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Rivals in open-source purity extend reach

New deals for both Black Duck Software and Palamida, which make sure open-source and proprietary software don't inappropriately mix.

Black Duck Software and Palamida, two rivals in the business of making sure open-source and proprietary software don't inappropriately intermingle, each announced deals Monday with two major programming resources.

The companies announced they're working with the Eclipse Foundation, a group that builds a widely used open-source programming tool, and with SourceForge.Net, a massive repository of open-source projects.

The Eclipse partnerships mean the companies' software will be available as a plug-in tool that automatically scans programmers' code to make sure appropriate barriers between open-source and proprietary software are preserved. And the alliances with the SourceForge software repository will keep the companies' code-checking software up to date with more than 100,000 open-source projects.

The SCO Group's Linux-related lawsuits have drawn attention to the possibility that open-source software may become tainted by proprietary products or vice-versa. Although SCO hasn't made headway in its case, it has helped Palamida and Black Duck get their starts.

Black Duck Software released its plug-in for the Eclipse tool on Monday. Palamida plans to do so by the end of the year, Chief Executive Mark Tolliver said in an interview.

The SourceForge tie-in means Palamida gets gigabytes of files in a daily upload from the open-source repository. Palamida then updates its signature files, which are used to identify open-source software in either the raw source code or the compiled binaries that computers actually run.

Black Duck has 35 employees and includes Samsung, the U.S. Navy and SAS as customers. Palamida has 20, and its most prominent customer is Cisco Systems.