.Net Framework Support Gives Initiative a Push

Borland, Groove, Compuware roll out apps for Microsoft platform.

Microsoft Corp.s .Net platform is getting a boost from key software makers delivering products that support the .Net Framework.

Borland Software Corp. last week unveiled Borland Delphi 7 Studio, a version of its Delphi cross-platform rapid application development environment that integrates modeling, development and deployment of e-commerce solutions and Web services.

Borland said Delphi 7 Studio provides an independent path to .Net, with features such as a preview of capabilities for the .Net Framework that enable developers to write applications as managed code in Delphi and run them on the .Net platform, said executives with the Scotts Valley, Calif., company.

Delphi 7 Studio includes technology to give developers more control of the development process from concept and design to production, including a new UML (Unified Modeling Language) designer and Model Driven Architecture.

Simon Thornhill, vice president and general manager at Borland, said the company wants to enable enterprises to move to new platforms without abandoning past investments.

Lino Tadros, chief technology officer at Kazoo Software Inc., in San Jose, Calif., beta tested Delphi 7 Studio and applauded the enhancements.

"Delphi needed some kind of UML modeling tool to support the Pascal source," Tadros said, adding the product also "needed a strong reporting engine, and the new engine is a great plus."

The product also features built-in, cross-platform support for Linux, as Delphi 7 Studio will be shipped with the Delphi language version of Borland Kylix 3, Borlands integrated development environment for Linux.

Borland Delphi 7 Studio will be available later this summer in four editions, with a full Delphi language version of Borland Kylix 3 shipping with the Studio Architect, Enterprise and Professional editions. The fourth is the Personal edition, starting at $99. Studio Architect is the priciest at $3,499.

Meanwhile, Microsoft and Groove Networks Inc., of Beverly, Mass., will deliver Groove Toolkit for Visual Studio .Net, which will enable developers to easily build Windows- and .Net-based applications in the Groove Workspace environment. The Groove add-in will be available this fall and will leverage Microsofts integration of XML in its Office product and the ongoing integration between Office and Groove 2.0. Developers using the Groove tool kit will be able to build collaborative, peer-to-peer applications in the time it takes to build WinForms applications, said a developer who has worked on the project for Groove.

In addition, Compuware Corp., of Farmington Hills, Mich., last week unveiled DevPartner Studio 7.0 Professional Edition, a suite of tools for developers building applications and Web services using Visual Studio .Net. The suite features code review, automated error detection and performance analysis. It will be available this month for $1,495 per seat.