- By John K. Waters
SCOTTS VALLEY, CA--Borland Software initiated the next phase of its software delivery optimization strategy last week with the release of Borland Core Software Delivery Platform. Formerly code-named "Project Themis," the Core SDP provides what Borland is describing as an application lifecycle management environment with integrated tools optimized for job function and cross-role interaction.
The big idea here can be summed up in a phrase: "collaborative, role-based development." With this release, Borland is blurring the lines between its products, providing users with access to specific functionality, wherever it may reside.
"The way to think about these products," says Mike Hulme, Borland's senior director of product marketing, "is as a path to our application lifecycle management suite defined by specific roles within the development environment."
Borland sees Core SDP as a "natural evolution in advancing ALM beyond just point-to-point tool integration." It integrates technology from several of Borland's ALM products, including CaliberRM, Together, JBuilder, StarTeam, and Optimizeit.
Core SDP is a collaborative architecture designed for more efficient and predictable software development, Hulme says. It provides a customized work environment for analysts, architects, developers, and testers. These environments are optimized for specific job functions, but are still integrated across the other roles within the application lifecycle. Through this architecture, individual job functions are given more focus while software teams are able to leverage enhanced workflow visibility to work more efficiently with each other and other teams within the organization.
In other words, says Rob Cheng, Borland director of product marketing, developers just want a role-specific view that is focused on what their tasks are. And organizations shouldn't have to pay for licenses for functions their developers don't use.
"In the past, even with a product set like Borland that had a complete ALM suite, a particular user, say an architect, might have to look at a number of different technologies and products to get the view that he wanted," says Rob Cheng. "He might have to go into a CaliberRM product to get requirements management, and then go into an IDE to do code-centric modeling. That not only implied a confusing licensing arrangement for the organizations that had to have multiple licenses for a single user, it also meant that there was far more complexity and too much information for a single user."
There's also an emphasis in this release around team collaboration, Hulme says, and getting individual roles operating in sync, working, not as silos, but as a much more cohesive unit. Core SDP is a server-based platform into which the role modules integrate, and from which roles can be managed. The server captures ALM metrics for analysis and diagnostics, and enables advanced traceability and knowledge management across distributed teams. By leveraging an integrated platform that facilitates team collaboration, Hulme says, individual roles can be brought together to increase the reuse of work and help eliminate the costly rework that plagues software development today.
Borland's Core SDP includes tool suites for the following roles:
Analyst: Allows business analysts to translate business objectives into functional software requirements, to ensure that end-user expectations, compliance mandates, and quality objectives are met. Users can capture and communicate application requirements, create use-case and activity diagrams, and predict the impact of new requirements and changes on scope, schedule, and budget.
Architect: Enables architects to keep specifications, models, and code in sync throughout the application lifecycle, even in the face of changing business requirements. Users can create architectural diagrams, such as UML class diagrams, create developer projects and code-centric models that give clear guidance and direction to development teams, trace requirements from use case through to code, and run metrics that help ensure that applications remain aligned with architectural and functional requirements.
Developer: Combines best-in-class tooling with a developer-focused view into relevant specifications, change requests, and test cases. Development teams have integrated access to all of the information and capabilities they need to perform their job effectively--from the latest standards and design patterns to UML modeling, source code control, build and change management, defect tracking, code profiling, and up-to-date requirements.
Tester: Designed to guarantee that applications achieve functional, compliance and quality goals by linking testing teams with defect tracking and requirements management. It enables an integrated development and testing process for cost-effectively identifying and removing defects early in the lifecycle, ensuring timely delivery of software that meets release criteria for performance, scalability, and reliability.
Borland first unveiled its software delivery optimization strategy at its annual user conference last September. The Scotts Valley, CA-based company, best known for popular software development tools such as JBuilder and Delphi, began about two-and-a-half years ago to integrate its tools and technologies with acquired products to create environments equipped to handle all aspects of application development, from the planning and requirements-gathering stages, through development and testing--the application lifecycle, or ALM. SDO was the next step, designed to "transform software development from an unpredictable art form into a manageable and repeatable business process," according to Boz Elloy, Borland's SVP of software.
"While point products will continue to play a role in ALM, organizations are undoubtedly looking to simplify their software development and delivery mechanisms," IDC analyst Melissa Webster in a statement. "By integrating Borland's ALM technology into a single platform and empowering individual stakeholders to take more accountability over the success of the entire application lifecycle, Borland Core SDP takes a substantial step toward evolving the culture of software development from what is now largely ad hoc individualism to a more cohesive, linked approach."
Borland Core SDP is expected late in Q1 of this year. For more information, go to www.borland.com.