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Borland unveils .NET tools, JBuilder 9

Borland Software last week unveiled the latest update of its flagship Java IDE, JBuilder 9, and disclosed plans for an upcoming line of development tools for the .NET Framework.

Version 9 of Borland's venerable JBuilder development environment adds Web services support enhancements and a new integrated solution for developing mobile and wireless applications to run on many devices.

Perhaps more significantly, JBuilder 9 supports design, modeling and team development through the integration of software gained with last year's acquisitions of TogetherSoft and Starbase. George Paolini, general manager of Borland's Java Business Unit, said these newly integrated capabilities are key to Borland's emerging strategy to provide tools that manage the entire application development life cycle.

"We're betting the company on this technology," Paolini told eADT. "And I think the concept resonates not just with a technical audience, but with a business audience as well. They both see the value of it. And for the first time, I think, we see capabilities here in a common language that everyone can speak."

JBuilder 9 is designed to provide integration across the application development life cycle, giving direct access to requirements management, analysis and design, software configuration management, quality and performance assurance, and J2EE deployment.

"JBuilder 9 pulls developers back to provide a big-picture view of a project," Paolini said, "a view not traditionally available at the developer level. It gives them a context for building the application."

JBuilder 9 includes a number of new enterprise-level enhancements, including:

* The Optimizeit Suite, which provides performance management capabilities;

* Project and project group management features;

* Source code management system support;

* New configurable Smart Code templates that automate common coding tasks;

* New Web services wizards that enable construction and connection of Enterprise JavaBeans with Web-based front ends;

* Advances in Javadoc Insight for documenting code;

* Enhanced Borland ErrorInsight for pinpointing coding errors on the fly;

* New Export to Apache Ant, which exports a JBuilder project to an Ant build file that can then be used to integrate with enterprise build systems; and

* Support and automatic deployment for WebLogic 8.1, WebSphere 5.0, Borland Enterprise Server 5.2 and Sybase EAServer 4.2.

Borland also announced its first C# development tool, formerly code-named Project Sidewinder, and now dubbed C# Builder. The new tool, due out in mid-summer, is a development environment for the C# language that uses the standards of the Windows .NET Framework.

"We have always concentrated our efforts on accelerating development for the developer," explained Simon Thornhill, general manager of the company's .NET Product Group. "In the past, we did it by combining an editor, a compiler and a debugger into an IDE. Then we added the component library and visual designers to manipulate that component library, creating what we called a RAD IDE. Now, in the next phase, we are combining the IDE with design, test and deploy tools to accelerate not just development, but the complete life cycle. That's the direction that C# Builder is going on the .NET side, and that's the direction JBuilder is going on the Java side."

"Organizations need an integrated application life-cycle management solution that accelerates .NET development and addresses the integration challenges in today's enterprises with mixed IT environments," said Gartner Group's Mark Driver. "An independent choice for enterprise development for the Microsoft .NET Framework will be attractive to companies wishing to avoid single vendor lock-in and seeking to leverage existing skills, investments and assets."

Borland also unveiled Janeva, a new solution for integrating .NET-based applications with J2EE- and CORBA-based back-end systems. Janeva, which is included within C# Builder, links applications without using Web services wrappers. Janeva will also be made available as a standalone technology.

Janeva supports all Microsoft .NET Framework-based languages, including C#, J#, Delphi and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.

Borland C# Builder will be available this summer. C# Builder Architect is priced at $2,499, while C# Builder Enterprise is available for $1,799. C# Builder Professional is priced at $999 and C# Builder Personal is $69. Pricing may be subject to change. For additional product information, visit www.borland.com/products/index.html.

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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