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[eclipse-incubator-e4-dev] Re: E4 towards generic connection management

Hi Martin and all,

Martin thanks for forward to me...I peruse the E4 list I don't/haven't kept up.

I also think this is a great idea. ECF in its core provides a completely generic connection framework. See short explanation below if interested. Further, ECF's core is in Equinox in 3.4 due to p2 usage of the ECF filetransfer API (which is based upon the ECF core) so is already present in Equinox+p2.

So please do let me/us know about such discussions and what we can do to help get to an E4 generic connection framework. I hope what we have in ECF can be of use...and of course we are migrating it forward all the time so can/will accept new requirements if/as they arise.



Short explanation

For ECF, connection == org.eclipse.ecf.core.IContainer interface. Around this, we have IContainerFactory, IContainerManager, IContainerListener/events, and IContainerManager listener. The factories are exposed as OSGi services and extension points. IContainer has semantics for connect/disconnect and extends IAdaptable. There is an extension point for defining IContainer implementations (aka providers). Addressing is provided by the ECF ID a URI but more general. There is also IIDFactory/Namespace apis as both services and extension points. There is nothing bound to any particular protocol or transport. We have a general set of interfaces (IConnectContext) that may be used for providing credentials upon connect.

API docs:
IContainer javadocs:

Oberhuber, Martin wrote:
Hi Brian,
this sounds like a great idea. I'm CC'ing Dave Dykstal (DSDP-TM / RSE) and Scott
Lewis (ECF) here to broaden the discussion, as well as Doug Gaff from the
DSDP PMC. For background, see
I think it would make sense if we prepare a conference / demo session to
understand what we all have. You could showcase what DTP has, and I'd
also be interested to see Sybase vendor-specific extensions of the DTP
framework used for other kinds of connectivity. Others could probably also
kick in and make some demo of their stuff.
If that sounds good to you, could you propose a meeting time and
Screen Sharing facility? I could offer using Wind River's Webex
account but haven't used it myself so far so I'm not sure how well
it would work for a shared demo session.
In order to also add the technical aspect of DSDP-TM, we do have
a lot of re-usable widgets, wizards and views for generic kinds of
connections and the resources below them. But our code pre-dates
the Common Navigator, so we don't have a CN integration yet.
And, the kinds of connections that we've been managing are biased
towards TCP/IP so they are not quite as generic as they could be.
We do, however, have a concept of system types with pluggable
subsystem kinds which proved quite usable so far.
I fully agree that in a world where the "Network" is becoming more
important than the local client, a generic approach for the user to
manage connections of all kinds will simplify user experience
(and help reducing code duplication and bloat).
*Martin Oberhuber*, Senior Member of Technical Staff, *Wind River*
Target Management Project Lead, DSDP PMC Member
    *From:* eclipse-incubator-e4-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx
    [mailto:eclipse-incubator-e4-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx] *On Behalf
    Of *brian.fitzpatrick@xxxxxxxxxx
    *Sent:* Thursday, August 21, 2008 7:49 PM
    *To:* eclipse-incubator-e4-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx
    *Subject:* [eclipse-incubator-e4-dev] e4 beyond the ongoing UI

    Hi all...

    Though I appreciate all the great discussion going on around e4
    and the UI work being done (though most of it is beyond me, not
    being an HTML/CSS guy, I do find it fascinating), I was wondering
    if there is room in e4 to focus on other parts of the Eclipse
    ecosystem as well.

    One of the issues IMHO across some of the major Eclipse projects
    is the issue of cross-project integration. This is especially
    evident (to me anyway) in terms of connection frameworks.

    The Eclipse ecosystem has many different types of "connection"
    frameworks. The CVS (Eclipse Platform), Remote Systems Explorer
    (DSDP-TM), Web (WTP), Communications (ECF), and Database
    Development (DTP) perspectives all have their own server/system
    connection management user interfaces and connection frameworks.
    WTP has been working with DTP to handle management of database
    connections, which is great, but it's just the tip of the iceberg.
Within e4, we have a chance to settle on a common framework for
    connection management and its associated UI. This would not only
    help out the user with a common look and feel across the Eclipse
    ecosystem for connecting to various systems, but it would allow
    adopters and extenders to take advantage of this common framework
    so they too would fit into the Eclipse-iverse more seamlessly to
    their own users.
The connection framework within DTP, though used primarily for
    JDBC database connections at this point, has been used with great
    success in many other ways by Sybase products to connect to file
    systems, application servers, UDDI and LDAP repositories, and so
    on. I think it has great potential to fill the need for a common
    connection framework in e4.
However, integrating will the other projects in Eclipse will be
    tricky at best and require a great deal of collaboration from many
    interested parties.
Do others see this as a problem that could be addressed within the
    e4 timeframe? Or am I way out of scope with this suggestion?
    --Fitz (aka Brian Fitzpatrick)

    Brian Fitzpatrick
    Eclipse Data Tools Platform PMC Chair
    Eclipse Data Tools Platform Connectivity Team Lead
    Staff Software Engineer, Sybase, Inc.

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