Borland raising .Net profile

Seeking a greater claim in the .Net development marketplace, Borland Software on Tuesday plans to announce it is licensing the Microsoft Windows .Net Framework SDK for inclusion in Borland's Delphi 7 Studio development tool immediately and in other .Net-based products afterward.

The company plans to introduce new development offerings for .Net later this year that feature the SDK.

Borland's ability to redistribute the SDK with its own tools will make it easier for developers to build .Net applications with Delphi tools, according to company officials.

"This is a key part of our solution for the .Net platform," said Borland's Simon Thornhill, vice president and general manager of the company's RAD business unit. Customers will no longer need to go elsewhere, namely to Microsoft, to get the SDK, he said.

"What this means is the developers will have all the pieces for the .Net framework immediately available to them within the Borland development environment," Thornhill said.

The SDK contains tools for manipulation of the .Net Framework, as well as documentation and code samples, all of which are critical for Borland developers to efficiently build applications for .Net, Thornhill said.

Borland's move indicates the company seeks to provide an alternative to a Microsoft-only .Net development strategy, said analyst Tim Murphy, senior program director at Meta Group, in Stamford, Conn.

"The key thing about it is that Borland is going to be the first real alternative to [Microsoft's] Visual Studio for building .Net applications," Murphy said. Borland's effort gives developers more .Net options and is thus good for the platform itself, he said. Additionally, competition will drive Microsoft to improve its products, Murphy added.

Borland is seeing growing interest in .Net, Thornhill said. "We see a lot of momentum in the .Net space. I think it's difficult to say whether it's more or less than Java," he said.

Borland sells tools for both .Net and Java developers.

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