Borland advances application lifecycle management goals

Borland Software is to detail several key pieces of its application lifecycle management strategy at its BorCon developer...

Borland Software is to detail several key pieces of its application lifecycle management strategy at its BorCon developer conference in San Jose this week.

The company will introduce upgraded products and will explain how these new iterations will fit into its ALM initiative.

Borland will debut ECO (Enterprise Core Objects), a run-time platform for creating and maintaining model-driven applications. The ECO technology is built into Borland's Delphi 8 for Microsoft .net Framework and C#Builder for the Microsoft .net Framework Architect Edition.

ECO automates several steps that are manual in the Model Driven Architecture (MDA) process.

The new Delphi 8 for the Microsoft .net Framework, designed for building .net Framework applications and migrating existing Delphi applications to .net, will also be announced at BorCon.

Borland will also show off enhancements to its Enterprise Studio for Java, in which the modelling environment runs within the integrated development environment. This latest version of Enterprise Studio for Java includes tighter integration of the Together tools and JBuilder X.

"Borland has assembled a set of first-rate tools," said Gartner analyst Jim Duggan. "Its challenge will be to sell them as well as Rational has."

Other tools companies are embracing the concept of ALM. Through its acquisition of Rational Software, IBM Corp. now offers several lifecycle-centric wares, including the IBM Rational Suite and the Rational Unified Process.

Compuware also offers lifecycle tools, as does BEA Systems through a pact with Compuware. A host of smaller suppliers sell ALM tools.

Borland said that one of the most important things it can offer that competitors do not is platform neutrality.

Rational has, traditionally, straddled the same fence between Windows and Java contingencies. But since Rational was acquired by IBM, analysts have expressed doubt that it will remain truly independent of IBM. At the very least, it will be difficult for Rational to be as independent from IBM's platform as Borland is from all the major platforms.

Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink, questioned whether platform independence is a boon to developers in the grand scheme of ALM.

"To have a separate development platform and a separate portal platform ... is becoming less and less attractive to developers," Schmelzer said.

John Lin, product manager at Immunicode, which makes tools that function with Visual Studio, said he uses Borland's JBuilder product for Java development.

Lin expressed a mixed opinion on whether Borland's independence helps or hurts. Microsoft benefits by controlling the OS, but Borland is able to focus more on tools, he said.

Tom Sullivan and Paul Krill write for InfoWorld

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