Borland eyes development services as IDE revenue drops

Acknowledging a decline in IDE revenues, Borland Software instead is focusing on development services, with an emphasis on people, processes, and technology.

The company, as part of its strategy, plans to bolster its application lifecycle management (ALM) offerings beginning with a requirements management product to be launched next week to supplement Microsoft's Visual Studio Team System.

While not planning to take over entire software development projects in the manner of an EDS, Borland seeks to counsel customers on issues such as process maturity while also providing tools, according to Erik Frieberg, Borland vice president of product marketing and strategy.

"We're consulting on how you become better at your software development processes," said Frieberg in an interview in San Jose, Calif., on Monday afternoon.

The heydays of the IDE are in the past, Frieberg said.

"The growth for commercial IDEs is clearly over as a stand-alone business, but the development role is extremely important," said Frieberg.

Although revenue for its Delphi IDE for Windows continues to be strong, revenue for the commercial Java IDE space is dropping because of the free Eclipse IDE for Java, Frieberg said. Borland itself plans to base its JBuilder Java IDE around Eclipse.

In an alliance with Microsoft, Borland on Nov. 7 plans to introduce CalibreRM for Visual Studio Team System, which is Microsoft's own ALM platform that also officially launches that day.

"Microsoft has asked us to partner with them to provide requirements management [for Team System]," Frieberg said. Borland's offering is set to ship in 2006 when Microsoft releases the Team Foundation source code repository component of Team System.

But Borland expects only a two- to three-year window to provide requirements management for Team System before Microsoft has its own offering for this function, Frieberg said. Still, this gives Borland a window of opportunity to expand its capabilities for Microsoft developers, he said.

With Microsoft focusing on .Net and Rational focusing on IBM's WebSphere, Borland also sees an opportunity to provide ALM solutions for Java development on non-IBM platforms as well as for projects based on C and C++ and customized applications, Frieberg said.

A host of improvements are planned for Borland's ALM offerings. In IT management and governance, Borland plans to improve its wares through its recent acquisition of Legadero, Frieberg said.

CalibreRM tools will be fitted with elicitation and validation functions for business process modeling while the StarTeam change management platform will offer more process capabilities, including the addition of process templates via Borland's recently acquired TeraQuest technology.

In the area of lifecycle quality, Core SDP (Software Delivery Platform) will get improvements in visibility and productivity in the third quarter of 2006 with a planned release code-named Hyperion. Core SDP features Borland's ALM capabilities from products such as StarTeam in a more integrated fashion.

A follow-up release of Core SDP, code-named Prometheus, is intended to provide a development guidance model for operations as well as process optimization, process measurement, and pattern analysis.

Borland will hold its developer-focused Borland DevCon conference in San Francisco on Nov. 8.

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Paul Krill

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