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Borland Advances Eclipse-Based Modeling Platform

Borland Software Corporation on Friday announced a major upgrade of its Together 2006 for Eclipse, an enterprise-modeling platform designed to support architects, Java and C++ developers, Unified Modeling Language (UML) designers, business process analysts, and data modelers.

Launched last year, Together for Eclipse is the company's first product based on the open-source Eclipse tooling framework. This second release works directly within the Eclipse 3.2 shell—the latest version—allowing users to create UML 2 and business process models.

    The list of new capabilities in this release includes:
  • Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) support, to enable analysts to graphically model business processes and workflows, which can then be traced to requirements and used throughout the lifecycle.

  • Model-Driven Architecture (MDA) support, which helps architects to define and transform architectures from UML-based, platform-independent models, which can target multiple platforms to platform-specific models, such as Microsoft .NET or J2EE.

  • Improved SOA manageability, achieved through Together’s UML-based view of the entire system. "Architects and designers can use Together to assess the way new services will affect the existing architecture and how required changes can be implemented, " says David Hauck, product marketing director, Borland.

  • Both code- and model-level audits and metrics, which can give teams significant productivity gains by assisting with architectural compliance, code compliance, code complexity, and coding standards.
  • This release is integrated with Borland's recently introduced Caliber DefineIT requirements definition product. That integration is designed to enable users to build systems from requirements by creating UML and BPM notation models.

    The Together product line is a key component of Borland's Requirements Definition and Management (RDM) solution, which is designed to provide business analysts with a visual way to define and storyboard business and technical requirements. Borland describes its RDM as a set of technologies that "bridge the gap between business and IT organizations through a common set of visual best-of-breed modeling languages for software architecture. " The company also offers a version for Visual Studio developers.

    "This opens the door to a complete ALM [application lifecycle management] story that begins with getting the requirements right, " Hauck tells AppTrends. "Our Software Delivery Optimization approach is designed to get IT managers to look at ALM as a business practice. Software is just as important as domain knowledge and expertise. Software is what makes them better and faster and able to adapt to changes. "

    The integration between Together 2006 and Borland’s RDM products is intended to enable users to generate UML diagrams from specified requirements, and then to leverage the resulting design assets to drive software implementation and track design decisions back to the original requirements.

    "By providing a process for visualizing requirements through use case, activity, and sequence diagrams, development teams can quickly transform specified requirements into high-level system architectures and designs without the risk of ambiguity, " Hauck says.

    Even before the advent of Eclipse, which radically changed the Java IDE market that Borland once led, the company has been shifting focus away from development tools to concentrate on its ALM products. The development tools group within the company is set to spin off some time this year.

    Along the way, Borland has embraced Eclipse in a big way. In fact, the company is a major contributor to the Eclipse Modeling Project, on which it serves as co-lead with IBM.

    "The role that Borland is taking to drive modeling advancements within Eclipse will not only benefit the larger community, but also allows us to create a highly advanced, standardized foundation upon which to build our commercial products, " says Borland's Richard Gronback, who is the Eclipse Modeling project's co-leader and chief scientist. "We expect our use of Eclipse modeling technologies will give customers a greater degree of flexibility, usability, and richness without the risk of a proprietary platform. "

    The Cupertino, Calif.-based company made the Together 2006 for Eclipse announcement at last week's EclipseWorld Conference in Cambridge, Mass.

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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