Business Objects to add open source

The maker of business-intelligence software will join Eclipse and pick up open-source programming tools.

Business Objects, maker of business-intelligence software, has announced its intent to join the Eclipse Foundation and incorporate Eclipse open-source programming tools into several of its products.

"You'll see us as a member of Eclipse within the next few weeks," the company's Asia-Pacific presales director, Tracy Kent-Jones, told a meeting of the media and customers last week. "We're going to be taking some of our products and moving them into the Eclipse framework as part of the value-added products around Eclipse".

Eclipse is an open-source integrated development environment (IDE) that lets programmers build programs using Sun Microsystems' Java and a host of other languages. Unlike competing offerings from Borland and Microsoft, the IDE is designed to be modular and allow application developers to plug in their own software. Those plug-in mmodules can be either open-source or proprietary.

Business Objects had said in July that it was nearing completion of an Eclipse plug-in for the company's Crystal Reports application. The plug-in would help users working in Eclipse to add functionality from Crystal Reports to their applications.

The Eclipse Foundation, which governs the software, has been gaining support since its inception as an industry consortium in 2001. Its membership includes software makers BEA, IBM, Computer Associates, Nokia, Sybase, Zend and SAP.

One of the latest big names to back Eclipse is Macromedia, which in June announced it would join the foundation and create a rich Internet application development tool, code-named Zorn, based on Eclipse.

Adopting the open-source software methods made economic sense, she added.

"We're embracing some of the open source areas ourselves, because we see that as an area of growth for us."

"It's the way people are going with some of the lower-range technologies, especially with the developers. And so we decided we won't fight it, we'll embrace it," she said.

A spokesperson from Business Objects could not immediately provide additional details of the company's plans, or identify which products would be affected.

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