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Since Sun Microsystems introduced Java in 1995, proponents have sought ways to boost the technology's fortunes. One approach is to create an integrated development environment that would make working with Java easier. Supporters hoped an IDE would make Java more competitive with Microsoft's popular Visual Studio .NET, which provides an environment for integrated, easy-to-use software tools that appeal to the many business-application developers who aren't hard-core programmers. This has set off a battle among several Java IDEs, including Borland's JBuilder, Microsoft's Visual J#, Oracle's JDeveloper, and Sun's NetBeans. One contender has been Eclipse, which IBM developed and turned over in 2001 to the nonprofit Eclipse Foundation to manage as an open-source platform. In addition to providing an IDE, Eclipse automates numerous functions that developers would otherwise hand code. Eclipse has garnered so much support that many industry observers say it is now the key Java-tools player. It is inexpensive to use and makes it much easier to integrate their tools with one another.