Single Code Base for ISVs

During this short talk and demonstration during the Eclipse Tailgate Party at Eclipse World 2006, Ihor Strutynskyj brought up an incredibly important point. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the point as explicitly as I had hoped (I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for him to say it–oh well).

The software that he builds for RPC Software is sold to multiple customers and is customized for each one of them. The application is built on top of Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP). During the talk, he stated that the customization amounts to the construction of a few custom plug-ins to tune the behaviour of the application. The part that he didn’t explicitly state is that by being able to customize the application by extending it, he avoids having to fork the code for different customers. That is, they maintain a single code base and leverage the Eclipse extension point mechanism to customize the application by including some additional components.

Clearly, there is a lot of value in Eclipse RCP for ISVs. Being able to maintain a single code base for multiple platforms and multiple customers saves a lot of time and energy that can be devoted to adding value to applications…

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