Behind the Scenes: What to Expect from the RCP Training Series

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Behind the Scenes: What to Expect from the RCP Training Series

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[img_assist|nid=1588|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=125]The RCP Training Series kicks off this summer, covering a wide range of locations. To get more insight into what to expect from the training, I talked with Dr Jörn Weigle representing WeigleWilczek, a member of the Eclipse Training Alliance.

In our interview we discuss the RCP Training Series, how the company got involved with RCP and training, and the future of Eclipse RCP.

How long have you been working with RCP?
Our first Eclipse based enterprise application was a controlling system for a German car manufacturer. That was in spring 2003. I think back then the RCP as we have it today was not even existing. Right now, we are again working on that system to broaden its functionalities and freshen up the GUI.

How did you company get involved with RCP Training?
Actually our way into offering Eclipse training and coaching was market driven. Our customers recognized us as experienced and demanded more and more training and coaching. So I thought about ways to make this as interesting and scalable as possible ... and we ended up with the Training Alliance. To a certain degree it was an experiment. Nobody knew if the idea to work on courseware just as on software in an open-source-way would work. But it actually works very well.

What is the motivation for running the RCP Training Courses?
There still seems to be a significant amount of companies who recognize Eclipse mainly as an IDE. We also frequently follow discussions about whether or not Eclipse RCP is a good choice for a specific project or task, e.g. compared to NetBeans RCP. WeigleWilczek's motivation is to offer an easy entry into Eclipse RCP.

How long does each course last?
The course lasts for four days. But our trainers will help people after the course is finished via email if they face problems in putting into practice what they have learned in the course. Beyond the training series, in cooperation with the Eclipse Foundation, we offer individualized courses and coaching. The length of time of these courses is adjusted to the needs of our customers.

What can someone expect to learn?
After the course, attendees will be able to develop their own RCP applications. They will be familiar with all relevant concepts and features of RCP: we will explain the Eclipse workbench, plugins and their life cycle, extension points, SWT and JFace, actions, perspective and views, editors and basics about how to brand an Eclipse based product and how to package and deliver it. You can find a more detailed description of the course at http://www.eclipse-training.net/index.php?id=146&R=0.

What are the course pre-requisites?
Attendees should have experience with Java. It will be helpful but not a pre-requisite if they have basic knowledge about Eclipse as an IDE.

How popular is RCP becoming in industry?
In 2006 and 2007 several of WeigleWilczek's customers defined Eclipse RCP into their portfolio of strategic technologies. We also get a lot of requests as drivers of the Eclipse Training Alliance which indicate that Eclipse RCP will become main stream.

What is the most interesting application of the RCP that you've seen so far?
I'm sure there are a lot of impressive RCP applications out there I am not aware of. We have developed an interesting and quite big RCP application for the City of Stuttgart called "Open IT". Its task is to support the decision making process of hard- and software procurement.
Every IT item within the City of Stuttgart - from the cell phone to the server farm - has to be applied for in Open IT. The client is individualized in terms of its functionalities and views for different of roles, e.g. technical support, controlling and the management. It contains a lot of business logic - for example to select the appropriate workflow, ensure that all financial requirements are met, find out when the products will be delivered and if the technical support team will have to install a product or not.
Open IT was described in an Eclipse case study which can be found on http://weiglewilczek.com/index.php?id=8&L=1.

What do you see for the future of RCP?
WeigleWilczek is developing a lot of enterprise applications. From our technical point of view we still see the effects of RCP having its roots in the Eclipse IDE.
What will help making RCP more attractive for developing enterprise applications will be support of user rights and roles and client-server environments etc. We see that this is being covered by the Riena project. We also would appreciate better support of provisioning and are looking forward to having p2 with the upcoming Ganymede release.
From the market perspective I am very optimistic that the positive trend towards Eclipse RCP in the EU will commence if not get stronger.
If you want me to look into the crystal ball: There is this thrilling idea to have RCP as some kind of replacement of the windowing systems. Let's assume we have a minimalistic Linux or any other OS and on top of that we have an RCP environment which encapsulates everything the specific user needs: e.g. office tools, a web browser as well as a set of business specific tools or very specific tools to handle a manufacture line. This might lead to very specific, lean working environments.

About WeigleWilczek
WeigleWilczek provides software development focused on Eclipse and strategic IT consulting. Our clients have precise requirements: they want to leverage information technology in order to meet their business objectives.
We support them in the successful achievement of their goals.
Our team with headquarters in Stuttgart (Esslingen) and Luxembourg pools 25 experienced specialists in business and data processing.
Business economists and computer scientists tend to look at things from different perspectives. And the two parties appreciate WeigleWilczek's expertise as a professional partner since we are able to adopt both angles. This allows us to translate business demands into technological solutions and likewise to leverage technology for creating commercial benefit.

About Eclipse Training Alliance
The Eclipse Training Alliance provides you with training sessions and coachings on Eclipse RCP, Enterprise Applications with Eclipse RCP, Eclipse EMF, GEF and GMF as well as additional Eclipse projects. Our specialists derive their expertise from years of professional programming with Eclipse and have an active share in innovative Eclipse projects


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