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Borland To Expand Eclipse Projects

Borland is taking a bigger stake in the organization it helped found, joining the Eclipse Foundation's board of directors as a strategic developer, officials will announce in a press conference Monday at EclipseCon 2005 in Burlingame, California.

The software delivery provider is also preparing to propose a project based on its software delivery optimization (SDO) initiative.

As a strategic developer, Borland will pay a yearly $250,000 fee to the organization as well as provide eight full-time developers to support the foundation. The company was one of the original nine organizations that formed the board of stewards after IBM donated the code that formed the basis for Eclipse.

The Scotts Valley, Calif., software development company is parlaying its new leadership role to launch a project within the open source development organization. Officials said they would submit a proposal for a graphical modeling framework sub-project of the Eclipse Technology project. It is based on the technology used in Together, the modeling foundation for Borland's software delivery optimization (SDO) initiative.

Raaj Shinde, Borland vice president of product strategy and architecture, said the proposal, which hasn't been formally submitted to the Eclipse Foundation, builds on an area they have some expertise with, he said, as Together has been running on Eclipse since 2002. The project has a good chance of looking like a port of its commercial product.

"The proposal is actually to help build some of the common infrastructure that Eclipse needs to actually build tools like that effectively on top of Eclipse," he said. "We may very well donate a lot of our existing source code into the Eclipse Foundation and we'll also have some people working on that full time and we will lead the technology project."

Modeling is a key component of Borland's SDO push, creating the rules by which software projects are designed and implemented. Earlier this month, Borland announced the release its integrated application lifecycle management (ALM) offering, Core Software Delivery Platform, to the public. The integration of Together and several other products, its designed to operate within its JBuilder IDE , as well as Eclipse and Microsoft's Visual Studio.

Skip McGaughey, an Eclipse spokesman, said Borland's installment on the board of directors will add significant expertise and energy to the Eclipse Foundation, and doesn't expect the company to have any difficulties getting its project accepted within the organization. It's too early to tell, he said, whether the project will remain a sub-project or become a top-level project down the road.

"The key to some of the projects on Eclipse is that they can evolve in lots of different directions, and they are evolved in ways we had never anticipated," he said. "Based upon the contributions and the companies that are engaging [in the project], they can take a life on their own and still take advantage of the interoperability and common services of the Eclipse platform."

The announcement comes amid an expansion within Eclipse Foundation membership. Eclipse holdout BEA Systems just announced it would join the Eclipse board of directors as a strategic developer, donating $1.5 million in money, code and developers to the organization.

The same day, Sybase officials said they, too, would join the Eclipse ranks on the board of directors.