Borland Moves to Eclipse

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2005-08-15

Despite the loss last month of CEO Dale Fuller, Borland Software Corp. officials said the vendor is pushing ahead with its strategy for delivering its Software Delivery Optimization plan and is banking on a move to Eclipse to help bolster upcoming releases of JBuilder.

Rick Jackson, a vice president at Borland and a former vice president at BEA Systems Inc., said that he joined Borland more than a year ago to help implement its SDO vision and that he is set on reaching his goal.

Borland has traditionally focused on three product lines—IDEs (integrated development environments), run-times and ALM (application lifecycle management) components—but Boz Elloy, senior vice president of software products at Borland, said, "Were really focusing on the ALM portion. Stand-alone IDEs [are] not a growing business for us."

Instead, Borland has moved to Eclipse as the basis of its tool set. "The world has voted with its feet and has moved to Eclipse," Jackson said, noting that Borlands JBuilder is still the No. 1 commercial IDE. "Our focus on R&D is around innovation around the life cycle, not just the IDE."

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Future releases of JBuilder will be more aligned with Eclipse, as will Borlands Core SDP (Software Delivery Platform), which will feature role-centric interfaces for analysts, architects, developers and testers. The platform is somewhat akin to what Microsoft Corp. is delivering in its VSTS (Visual Studio Team System), which will become available later this year.

Moty Aharonovitz, senior director of project strategy at Borland, said the company will be using Eclipse as the user interface and also as a common metamodel layer via EMF (Eclipse Modeling Framework). Aharonovitz said Borland will be "looking at modeling and how people model requirements. There is a need to look beyond what we have today, beyond requirements management."

JBuilder user Kelvin Burton, chief technology officer of the charitable organization Mercy Ships, in Garden Valley, Texas, said, "We are delving into the modeling area" and are looking to do more with it.

Indeed, requirements management is one place Borland officials said they believe the company has a lead with its CaliberRM requirements management tool. Through an agreement, Microsoft is using CaliberRM to fill in the requirements management void in VSTS. Elloy said Borland is putting considerable capital into building out CaliberRM.

Borland is also talking to its customers about its ALM offerings, which enable the company to compete with Microsoft and IBM by continuing to be a neutral presence in the tools space.

"We have a huge opportunity to help our customers solve their software problems, but we must do better," said Scott Arnold, interim CEO at Borland, based here. "To do this, Borland is undergoing a major transformation around how we develop, market and sell our solutions."

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