ACT Europe was founded in 1996 to provide support for commercial, industrial and military uses of the GNAT Professional Ada 9520development environment in Europe. It was founded jointly by Ada Core Technologies Inc (ACT), and by the European members of the GNAT Ada 95 project. ACT is a privately held corporation and was founded in August 1994 by the principal authors of the GNAT Ada 95 compiler system. ACT was founded without any initial capital other than some small loans from the principles, and has existed entirely from revenue from its inception. ACT claims to be currently profitable.
The people involved in both ACT and ACT Europe (from now on, ACT) have been working with Ada for over twenty years, starting with the development of a working Ada compiler for preliminary Ada in 1979, and the first validated Ada 83 system in 1983. This work was done at New York University by a team dedicated to the technical success of the Ada language, which moved to ACT after its foundation.
GNAT is the most widely used Ada 95 development system, available on many platforms, from workstations and PCs to bare boards. Ada solutions using GNAT encompass conventional, real-time, embedded, and distributed systems applications. The GNAT technology has always been based on free software, and more specifically on the GNU toolset. The GNAT compiler is integrated with the GCC (the GNU C compiler) back-end. The GNAT debugger is based on GDB (the GNU debugger) that has been adapted for Ada 95. GLIDE, the GNAT integrated development environment, is based on Emacs, which has been adapted and complemented to create a friendlier and complete environment. The GTKAda GUI technology leverages on the GTK graphical toolkit and provides an advanced GUI builder. These are a few but significant examples of the technological offering of ACT. All the products being distributed by ACT are free software, usually under a GPL or LGPL-like licence.
Since its foundation, ACT has established strategic partnerships with hardware and software manufacturers providing Ada 95 capabilities. In the former category is ACT's relationship with Silicon Graphics, Inc., whose new SGI Ada 95 product is based on GNAT. As of 1999, SGI sold over a billion dollars of Ada related software and equipment. ACT has relationships with several other hardware manufacturers such Compaq and Hewlett Packard. Commercial customers of ACT Europe include Aerospatiale, Alenia, BNP, Boeing, British Aerospace, Canal+, CASA, Dasa, Ericsson, Hughes, Lockheed, TRW, etc.