JLense and the Eclipse Platform

Eclipse is an open-source Integrated Development Environment developed mainly by the I.B.M. Corporation. The core of Eclipse is an extremely powerful runtime platform that has mechanisms for discovering, integrating, running, and updating modules called plugins.

The Eclipse framework is open-source and can be freely used to build more than just a Java IDE. Instead of building an IDE the Eclipse framework can also be used to build generic Java applications of all kinds. It is important to realize exactly what we're talking about here. We're not talking about using the Eclipse IDE to build Java applications. We're talking about using the framework that is used to build the Eclipse IDE to build some other kind of application.

However, while the Eclipse platform includes many plugins that make it easy to build an IDE and Java development tools it doesn't include plugins that the typical Java application developer would need. For instance, a plugin for creating reports. Also, the Eclipse platform makes technology choices that may not be appropriate for typlical application development (I'm specifically thinking of SWT (Simple Windowing Toolkit), the GUI widget tookit used by Eclipse, I think that Swing is a more appropriate choice).

JLense is a framework built on top of the Eclipse core plugin platform. Applications built with the JLense framework run on top of the Eclipse plugin platform. The JLense Project develops a set of plugins that work on top of the Eclipse plugin platform that provide functionality specifically related to the typical Java 'database' or 'business' application. JLense also uses specific Eclipse plugins as appropriate, the Eclipse update plugin for instance.

JLense adds plugins to the Eclipse core platform for:

  • developing Swing-based GUIs
  • accessing enterprise data and services
  • easily building forms and binding them to data
  • easily building reports and binding them to data
  • authentication and authorization

We hope that you find the JLense framework a compelling alternative to the Eclipse framework for developing business applications but we acknowledge our debt to the Eclipse project as a source of inspiration, great ideas, as well as the original source of some of our code and documentation!

What JLense Is...

The JLense Project is a Java Application Development Framework for developing Java-based 'business' applications. JLense aims to make it easy to develop:

  • Full featured, Swing-based GUIs to back-end services
  • J2EE-based business services

What JLense Isn't...

JLense is not a framework for developing plugins for the Eclipse IDE.

JLense is not a tool for Eclipse, JLense is a framework.