a huge developer community that has yet to benefit from open source cloud IDE technologies like Eclipse Theia, Eclipse Che, and Open VSX Registry, along with the ecosystem and products built around them.

Developers that do use cloud-based tools aren’t necessarily tied to using what their cloud provider recommends. Instead, they prefer open source options that offer opportunities for customization and innovation. No matter which technologies developers opt to use, increasing productivity is crucial. Developers are looking for better integrations of APIs and other features and tools that help save them time and effort.

Developers also want the flexibility to choose best-of-breed products and tools as needed to work more efficiently and to support the next wave of innovation in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and edge technologies. Open source drives innovation in these technologies, and flexible, open source tools will be key to attracting top talent to these cutting-edge development opportunities.

Read the Full Report and Recommendations

To review the complete Cloud Developer Survey results and the associated recommendations, download the survey report.

For more information about the Eclipse Cloud DevTools ecosystem and its benefits for members, visit the website.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

October 22, 2021 at 8:30 am

Eclipse Foundation Projects are OpenChain Conformant

Today we announced that the Eclipse Foundation is the first open source foundation to confirm its open source development process conforms with the OpenChain ISO 5230 international standard for open source license compliance. This means that every Eclipse Foundation project is being developed under a process which conforms to the ISO 5230 standard. The announcement is great news for our open source software contributors, users, adopters, and stakeholders globally.

The OpenChain ISO 5230 standard is officially known as the OpenChain 2.1 ISO/IEC 5230:2020 standard, and is maintained by the OpenChain Project. Its goal is to provide a clear and effective process management standard, so that organizations of all sizes, in all industries, and in all markets can benefit from a more efficient and effective open source supply chain.  

The time and effort we put into documenting that our existing development processes comply with the OpenChain ISO 5230 standard will help strengthen global supply chain integrity, and showcases our commitment to supporting our members and all of our projects’ downstream adopters.

Supported by Leading Organizations Globally

Before it became an official ISO/IEC standard in December 2020, the OpenChain initiative was the de facto standard for several years. The standard was developed based on the contributions of more than 100 project participants, and supported by organizations including Arm, BMW Car IT, Bosch, Cisco, Comcast, Ericsson, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, Hitachi, Huawei, Microsoft, MOXA, OPPO, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Siemens, Sony, Toshiba, Toyota, and Uber. 

The breadth, depth, and diversity of organizations involved in developing the OpenChain ISO 5230 standard clearly demonstrate the importance with which the initiative is viewed across industries. The availability of the official, published standard is expected to increase conformance from hundreds of organizations to thousands. But to my knowledge, the Eclipse Foundation is the first open source foundation that has done the work necessary to document that all of our projects are developed under an OpenChain conformant process. This is an important milestone for both the Eclipse Foundation and for the OpenChain standard and its community.

Learn More and Get Involved

Because the OpenChain ISO 5230 standard is open, everyone with an interest in the initiative can engage with the community, share their knowledge, and contribute to the future of the standard. 

Follow the links below to learn more:

Written by Mike Milinkovich

October 19, 2021 at 9:46 am

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

Tagged with ,