Integrated Development Environment as a Service

Eclipse Dirigible 4.0 lands: Cloud development in your browser

Sarah Schlothauer
eclipse dirigible
© Shutterstock / William C Bunce

Eclipse Dirigible started as an internal Eclipse Foundation SAP initiative for extending and adapting SOA and Enterprise Services use cases. It became an Eclipse Project in 2015, and since then has soared to new heights. It aims to provide devs a toolset for building, running, and operating end-to-end vertical apps in the cloud and offers a wide variety of features.

Version 4.0 of Eclipse Dirigible released on November 24, 2019, introducing new features and fixes. By now, the project boasts over 4,300 downloads, 11k+ Docker pulls, and 62k sessions from a total of 179 different countries.

To celebrate the big ‘four-point-oh’, explore some of what Eclipse Dirigible covers in its open source dev tools and runtime environment.

IDEaaS for dynamic apps

Eclipse Dirigible aims to provide devs a toolset for building, running, and operating apps in the cloud with its Design Time and Runtime components.

It is an Integrated Development Environment as a Service (IDEaaS) for dynamic applications.

Inside, it uses various engines, including Active MQ, Quartz, Lucene, Flowable, Mylyn, Rhino, and V8.

eclipse dirigible

The Eclipse Dirigible stack. Source.

From its project overview:

Eclipse Dirigible™ is a Cloud Development Platform providing development tools and runtime environment. It supports full development life-cycle of on-demand applications by leveraging in-system programming models and rapid application development techniques…

Eclipse Dirigible provides capabilities for end-to-end development process from database modeling and management, through RESTful services authoring using various dynamic languages, to pattern-based user interface generation, role based security, external services integration, testing, debugging, operations, and monitoring.

One of the major aims of the project is giving everything you need to develop and run end-to-end vertical applications in the cloud without any fuss or wasted time. DevOps teams will find a wide variety of uses and functionalities with its in-system development for full-stack apps.

SEE ALSO: Global developer report: 11 million devs actively use JavaScript


In the February 2018 issue of the Eclipse Newsletter, software developer and Eclipse Dirigible project lead Yordan Pavlov wrote about how devs can build and run applications in enterprise JavaScript with Eclipse Dirigible.

JavaScript is the ‘language of choice’ when using the Dirigible business application platform.

Pavlov writes:

Luckily, one of the strongest advantages of Dirigible comes at hand – the In-System Development model. Right from the early days of Dirigible, it was clear that it is going to be the platform for Business Applications Development in the cloud and not just another general purpose IDE in the browser. The reason for that decision is pretty simple – “One size doesn’t fit all”!

In the browser

Since Eclipse Dirigible is browser-based, end users do not need to install anything. Everything exists self-contained in your browser.

Let’s take a look at the web IDE.

Sample workspace. Source.

Web IDE perspectives

  • Workbench: Includes the Workspace, Import, Properties, Console, and Preview views.
  • Git: With the Git and Console views, you can perform Git operations. Push commits, pull changes, and switch between workspaces.
  • Database: Browse the database with the Database, SQL, Console, and Result views.
  • Repository: View instance structures. This includes the Repository, Snapshot, Preview, and Console views.
  • Terminal: Emulate console clients in the terminal via HTTP(S).
  • Operations: Monitor every activity. Includes Registry, Repository, Extension, Jobs, Listeners, Data Structures, Access, Roles, Console, Terminal, and Logs.
  • Documents: Manage/upload/delete/search files.
  • Debugger: The debugger includes the Variables, Breakpoints, Console, and Preview views.

Integrated editors include Orion, Ace, and Monaco.

The software stack can deploy on any Java-based web server (Tomcat and Jetty, for instance).

Test out the sandbox mode or sign up and provide GitHub third-party authorization for use in the browser.

Version 4.0

What’s new in the latest update? A few changes arrived.

  • Changes for API to v4
  • Destination API v4 with Managed Destination Provider
  • Mail API v4
  • Workspace API v4

It also includes fixes for migration-related issues and user interface problems.

SEE ALSO: Test-driven Java development vs. traditional testing: Comparative study

Get started

Grab the distributions for the latest builds on the Eclipse site.

Distributions are available for Apache Tomcat 8.x in WAR format, Docker (DirigibleLabs), and Maven. Standalone .jar executable desktop packages are also available. Requirements for building include Git and Maven 3.5.x.

Source code for the project is maintained on GitHub. It is open sourced and free under the Eclipse Public License v1.0.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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