Genuitec has adapted its MyEclipse developer toolkit for use with IBM WebSphere Application Server 6.1.

With the new MyEclipse Blue, users can build web services and Java EE 5 applications to run on IBM's platform without having to move to IBM's more costly Rational Application Developer 7. MyEclipse Blue costs $149 (£74.50) per year, while Rational costs $4,120 (£2,060), although customers with maintenance agreements can get upgrades without paying extra.

Available by the end of December, MyEclipse Blue features a version of Genuitec's Eclipse-based software development stack, MyEclipse Enterprise Workbench Professional Edition, customised for IBM WebSphere. The base workbench includes tools like Eclipse IDE, a JavaScript debugger, the Matisse4Eclipse Swing UI designer, AJAX tools, and UML (Unified Modeling Language) support.

Genuitec emphasised it is providing an alternative to IBM's requirement to move to Rational Application Developer. Users "not only have to transition to WebSphere Application Server 6.1 but retool," to take advantage of it, said Maher Masri, president of Genuitec.

MyEclipse Blue provides the same ability to write lightweight and web services and SOA applications for WebSphere 6.1, Masri said.

"We're actually matching [IBM's] web services framework inside their application server and adopting the same concepts so people can write the same capabilities inside MyEclipse," said Masri. SOA applications can be deployed natively to WebSphere as if they were written inside the Rational tool.

The Blue edition also supports development on WebSphere 5.x and 6.0.

"With its MyEclipse line in general, Genuitec does a good job of providing a pre-packaged and refined Eclipse-based collection of development tools," analyst Michael Cote, of RedMonk, said. "It looks like the WebSphere-specific tooling they're providing with MyEclipse Blue will continue this practice."

An IBM representative acknowledged users need to upgrade their toolset. WebSphere 6.1 users would want version 7 of Rational Application Developer for its web services and Java support, she said. WebSphere Studio Application Developer was renamed Rational Application Developer in 2004.

"My understanding is that MyEclipse, in general, plays well in the IBM world," Cote said. "Indeed, I'd wager that IBM would relish having more tools to provide to its customers and developer base - all the better to keep them happy with using WebSphere no matter what the tools in use."

Another critical feature of MyEclipse Blue is a plug-in so that developers using MyEclipse can check code into the ClearCase code management system IBM has provided. Also, developers will get a tool for importing existing projects into MyEclipse Enterprise Workbench without having to rewrite them from scratch, Masri said.

Genuitec also anticipates developing versions of the MyEclipse workbench for other application servers, such as BEA Systems' WebLogic and Oracle. "We're going to let the dust settle in regards to Oracle and BEA," said Masri, noting the on-again, off-again status of a proposed merger between BEA and Oracle. An Oracle bid to buy BEA expired last month, and another one has not been made.

MyEclipse also has been offering a beta release of MyEclipse Pulse, a managed application platform for creating software that can be managed centrally but deployed individually to users' desktops.

Currently focused on bundling Eclipse software, Pulse is due for general release in March 2008.

Genuitec is pondering the expansion of Pulse beyond just bundling Eclipse technology at some point.