Easier Development Environment Setup

Back in April 2003 I mentioned a piece of software then called Out-of-the-Box. It installed a wide variety of open source development software with a particular emphasis on Java tools like Ant, JBoss, etc. The name has changed but OpenLogic is still selling updated versions of Out-of-the-Box, now rechristened BlueGlue for $200(US)/year. You can get a one month trial for free to see if it appeals to your company.
I still think it’s neat software, but I find the price tag is going to put me off using it personally nor would I be likely to recommend it for most, not all, but most companies looking for easy ways to quickly build development environments and keep them up to date.
There is a new competitor though. MyJavaPack Home is open source software trying to fill basically the same niche. It does installation of lots of Java development tools and a few common open source tools that aren’t just for Java (e.g. MySQL). It doesn’t have as many different tools it can install nor does it offer to install example projects which use subsets of the other tools to confirm that installed everything correctly or to give you a quick starting point for your own work. But even without those, its $0 price tag and open source could make it a popular choice for people who want a quick and dirty solution to setting up a development environment (and it’s more IT people and team leads than you may think).
I hope future versions of both packages emphasize installation of groups of software based on common sets you see in work. Ant, Log4J, etc. would always be installed but there could be a group for web applications that would include Tomcat and/or JBoss plus Spring, a web service group could have Axis and/or Apache XML-RPC in it, a graphical UI one could install the JGoodies Forms and L2FProd.com’s Common Components. Toss in some sample apps or even better, some templates for applications using Megg and you’ve got a hell of a starter kit.

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