Eclipse Strategic Member Custom Delivery Installer Program

Goals of this Program

This program has three main goals:

  1. Improve the download experience for users,
  2. Increase the visibility of projects, especially those that are not "the Java IDE" by which Eclipse is mostly known,
  3. Increase the value of strategic membership.

Program

Over the next several months the Eclipse Foundation will be offering visitors to Eclipse.org the ability to download and install Eclipse using Wizard launched from the eclipse.org/downloads page. This will initially be offered to a small audience (such as "Friend of Eclipse") and over time offered to a broader audience. The wizard allows the user to select the Eclipse projects they want to download and install. Users will start (first wizard page) by selecting one a small number of standard packages. The small number of subsequent wizard pages will step the user through choosing additional features/plug-ins from Eclipse projects (also, the user can remove pre-selected default features added by the initial package he or she selected).

The final wizard page will show a list of participating strategic members as well as a "download-now-with-no-further-features" button. The strategic members will be listed in the wizard with a small company logo/icon and brief text explaining what additional software is available via the Strategic Member.

If the user continues to strategic Company X, the wizard will send the user's selections to the member's wizard url (as specified by the member) in a pre-defined data payload. The member will then continue the wizard allowing the user to add additional features/plug-ins from their library. At the end of the wizard, the user presses the "Download and install" button to download and install the complete set of Eclipse projects (from the Eclipse Foundation's wizard) and the member's features/plug-ins (from the their X wizard continuation). We explicitly allow participating strategic members to include both free-ware, trial-ware, and pay-ware features and plug-ins in the wizard, i.e., there is no requirement that the member's wizard include only open source or free software.

Strategic Members who participate in the program can expect to sign an additional legal form agreeing that the Foundation can display their logo and/or company name in the wizard.

Participation

This is a tool supplied by the Eclipse Foundation and thus the Eclipse Foundation staff are responsible for choosing the technology behind the wizard as well as the initial package names and content and the subsequent pages and which projects are included on each page. The Eclipse Foundation staff will request advice on these decisions from the PMCs and project leads, but the final decisions are those of the Executive Director.

The Eclipse Foundation provides different programs for different levels of membership. The eclipse.org downloads page is a valuable strategic asset of the Eclipse Foundation and thus participation in this program is limited to Strategic Members of the Eclipse Foundation.

Strategic Members are eligible to participate as soon as they are valid members and are removed from the program as soon as they are no longer strategic members. Strategic members can participate by contacting membership@eclipse.org. The Eclipse Foundation IT staff will provide documentation on the payload format and will request the member's wizard url, logo, and tag line. After verifying the member's wizard url with a set of unit tests, the IT staff will add the member to the final wizard page. The IT staff will periodically (every few months or when a bug is filed) run the unit tests against all the participating members' wizard urls and will remove any failing wizard urls (and their company logos, etc). If that happens, the IT staff will notify the company contact and work with that contact to restore their participation.

Deployment Plan

The Eclipse Foundation plans to start with a beta test of this service in early 2009. We will limit this beta test to Friends of Eclipse - non-Friends will be shown a "we're beta-testing a new service, sign up as a Friend to participate", while Friends will see the download button. When at least three Strategic Members are ready to participate, the Eclipse Founation will enable the final wizard page to "add additional features from Company X or Company Y or etc."

After verifying that the wizard works (server load, bandwidth load, handoffs to secondary wizards, good user experience, etc), we will enable to wizard for a larger beta test (anyone with a bugzilla account). We anticipate this second larger beta in the early spring.

The third step is to enable the wizard without restriction. We anticipate this "go live" mid 2009. It is important for the Eclipse Foundation IT staff to have the deployment completed as soon as possible so that we can detect and repair any scaling or user interface issues long before the "busy season" begins (it begins late in the calendar year and then scales rapidly from there through M4, M5, EclipseCon, the RCs, and the annual release).