I’ve been hinting at this project for a few weeks now, and I’m glad to see the proposal finally posted. The “Riena” project intends to produce an Über Rich Client Platform. I found out about this project only a week or so after I agreed to co-host the upcoming “RCP Experience Workshop” at Eclipse Summit Europe. Frankly, the prospect of this proposal turning into a real project may be the important missing link between what we talk about during the workshop and making it a reality.

Riena proposes to build a more comprehensive platform for building applications based on Eclipse technology. The proposal states (in part):

The Riena platform will be the foundation for building multi-tier enterprise client/server applications. As such Riena will broaden the usage of the service oriented architecture of OSGi/Equinox by providing access to local and remote services in a transparent way. Using this uniform programming model the components of Riena and the business components of the enterprise application can be developed regardless of their target location. Components are later easily placed on client or server depending on the business requirements.

What this boils down to is “RCP on steroids” (with server-side Equinox). You can build applications that are part client-based and part-server based; components can be hosted on the client, server, or both, and the framework takes care of making sure that communication between components happens. Frankly, this is pretty exciting. But, it gets better.

The proposal discusses leveraging work done in other (existing) projects to provide support for such things as object-level transactions, database persistence, communication and more. Community is gathering around the proposal. I see potential for this project to either become or lay the groundwork for a serious one-stop-shop for everything application developers need.

You can find the proposal here. If you have questions, direct them to the eclipse.technology.riena newsgroup.

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