"Openness" seems to be the buzzword at the moment, and eCommerce site eBay is the latest to open itself up to third party software developers.

eBay has launched what it is calling Project Echo, which will allow independent developers to get their software featured within eBay's core site.

The company will start testing later on this year, and will start off by allowing third party apps within its Selling Manager, which functions as a central sales management dashboard for 700,000 eBay sellers.

Max Mancini, eBay's senior director of Platform and Disruptive Innovation told Reuters: "We are opening up the eBay site to help developers and sellers make more money, which is what this is all about".

He added: "Rather than having eBay try to build every feature, we should open up the platform and integrate others' work. We have realised that we need to allow sellers and developers to get together a little bit more easily".

Should the project turn into a full time feature, eBay will promote software built by outsiders for purchase by its army of auction sellers, and take a cut of resulting sales.

The company will, however, vet programs.

The hope is that sellers will be able to use the third party apps to get an insight into buyer behaviours, as well as perhaps tools for managing their own businesses within eBay.

Project Echo currently has 70,000 members in its developer program.