IBM Corp. plans to further leverage the Eclipse open source tools platform as part of its developer tools strategy during the next 18 months.

Shedding light on its product directions, IBM officials on Monday outlined company intentions that focus on Eclipse as well as on the Unified Modeling Language (UML).

“In the next 18 months, you will see greater and greater integration and construction on top of the Eclipse framework, so basically, Eclipse is at the core of all the products that we build as part of the software development platform,” said Jeffrey Hammond, group market manager for IBM Rational Software.

“Where we are moving now is if you look at products today from Rational, 80 per cent of them are Eclipse-integrated today,” Hammond said. “As a general, strategic direction, we are moving them from Eclipse-integrated to Eclipse-based.”

IBM also is making UML 2.0 modeling capabilities available as part of Eclipse. The company also plans to produce standardized mapping between Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and UML.

Additionally, importation of business process models from WebSphere Business Integration into the Rational Rose XDE will become seamless, according to IBM.

The company is focused on the Hyades software quality tools project as well. “What we’re starting to do is build our testing tools on top of (Hyades),” Hammond said.

IBM also plans to support Simplified Data Objects (SDO) in WebSphere Studio Application Developer and WebSphere Site Developer in the next quarter, in Version 5.1.2 of both products. SDO provides a standardized way to bind data into Java classes and Enterprise JavaBeans.