Salesforce.com, SugarCRM join Eclipse

Salesforce.com at the EclipseCon 2006 conference in Santa Clara announced it has joined the Eclipse Foundation, becoming the open source tools organization's first member from the hosted applications arena.

Also at EclipseCon, SugarCRM announced it, too, has become an Eclipse member. Eclipse member Borland Software also revealed its acquisition of Gauntlet Systems to bolster the company's application lifecycle management arsenal.

Hosted CRM vendor Salesforce.com joins Eclipse as an Add-In Provider member, giving it a vote on Eclipse matters but not a seat on the Eclipse governing board. The company also released the free AppExchange Toolkit for Eclipse. AppExchange enables developers to build third-party applications extending Salesforce.com's CRM system and to reach Salesforce.com customers.

"This toolkit will let developers build applications for our AppExchange platform using all the benefits of the Eclipse IDE," said Adam Gross, Salesforce.com vice president of developer marketing.

"We know it's important for our developers to have high-quality tools in order to make them as productive as possible in building mashups and building on-demand applications," Gross said. Mashups combine two services on the Internet to deliver new functionality, such as linking account data on Salesforce.com with a Google map, said Gross.

The toolkit is based on the Eclipse Web Tools Platform Project.

"We are delighted to have Salesforce.com join the Eclipse Foundation," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of Eclipse, in a prepared statement released by Salesforce.com. "Salesforce.com has shown how on-demand will change not only how applications are delivered, but also how they are built. Uniting the technology of Eclipse and the power of Salesforce.com's Web services is a win-win for developers."

Open source CRM vendor SugarCRM also signs on as an Add-In Provider member.

"At this time we are not planning to run a project; however, we want to support the Eclipse foundation by joining our open source community with Eclipse's as the Eclipse IDE is the development platform of choice for our SugarCRM developers and community members," said SugarCRM Director of Marketing Tara Spalding in an e-mail.

With its acquisition of Gauntlet Systems, Borland is looking to improve its software development process offerings as part of the company's SDO (Software Delivery Optimization) strategy.

"What Gauntlet Systems provides is a totally new approach to quality, focused on defect prevention, enforcing best practices, and enabling accountability," said Rob Cheng, Borland director of development of development products.

The Gauntlet platform sits on top of a user's existing software configuration management system to provide a virtual sandbox to verify coding standards before an application enters the build management process, according to Borland. Problem code is prevented from being propagated to other developers because Gauntlet checks to ensure compliance with a user's specifications.

Cheng called Gauntlet "very cutting-edge technology." The software also provides reports on problem code.

Gauntlet technology is expected to be incorporated into Borland's SDO platform during the next year. The announcement is being made at EclipseCon because Gauntlet was originally developed with an open source philosophy and works with the Suberversion open source version control system. It now will also support Borland's StarTeam change management system.

Borland would not disclose the sale price for Gauntlet; the sale has been completed.

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