Microsoft buys bridge between Java and .Net developers

The company acquires SourceGear's Teamprise suite, which lets Java developers build apps via Visual Studio TFS

Microsoft plans to acquire technology that has enabled Microsoft's TFS (Team Foundation Server) software to be an ALM (application lifecycle management) server for different software development platforms. The company will purchase Teamprise-related assets from SourceGear. Teamprise software lets Java developers using Eclipse-based IDEs or developers leveraging operating systems including Unix, Linux, and Mac OS X build applications via Visual Studio TFS.

Microsoft's move is in recognition of heterogeneous development shops building in both .Net and Java, Microsoft officials said. TFS serves as a central software artifacts repository. "We've just built a bridge to Java developers. ... If you're building [in] Java today and want to share assets with Visual Studio developers, you'll do that with the Teamprise technologies," said Dave Mendlen, Microsoft's senior director of development marketing.

Users often have a business need to develop on multiple platforms but developers must collaborate and understand different parts of the work being done, said Doug Seven, senior product manager for Visual Studio at Microsoft.

Microsoft's acquisition of Teamprise technologies addresses concerns of development shops reluctant to deal with a smaller vendor like SourceGear, said analyst Jeffrey Hammond of Forrester Research. "They were uncomfortable with a small partner providing the connectivity for their Java development teams," Hammond said. "Now they have Microsoft supporting their Java developers if they choose TFS as their single ALM solution.

Microsoft's Seven concurred that some customers had issues with the previous arrangement. "We've had a close relationship with Teamprise for a long time as being the provider of our heterogeneous development support, and both of us have heard from joint customers for a long time that it has been a struggle," Seven said.

Hammond lauded the acquisition. "I think it's a great move, and they should have made it a long time ago," he said. TFS offers a less expensive alternative to products such as Rational Team Concert, Hammond said.

Functionality from Teamprise Client Suite will be integrated into Microsoft's Visual Studio product line beginning with the Visual Studio 2010 IDE. Visual Studio 2010 will be officially launched on March 22, 2010 and ship around that time.

Leveraging Teamprise Client Suite technologies, developers on multiple platforms can use TFS for version control, work-item tracking, build management process guidance and business intelligence.

Teamprise Client Suite includes:

  • Teamprise Plug-in for Eclipse, allowing developers to access TFS from such IDEs as Rational Application Developer, JBoss and Adobe Flex Builder
  • Teamprise Explorer, combining functionality available to Eclipse developers using Teamprise Plug-in into a standalone, cross-platform GUI application for team members working outside of an IDE, such as graphic designers and quality assurance testers
  • Teamprise Command-Line Client, offering a non-graphical interface for TFS

Teamprise Client Suite technology will be updated to work with TFS 2010, which will feature improvements in areas such as work item-tracking and build automation. The Teamprise software will continue to work with prior versions of TFS as well.

Customers can jointly purchase Teamprise Client Suite technology and one Team Foundation Server client access license. Also, customers with the Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN variant of the software development platform will receive Teamprise Client technology as part of their subscription.

SourceGear will continue to support Teamprise products and sell the latest release of the suite until the Microsoft-branded product is available.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

This story, "Microsoft buys bridge between Java and .Net developers," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in application development at InfoWorld.com.

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