Borland Software and IBM announced upgrades to their development tools this week designed to support heterogeneous environments and more closely link software creation to business goals.
IBM unveiled new Rational developer tools, and Borland rolled out the new version of its Delphi Windows development tool. With these announcements, both are maneuvering to infuse their platforms with business process automation commonly used in other areas of enterprise operations like core product design and manufacturing.
"What we're seeing today in IT shops is the need to take another leap from just thinking about developing new applications and deploying new applications to thinking more strategically about IT priorities and how the overall IT assets and resources can be best matched to deliver business value," said Melissa Webster, an analyst at IDC.
IBM announced this week that all of its Rational development tools will be based on the open Eclipse 3.0 framework. This will support the integration of modelling, testing and requirements management tools at a deeper level so that all those methods to build applications can be used consistently, Webster added.
IBM also launched tools such as a portfolio manager that will be folded into Rational through an acquisition and a new software architect, software modeler and manual tester.
The software modeller includes support for Unified Modeling Language 2.0 for visual-based modelling to document and communicate different views of a system. IBM Rational will continue to support its other modelling solutions, IBM Rational Rose and IBM Rational XDE.
"IBM is very well positioned to help its customers take a more strategic look at the software development process," Webster said. "Rational was an early preacher of the gospel to integrate processes into the lifecycle. IBM clearly understands that breaking down the barriers between teams in the software development process is very important."
To support both Java and .net developers, IBM has introduced new features into its existing Rational tools.
IBM Rational Web Developer for WebSphere (formerly WebSphere Studio Site Developer) and IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere (formerly WebSphere Studio Application Developer) will include functionality designed to simplify Java development by automating tasks and reducing manual coding. The Rational Functional tester includes testing customisation and other features designed to support .net users.
Meanwhile, Borland this week announced Delphi 2005, the latest version of its Windows development tool, that will incorporate support for Win32, .net, Delphi and C# in one development environment while integrating with Borland application lifecycle management tools.
Previously codenamed Diamondback, the new version of Delphi is designed to support Borland's overarching Software Delivery Optimization plan to apply business process automation to software development tools.
"It's really the first time that a Windows development tool has come out that has a vision of optimising for developers both new Windows development and projects for the migration to more modern architectures," said Michael Swindell, director of product marketing for developer tools at Borland.
With Delphi 2005, Borland is providing an alternative to the end-to-end development platforms being offered by IBM and Microsoft, said Mark Driver, an analyst at Gartner.
Many companies that have application development platforms from both Microsoft and IBM find features like testing, quality assurance and source control in both suites, which can create more complexity than is required, he added.
Delphi 2005 will ship next month. The Architect Edition will cost $3,000 (£1,667) for new users and $1,999 for an upgrade, while the Enterprise Edition will cost $2,500 for new users and $1,500 for an upgrade. The Professional Edition will cost $999 for new users and $399 for an upgrade.
All of the new IBM products will be available before the end of the year. They will range from $5,500 per user for the Rational Software Architect to $1,000 per user for the IBM Rational Web Developer for WebSphere Software.
Heather Havenstein writes for Comptuerworld