CodeGear: A Year After the Borland Spinout

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-01-09 Print this article Print

=CodeGear: A Year After the Borland Spinout


How important is Eclipse in CodeGear's overall strategy or scheme of things?

Open source in general is an important part of our strategy. The advent of open source has been like a tsunami. It hit the market hard and keeps on building force. We are big advocates of open source, but think market expectation for the ease of adopting and leveraging open-source components has been set too high. Open-source components are developed disparately. Although you might save capex [capital expenditures] costs by highly leveraging open-source components, there is an explicit offsetting opex [operational expenditures] cost (in hard dollars and time) associated with integration. A core component of our strategy is to enable customers to effectively adopt and leverage best-in-breed open-source components.

We provide the necessary integration, coupled with proprietary technology in areas that are not well served by the commercial or open-source markets, to deliver an industrial-strength development environment. Eclipse is a very important part of that formula. The Eclipse framework provides a solid foundation for delivering this value proposition.


In 2007, CodeGear made moves into tools for dynamic languages like PHP and Rails. What are some of the other innovations we can expect from you in 2008?

We continue to be very excited about the evolution of the Ruby on Rails market and expect to see RoR begin to make inroads in the enterprise domain during 2008. Our focus in this market is to be a thought and technology leader, helping the nascent market develop quickly. On the PHP front, look for an interesting new release from CodeGear early in 2008.


Web 2.0 is a much-hyped buzzword these days. What's your view of Web 2.0 and what is CodeGear doing there?

Much-hyped and one of the most ambiguous terms. Ask 10 people what it means and you'll get at least five different answers. Some will give you a market-focused view (i.e. social networking as a business platform), others will give you a technology-based view (i.e. AJAX [Asynchronous JavaScript and XML].)

We tend to think of Web 2.0 more in technology terms ... given that our team is a bunch of hard-core developers.

If you look at the blocking and tackling components that most people include in a Web 2.0 definition, we have incorporated these technologies into our products. For example, we have AJAX libraries available in all our key products, either homegrown, third-party, or open-source. One of the things that is of real interest to me is how we can facilitate the use of some Web 2.0 technologies to radically change the user experience in traditional desktop, client server and enterprise apps.

Up until a couple of years ago, the user experience on the Web was relatively poor. Desktop applications offered much richer user environments. Web 2.0 technologies have reversed the relative "richness" of the user experience. Web and Web-based applications offer a much richer user experience than desktop applications today. We want to offer developers of more traditional applications the ability to leverage the best of Web 2.0 to bring greater value to their customers in the form of a better user experience.


How committed is CodeGear to moving your Java tool, JBuilder, forward and updating its product line?

We're serious as hell. JBuilder is a significant component of our growth story. JBuilder 2007, which came out last year, just won an industry award for Best Java IDE of the Year. We've been thrilled by the market endorsement and developers' reception of the product line. Our intent is to continue to extend this best-in-class Java development functionality. You will see some very interesting and cool things from us with JBuilder in 2008.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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