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Borland challenges Visual Studio with Diamondback

With the Diamondback release of its Delphi tool for Windows applications, Borland will challenge Microsoft while accommodating .net, Win32 and Delphi development.   

Michael Swindell, Borland director of product management for developer tools, said Borland with Diamondback will compete with Microsoft's Visual Studio.

Diamondback is in a limited beta release, and Borland has not said when it will be generally available.

Developers can add features and quality to existing applications while also moving to .net, Swindell said. By supporting ASP.net, Diamondback enables developers to take advantage of Microsoft's managed code concepts for secure, manageable code, he added.

Users do not need separate development environments for C# and Delphi. "All of the team members can share the Delphi environment," he said.

Code re-factoring enables users to make global, cascading changes to code. Developers, for example, can rename an object once and it is reflected throughout the source code. "Code re-factoring helps [developers] maintain their source code, whether it is writing their new applications or maintaining their existing code," said Swindell.

The code editor in Diamondback has been improved to flag errors on the fly. Code re-factoring will correct errors as well, Swindell said.

Additionally, Diamondback is fused with Borland's StarTeam project management system, with a StarTeam client embedded within the Diamondback IDE. "[Users will] be able to monitor and enter change requests," and compare different versions of code to reject or accept changes, Swindell said.

Unit testing in Diamondback enables creation of tests for developers to use on their code. "That's very useful as a developer, just for testing my own code, just for building better quality code. But it's also very useful for handing off [the code] to a formal testing environment," Swindell said.

Diamondback's history manager automates backups of developer files, so code is not lost.

ADO.net, which is Microsoft's .net framework for database connectivity, has been encapsulated within the rapid application development layer in Diamondback, enabling use of different types of databases and easier building of multi-tier database applications, said Swindell. Data migration is built into Diamondback.

Web development in Diamondback is being improved to enable developers to deliver video or audio onto a web page.

The more scalable ECO II Model Powered Framework is featured in Diamondback. ECO stands for Enterprise Core Objects and it provides a model-driven architecture for .net, in which applications are diagrammed and objects are created automatically.

Earlier in the day at BorCon, Microsoft's Rick LaPlante, general manager of the Visual Studio Team System, echoed Borland concerns that software projects are going awry because of differing perspectives in organisations. Developers can find themselves working on projects they believe are doomed while management thinks the projects are going great, he said. Changing of features is a particular problem, with developers needing "bake time" for features, LaPlante said.

Paul Krill writes for Inforworld


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