Red Hat expands developer tools business

Through its JBoss division, Red Hat looks to woo developers and gain revenue by distributing open-source tools.

Red Hat announced on Monday an initiative meant to boost its development tools business and reach out to more programmers.

The open-source software company said that it has established a partnership with Exadel in which Exadel will open source its Web development tools at, a Red Hat open-source project site.

As part of the arrangement, Red Hat will take over technical direction of those projects and build ties to JBoss open-source server software, said Bryan Che, a product manager at Red Hat.

"What you'll see through this announcement is that we will be bringing a lot more to the table in terms of offerings to developers," Che said.

By expanding in open-source development tools, Red Hat intends to boost its revenue from support and distribution services. The company also hopes to encourage programmers to create applications that run on Red Hat's Linux software and JBoss Java application server, he said.

"What we are really looking to do is roll out an integrated development environment so people interested in building applications can be really productive using Red Hat JBboss technology," Che said.

The three products that Exadel will open source are for writing Web applications using Ajax or other front-end design techniques including Java Server Faces.

Exadel employees will continue to work on those products, but Red Hat programmers will now participate, including Gavin King, who founded the popular Hibernate open-source project.

This summer, Red Hat expects to complete the process of converting one tool called Exadel Studio Pro to open source, which will be rebranded Red Hat Developer Studio, Che said.

Also in the summer, Red Hat will begin to offer subscription-based support services for a bundle of Eclipse-based development tools under the open-source General Public License.

The expanded Red Hat programmer outreach and Exadel partnership was announced in conjunction with the start of EclipseCon, a four-day conference in Santa Clara, Calif., devoted to the Eclipse open-source tool framework.

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