Borland: Changing with the Times
- By John K. Waters
Attendees at Borland Software's 16th annual developer conference, held last
week in San Francisco, got a peek at the company's new CEO, Tod Nielsen. They
also got a look at a company in a transition that transcends C-level changes.
Nielsen reaffirmed the company's commitment to developers. "Our goal is
to empower you to be on-budget, on-time, every time," he told attendees.
For the last few years, Borland has been shifting its focus from stand-alone
development tools to broader solutions that emphasize collaboration and role-based
features spanning individual products. The company's Software Delivery Optimization
strategy took center stage at the conference, amid announcements of a range
of product enhancements emphasizing application lifecycle management.
The Borland shift has been driven largely--but not exclusively, Borland representatives
emphasize--by the advent of the Eclipse open-source tooling framework, which
is seen to have commoditized much of the basic IDE functionality.
"The Java IDE space as a standalone business is certainly shifting,"
says Mike Hulme, Borland's senior director of product marketing, "and we
see that in the future we are going to have a lot more of the Java development
technologies in Core SDP [Software Delivery Platform], and that's where the
demand is going to come as part of that overall team platform."
Released in February, Borland's Core SDP is an integrated, role-based platform
designed to increase visibility and control over all phases of the software
Providing a collaborative architecture designed for more efficient and predictable
software development is key to Borland's strategy, says Hulme. The 2006 version
of company's flagship Java IDE, JBuilder, for example, is all about collaboration.
JBuilder 06 includes shared code editor views and joint debugging, features
designed to enable geographically disparate developers to collaborate as though
they were sitting at the same workstation. Future versions will enable developers
to make software a more managed and successful business process, the company
says, with more real-time visibility into the impact of code changes across
application tiers, as well as projects. A new commercial, Eclipse-based JBuilder
product, code-named Peloton is due next year.
"The timing of [Eclipse] is quite good for us," Cheng adds. "It
has created an opportunity to stop competing on basic features and focus on
higher value solutions--which is not to say that we're ignoring individual productivity.
But because we focused on all of that individual stuff for so long, it's very
mature, so we can put our investment into new stuff.”
Borland also announced an update to its requirements management system, CaliberRM
2005. Release 2 is designed to increase communication, productivity and usability
when managing requirements across the application lifecycle with requirements
management support for business and IT analysts, project managers, developers
The company said it is integrating its requirements management system with
Microsoft’s new role-based Team Studio ALM suite, launched earlier in
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached