"The reason we're [participating in Eclipse] is to ensure that users of Eclipse have the right tools and resources to build applications for the Oracle run time," meaning Oracle's application server and database, said Ted Farrell, architect and director of strategy for Oracle application development tools.
Oracle is looking to provide extensions to Eclipse to help users write to the Oracle application server and database.
"We don't believe there will be one tool for the industry but we do want to make sure that Eclipse users are represented in building applications for the Oracle platform," Farrell said.
Eclipse official Skip McGaughey said Oracle's participation is "a step forward for the entire Eclipse organisation.
Other board members include IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Borland and Rational. Microsoft and Sun Microsystems have not participated in Eclipse.
Oracle has also announced that it is submitting a JSR (Java Specification Request), specifically JSR 198, to the Java Community Process (JCP), a multivendor initiative that oversees Java development, to have the community develop an API for standard access to Java IDEs from multiple vendors.
An analyst said Oracle's moves with the JSR and Eclipse are an attempt to unite the Eclipse and NetBeans IDE camps.
"It's interesting to see Oracle [officials] putting themselves in this position of trying to bring the two proprietary communities that are relevant here, NetBeans and Eclipse, together and cause a standard to be created," said analyst Mike Gilpin, research fellow at Giga Information Group.
Oracle's Farrell said NetBeans and Eclipse have had the same problem in that both targeted one vendor: IBM with Eclipse and Sun with NetBeans. Oracle's JSR proposal is an attempt to provide a standards body-approved API that NetBeans did not.