RAP: Bringing Eclipse APIs to Mobile Devices, Top Indigo Feature #3

June 20, 2011 | 2 min Read

There is no question that the mobile market is huge and practically growing by the second.  There is some excellent mobile development tools built on top of Eclipse, however, each mobile platform requires Yet Another Language and Yet Another Set of APIs.  Developing an enterprise application with a Web, Android, IPhone and Rich-Client interface requires several dedicated development teams, each one specialized in a different technology stack.  For this reason, most vendors simply choose a subset of platforms to support and hope their clients are too dissatisfied.

The Rich Ajax Platform (RAP) changed all this by supporting a single programming model for both Web and Desktop. With the Eclipse Indigo release, RAP now supports a number of mobile platforms through the mobile browser.  For the past week 1 1/2 weeks I’ve been counting down my top 10 Eclipse Indigo Features and number 3 is: RAP, bringing the Eclipse API to mobile devices.

Please note: since the time of this post, RAP has been rebranded as the Remote Application Platform. Find out more about RAP on the RAP overview page.

RAP has nothing to do with putting the Eclipse IDE on the web (or on a mobile platform).  The purpose of RAP is to bring a consistent programming paradigm (language, API and programming model), to a variety of different platforms – this is called single sourcing. With RAP, you can reuse your content providers, JFace viewers, Jobs, Progress Monitors, etc… while targeting the desktop, web, and now, mobile.  Of course, you will likely design a different interaction model for each platform, but the business logic only has to be written once.

In addition to Mobile support, RAP has introduced a number of new features such as a much improved (and long awaited), updated tree widget (Kudos to Tim Buschtöns). The widget supports SWT.VIRTUAL, making it load much faster.  It also supports gridlines, full selection support, item and cell colours / fonts and much more:

There are also a number of theme improvements, so it no longer feels like your “running an IDE in your browser”. Improvements such as drop shadows on a number of widgets, theme-able scroll-bars and gradient backgrounds.

Thanks to everyone on the RAP team for making my life so much easier. Kudos go to: Ivan Furnadjiev, Holger Staudacher, Tim Buschtöns, Ralf Sternberg,  Austin Riddle, Benjamin Muskalla, Frank Appel and Rüdiger Herrmann.

Ian Bull

Ian Bull

Ian is an Eclipse committer and EclipseSource Distinguished Engineer with a passion for developer productivity.

He leads the J2V8 project and has served on several …