Skip to Main Content
Tools are an essential part of every software engineering project. But the number of tools that are used in all phases of the software development life-cycle and their complexity is growing continually. Consequently, the setup and maintenance of current tool chains and development environments requires much effort and consumes a lot of time. One approach to counter this, is to employ web-based systems for development tasks, because centralized systems simplify the administration and the deployment of new features. But desktop IDEs play an important role in software development projects today, and will not be replaced entirely by web-based environments in the near future. Therefore, supporting a mixture of hosted tools and tools integrated into desktop IDEs is a sensible approach. In this paper, we present the SSELab, a framework for web-based project portals that attempts to migrate more software development tools from desktop to server environments, but still allows their integration into modern desktop IDEs. It supports the deployment of tools as hosted services using plug-in systems on the server-side. Additionally, it provides access to these tools by a set of clients that can be used in different contexts, either from the command line, from within IDEs such as Eclipse, or from web pages. In the paper, we discuss the architecture and the extensibility of the SSELab framework. Furthermore, we share our experiences with creating an instance of the framework and integrating various tools for our own software development projects.