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Borland execs outline Starbase plans

Borland Software Corp. has agreed to acquire software configuration management company Starbase Corp. in an all-cash deal totaling $24 million. The addition of Starbase will add SCM functionality to Borland's development tool offerings, and will help to extend the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based company's coverage of the application development life cycle.

''We were looking for a product that was a very developer-friendly solution,'' Frank Slootman, Borland's senior vice president of software products, told e-ADT, ''something that was lightweight, quick and geared toward making the developer experience good and productive. There are a lot of products out there that frustrate developers. Starbase is very developer-centric technology with an architecture that is oriented toward the future.''

Starbase's software life-cycle products cover requirements definition and management, analysis and UML design, code and content development, change and configuration management, and testing and deployment. Two of Starbase's best-known products, CaliberRM and StarTeam, implement a requirements-driven development process that is said to provide full visibility, traceability and collaboration throughout the software development life cycle.

Borland executives said the acquisition of Starbase brings more than 4,200 new customers into the Borland fold.

The Starbase deal is Borland's second acquisition in a week. Last Monday, the toolmaker disclosed its intention to buy BoldSoft AB, a Swedish model-driven architecture software concern.

''The acquisition of Starbase advances our goal of integrating all phases of software development into a single, seamless solution that unifies the design, development, testing and deployment phases of the software application life cycle,'' said Borland CEO Dale Fuller.

''We think this whole tool-chain integration and the collapse of categories is going to be a big trend in the industry,'' the firm's Slootman said. ''It deals directly with a problem that people are having, and it's a strategic underpinning of everything we do.''

Under the terms of the Starbase agreement, Borland will commence an all-cash tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of the company at a price of $2.75 per share, followed by a merger in which the holders of the remaining outstanding shares of Starbase common stock will receive the same cash price per share. Borland has also agreed to make available bridge financing of $2 million to Starbase so it can fund its operations until the transaction is completed.

The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of Borland and Starbase, and is subject to customary closing conditions. Subsequent to closing, Starbase's product lines will be distributed globally through Borland's direct and indirect channels.

Borland's customers can expect to see the Starbase functionality tightly coupled with the IDE platform sometime after the first of the year, Slootman said.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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