Borland Bridges UML Gap for .NET Developers
- By John K. Waters
Borland Software launched a major update of its Together modeling platform
last week. With this release—Together 2005 for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET—the
software development toolsmaker breaks new ground in two areas: it provides
Microsoft coders with support for the Unified Modeling Language (UML), and it
marks Borland’s first foray into role-based modeling.
UML is a standardized set of modeling notations used as a language for designing
and developing software applications. Although UML forms the foundation of many
organizations’ modeling efforts, Microsoft has rejected it as the best
medium for model-driven development, embracing instead an approach based on
domain-specific languages (DSLs). DSLs are part of an industry effort to foster
“software factories” to tailor the software development lifecycle
to support customized applications for vertical and horizontal business domains.
“Microsoft has been very clear about their plans to pursue a DSL approach
and not offering UML for model-driven development,” says Melissa Webster,
research director at IDC. “They’ve pretty much said, if you want
to do UML, go to one of our partners. That’s exactly the niche Borland
is filling with the new Together release.”
With characteristic diplomacy, Borland describes its new offering as a “bridge
between Microsoft’s own modeling solutions...and advanced modeling benefits
offered through the use of the industry standard UML.”
“We hear from many of our customers that they’ve adopted UML as
their standard modeling language,” says Borland product manager Tom Gullion.
“They need to use UML within their development organization, and they
need to develop on .NET. We hope to provide a bridge from that standard notation
into the Microsoft platform.”
A recent survey by Forrester Research found that more than 50 percent of enterprise
software decision makers were planning to use .NET development technologies.
Borland Together 2005 supports both UML 1.4 and UML 2.0 diagramming, and other
advanced modeling capabilities, for that expanding pool of Visual Studio .NET
This is the company’s third release of the Together product suite, but
its first role-based modeling solution.
“Essentially, Borland is making their user interfaces customizable by
role,” says IDC’s Webster. “If you’re an architect,
you might want to see the whole toolkit. But if you’re less technical
and you’re going to engage at a simpler level, you want some of that complexity
masked. You don’t want to be confused by the UI; you want to be guided
by it. This has become a fundamental part of designing an inviting and accessible
Borland is offering the new Together release in two role-specific versions.
Together Designer targets analysts and architects that need to validate software
design and model requirements, while Together Developer targets developers that
need to reduce complexity, improve quality and more easily understand their
existing code base.
Together 2005 for Visual Studio .NET is designed to fit into Borland’s
overall application lifecycle management strategy. For example, it integrates
with other Borland products, such as the CaliberRM requirements management tool.
It is also designed to be closely aligned with Borland’s Software Delivery
Optimization vision, because modeling plays a key part in making software delivery
a more manageable and repeatable business process, Gullion explains. As Borland
put it, “By extending diagramming capabilities and linking internal code
metrics to external metrics (process and performance) for analysis, organizations
are able to ensure delivered software meets business and operational requirements.”
Borland’s Together Designer and Together Developer for Visual Studio
.NET products are available now. For more information, visit www.borland.com/together.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached
at [email protected].