Embarcadero Reaches Out to Developers with CodeGear Deal

Embarcadero Technologies is buying CodeGear, a division of Borland Software, to appeal to application developers.

Embarcadero Technologies is looking to expand its appeal to application developers with the acquisition of CodeGear, a division of Borland Software.

The $23 million move is a play by Embarcadero, which specializes in database design tools, to meet application and database developers on middle ground with products that appeal to both groups.

CodeGear serves a range of Java and Windows developers with its JBuilder, Delphi and C++Builder product lines, as well as Web developer products for the PHP and Ruby languages. The addition of CodeGear's product portfolio will allow Embarcadero to offer a more comprehensive tool set to developers, Embarcadero CEO Wayne Williams told eWEEK.

"Nearly every application today interfaces with a database, which means that nearly every application developer-whether they're building C++, Java, Ruby on Rails, PHP or Delphi-is routinely touching a database," Williams said.

The acquisition also gives Embarcadero a significantly larger sales footprint, serving developers, architects, database professionals and ISVs worldwide.

According to officials at both companies, the combined global market opportunity for Embarcadero and CodeGear products will represent more than 15 million users, a number officials expect to grow by up to 10 percent annually.

Borland officials spoke of selling CodeGear more than two years ago and subsequently spun out the division, making it a wholly owned subsidiary. Once Embarcadero completes the acquisition, the company will continue to release new CodeGear products and support existing CodeGear customer and partner contracts, Williams said.

"The integration of our combined portfolios will take place in stages and, during that time, we will also evaluate features from all products, both CodeGear's and Embarcadero's, for opportunities to add new functionality and innovation into existing product lines," Williams said. "We will also evolve our current and emerging products, while creating bundled products for targeted users."

Embarcadero competes mainly against companies like BMC Software, CA and Sybase. Jay Lyman, an analyst with The 451 Group, said Embarcadero is still making up ground lost two years ago leading up to its acquisition in 2007 by Thoma Cressey Bravo, a private equity firm.

"We indicated a year ago that while the cross-database support made sense, Embarcadero needed to do more to differentiate itself," Lyman said. "The purchase of CodeGear allows it to do so and effectively broadens Embarcadero's potential beyond the somewhat limited database tools market to more developers and users."

The transaction is expected to close by June 30.