Business intelligence software maker
Business Objects has signalled its intention to join the Eclipse
Foundation and move several products onto the open source
"You'll see us as a member of Eclipse within the next few
weeks," the company's Asia-Pacific pre-sales 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
Eclipse is an open source integrated development environment
(IDE) based on Sun Microsystems's Java language which gives
application developers programming tools and reusable
Unlike competing offerings from Borland and Microsoft, the IDE
is designed to be modular and allow application developers to
plug in their own software.
Business Objects said back in July it was nearing completion
of an Eclipse plug-in for its Crystal Reports application that
would facilitate those working in Eclipse to add functionality
from Crystal Reports to their applications.
The Eclipse Foundation which governs the software has been
gaining supporters since its inception as an industry consortium
in 2001 and now numbers key software makers like BEA, IBM,
Computer Associates, Nokia, Sybase, Zend and SAP amongst its
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 and
based on Eclipse.
Kent-Jones said joining Eclipse made business sense for
"One of the reasons we've chosen to go with the Eclipse
platform, rather than any of the other open source types," she
said, "is that [Eclipse] actually has a model where vendors can
sell value-added products into it, but still provide the service
"So customers can take the open source software, but still
take the service components offerings with that."
She added Business Objects had come to a decision to get
behind the open source software model.
"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 further details of the company's plans, or which products
would be affected.
Some of Business Objects' big name customers in Australia
include brewer Lion Nathan and the National Australia Bank, both
of which sent representatives to the meeting.