Cloud Development goes Lightweight

The Open Source Orion Project

JAXConf US - Jun, 2013 / @kwalker / @orionhub

Orion Project Lead

Start editing this talk at

In the beginning...

Inside IBM Orion was started by some of the Eclipse Team members from SWT & the Platform team

The goal was to begin working on a platform to support the growing initiatives for Cloud

As IBM is a founder of Eclipse, we wanted to leverage our experiences, investment, and the governance model

IBM made the initial contribution of Orion components in January, 2011

Why Orion?

Fundamental change from other Eclipse projects

Shift to Web based application development/delivery

Replace complex IDE pages with Web workflows

Provide the pieces as a whole or consumable by Web teams in product (IBM and others)

Orion is an onramp for IBM teams & Community

Are developers really moving to the cloud?

The rise of products like Cloud9 & CodeEnvy indicate there is a desire for hosted development solutions

Progression to other CloudBased tools, Gmail, Dropbox, GitHub, Ohloh, CloudFoundry, AmazonWebServices

Developers are still skeptical of online tools but understand the complex nature of IDE setup has to change

How can Orion satisfy developers?

Follow a set of design principles, be agile

Embrace the modern browser capabilities

Create a platform that’s extensible

Create web components that are consumable

Enable cross-site workflows & integration points

Create a suite that provides what desktop tools do

...all in a browser

Clone a repository

Down arrow

Edit your application

Down arrow

Test it live

Down arrow

Check changes in

Down arrow

How are these pages constructed?

Orion has many page templates by default

Provide initial functionality for developers

Product teams can start with existing pages

Orion provides extensibility points to plugins

Extensibility is what sets Orion apart!!

Extensible in the browser?

"plugins" live right in the page

Agnostic to where the plugin or code came from

No lock-in to plugin providers

Down arrow

How are plugins implemented

JavaScript implementation of OSGi Services API

Uses Promises for return types and follows the Lifecycle and Bundle State semantics used for Plugins

Implementation of Configuration Admin and Metatype for Plugin Settings and Schema

OSGI seems like overengineered Java stuff.  I'm generally pretty skeptical of big frameworks that do everything for everyone.  Usually they're a big pain.

-Isaac Schlueter

Example JSBeautify Plugin

You provide html, javascript elements, from your site

In this case served up from a GitHub account


So how is Orion being utilized?

Mozilla thru Firefox integration

Embedded in the debugger and scratchpad

IBM JazzHub Cloud

Hewlett Packard

HP DevAnywhere, the entire software development lifecycle in the cloud

Node.js Orion server including editor, plugins, extensions

HP CodeAnywhere

VMWare/Pivotal Scripted Editor

Desktop editor only (like Adobe Brackets)

scr [filename] - improved content assist through introspection supporting AMD loading

VMWare/Pivotal Scripted Editor

IBM JazzHub & BlueMix

Cloud ALM solution supporting hosted SCM and Deployment

IBM JazzHub Cloud

IBM JazzHub - Work items

IBM Cloud ALM solution supporting Jazz SCM and GitHub

IBM JazzHub Cloud

IBM RD Traveler

z/OS Cloud based cobol development anywhere

IBM RD Traveler

Business centric solution for Cloud apps

IBM RD Traveler

Embed Orion in web sites

Esprima examples from Ariya Hidayat

IBM RD Traveler

Browser side compare widgets

Complete JavaScript implementation of compare functionality

IBM RD Traveler

Embedding in presentations!

Slightly meta here...

  <h3>Embedding in presentations!</h3>
  <h4>Slightly meta here...</h4>
  <pre class="editor" data-editor-lang="js" data-editor-theme="css/nimbus.css" style="height:400px">

/*global require window console */
var express = require("express");
var app = express();

app.get('/', function(req, res) {
    res.send('Hello from Node');


Exend or write an Orion Server

Orion Java Server

Orion is available as a stand-alone Java based server or WAR file that takes 2 minutes to setup a multi-user cloud based development platform

Those wishing to extent the Java server directly can write Eclipse plugins to surface RESTful APIs to the client


Orion Node.js Server

Also available as a Node.js based application, with less functionality, but full editor, search capabilities, node start/stop/debug and npm commands

Very portable and great performance

Deploy anywhere Node is installed

>npm install orion
>npm start orion

Orion on Raspberry Pi

Need another server platform? Write one

Chris McGee working on a Go Development platform

Wrote the file system and search API in Go

Added extension plugins for build and format


Orion on Mobile

Tablets such as the iPad, iPad mini and Google based platforms are also supported by Orion

Not specifically written responsive but we're working on it

Orion on Mobile

A globally accessible web tool

i18N built in the core, the UI and in the plug-ins

Text editor capable of both Double Byte and working on Bidi

Working to be fully accessible

Orion provides a plugin for Externalizing strings to bundles

IBM RD Traveler

Available components and shims from Orion

Promises/A+ cancellation and progress, W3C URL, W3C Web Components, HTML Templates and Custom Elements, JavaScript APIs for OSGi

Orion Deferred, Orion HTML Templates Shim, Orion URI Templates, Orion URL Shim, Orion Plugin Registry, Orion Service Registry, Orion XHR Implementation, Orion Node Deferred File System Stand-alone Editor (follow stable links)

All under the EPL and EDL

What's Next?

Really up to the community and the development needs

Need to finish the work on Projects

Research and others working on improved JavaScript tooling

Completing editor keybindings for Emacs and vi

Desire to support compiled languages (through services on the server)

Complete the scalability work on the Java Server

Add additional capabilities to the Node.js Server

Continue to work on offline modes

Find out more

Read our blog at Planet Orion

Check out the Orion BUZZ

Lots of information in the Orion Wiki

Subscribe and contribute to the Orion Dev List

Create an account and try it at OrionHub / @kwalker / @orionhub
Orion Lead and Orion Dev Lead at IBM Canada
Start editing this talk at