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Eclipse is an open-source platform of extensible software development application frameworks, tools and run times that was initially created as a Java-based integrated development environment (IDE).
Eclipse's runtime system is based on a collection of Equinox Open Services Gateway Initiative (OSGi) runtime-built open-source projects covering Java IDE, static/dynamic languages, thick/thin-client and server-side frameworks, modeling/business reporting and embedded/mobile systems.
Although Eclipse was developed for Java applications, plug-ins allow programmers to develop applications with other languages, including C, C++, COBOL, Perl, PHP and Python.
The plug-in mechanism allows Eclipse to work with network applications, database management systems, concurrent versions system and modeling tools, among others.
In November 2001, IBM established the Eclipse Consortium and gave Eclipse to the open-source community. Original consortium members included IBM and eight vendors: Borland, Merant, QNX Software Systems, Red Hat, Rational Software, TogetherSoft, WebGain and SUSE.
The consortium’s initial goal was marketing and business affairs to allow code control by the Eclipse community.