April 24, 2006—Germany's Software AG has joined the Eclipse Foundation, an open source community focused on providing an open development platform for building software.

The company, a heavy user of XML technology, plans to standardize all tools in its new SOA (service-oriented architecture) suite of Crossvision applications on the Eclipse platform, it said.

In addition, the Darmstadt, Germany-based company's Natural 2006 application development environment, which allows developers to build and maintain complex business applications for any platform, will support Eclipse.

Eclipse provides a plug-in based platform designed to make it easier to create, integrate and utilize software tools, saving time and money, according to the foundation's Website. The platform is written in Java and comes with extensive plug-in construction toolkits and examples.

Key to attracting wider vendor involvement across the Java space, Eclipse was spun out of IBM in 2004 as a not-for-profit organization and has since emerged as an alternative to Microsoft in the application development space.

Currently, more than half of all Java developers use Eclipse, according to Software AG.

John Blau is a European correspondent with the IDG News Service.

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