Borland moves ahead with .NET tools; inks pact with Microsoft
- By Jack Vaughan
[February 4, 2003 - ADT's Programmers Report] - Borland moved last week to improve the tools available to customers who are
beginning to pursue .NET application development. The company became the first
to license the .NET Framework Software Development Kit (SDK) from Microsoft.
As a longtime Windows house, Borland was one of the first to endorse the .NET
Framework at the time of its formal introduction a year ago. .NET development
has been supported in Borland's Delphi, Kylix and .NET Builder suites but, at
deploy time, Borland developers have had to log onto the Microsoft Web site to
download the suitable runtime. As a result of this deal, the runtime will be
available from Borland via the .NET Framework SDK, which will become part of
''The reason we are doing this is so the Borland developer doesn't have to
make a separate effort to get that functionality,'' said Simon Thornhill, vice
president and general manager of Borland RAD solutions.
Thornhill admitted that .NET uptake, observed to this point, has been
limited. ''.NET is just starting to take off,'' he said. ''We've had people playing
with it and investigating it [to date].''
This could be due to a number of things, Thornhill indicated. However, he
tended to agree with some observers who suggest that the general adoption cycle
may have slowed or, possibly, that .NET is challenging for VB-style
Borland has made news with other efforts in recent weeks as well. The company
has launched new versions of its Java application server software, as well as an
updated version of its ServerTrace J2EE test analysis software.
ServerTrace today offers sharp insight into performance problems in J2EE
systems, said Bill Pataky, director of product management and marketing at
Borland's Java unit.
Unlike traditional load and stress testers, this software more ably points
the way to the root of problems, noted Pataky. ''It lets testing teams look
inside what was previously a black box. At high level, you see a J2EE
dashboard,'' he said.
Besides profiling, said Pataky, ''we also tell you the way your assembled
system may cause problems down the road.'' For example, if you try to serialize a
non-serializable object, he explained, ''it will work, but [it] will come back to
bite you down the road.
''J2EE has issues,'' he continued. ''With C, you can find problems at compile
time and Lint does a good job there. But with J2EE, you can't use a static
analyzer like that. You have to have a running system to the context in which
the code is being used,'' said Pataky.
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Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.