New Embarcadero Tool Suite Bridges Multiple Platforms and Roles

Embarcadero Technologies has taken the integration of its CodeGear assets to the next level with what it is coining "on-demand multiplatform software development."

The new All-Access offering, launched yesterday, is a tools suite that combines the company's traditional database products with CodeGear-based application development tools, which it acquired last year from Borland Software.

Aimed simultaneously at application developers, DBAs and architects, this ambitious assembly combines the entire Embarcadero tools line, including well-known dev tools from the CodeGear catalog, including Delphi, JBuilder, C++Builder and 3rdRail, and Embarcadero's database design, Web development tools and DB management software, including ER/Studio, Rapid SQL, DBArtisan, Change Manager and Performance Center, among others.

The "All-Access pass" gives developers access to any and all of these tools on an on-demand basis, explained Michael Swindell, Embarcadero's vice president of Products.

"It's a tool chest," Swindell said. "Developers can simply reach into the tool chest and pull out the tools they need, when they need them, without having to worry about evaluation, purchases or budgets."

Embarcadero plans to continue selling its tools individually, Swindell said, but the company is looking to the All-Access strategy to grab market share and become the leading supplier of software and data tools across development platforms. The tools suite is designed for a relatively wide range of platforms, including .NET and native Windows, Java, Ruby on Rails and PHP. It also supports a number of databases, including Oracle, SQL Server, IBM's DB2 and the open-source MySQL.

"Our niche tool competitors are either focused on one segment-DB development tools, a DB management tool, or an app dev tool," Swindell said. "But our products span the entire team of developers and DBAs. And our key IP is in the core technologies that allow our tools to work across multiple platforms."

All-Access is the largest product release in the company's history. It emerged, at least in part, Swindell said, to meet the demands of a contracting economy that is forcing many organizations to look for ways to blend development roles, and to demand the same amount of work from fewer teams and people.

"We saw developers taking on more testing roles, DBAs doing more architecture, architects become engineers," Swindell said. "There's a lot of blending of roles going on right now to accommodate this contraction. This is tough for developers, because as they're taking on new roles and new platforms, they're not armed for the change in their toolsets. And it's difficult for them to plan today for what they might need down the road."

The amount of access developers actually get to the All-Access tool chest depends on the membership level. Embarcadero is offering four: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each level provides access to a different range of application development and database tools. The Bronze level, for example, includes access to the Professional editions of Delphi, C++Builder and Delphi Prism; the Silver level products access to the Enterprise version of these developer tools.

All membership levels provide access to Embarcadero new InstantOn feature, which is designed to allow users to "click-and-run" All-Access tools on-demand, without installation, either locally or over the network.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].