Eiffel is an object-oriented programming language designed in 1985 by the Californian company Interactive Software Engineering Inc. The driving force behind the design was the Frenchman Bertrand Meyer, who chose the name Eiffel as a tribute to the French architect and builder of the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel.
Like C++, Eiffel is not based on an older, procedural programming language, but is, like Java, a completely new design. The language already follows many approaches that were later used in Java in the same or similar way. Others, such as multiple inheritance, have not been incorporated into Java.
Eiffel programs are normally compiled, but there are also approaches to create bytecode from it and let a virtual machine (similar to the JVM) execute it.
The commercial importance and distribution of Eiffel is very small, but there is a very active fan community and the language is maintained and used. There is even a version of Eiffel that can be integrated into Microsoft's . NET environment from Microsoft.