Borland: Devs Need Better Biz Visibility in 2006

Borland execs say that software architects and devs need to be better plugged into to the 21rst Century enterprise - and tools and Best Practices will be key. Significant changes in how apps, components and services get built, Borland says, could shift the center of gravity for software professionals. IDN looks at Borland's latest upgrade to CaliberRM for Microsoft's Visual Studio VSTS, and peeks at what Borland execs have on their drawing boards for 2006

Tags: Borland, Developer, Architects, Hulme, Requirements Management, Business, Devs,


Borland execs say that software architects and devs need to be better plugged into to the 21rst Century enterprise - and tools and Best Practices will be key. Significant changes in how apps, components and services get built, Borland says, could shift the center of gravity for software professionals. IDN looks at Borland's latest upgrade to CaliberRM for Microsoft's Visual Studio VSTS, and peeks at what Borland execs have on their drawing boards for 2006

Setting the tone for 2006 rollouts, Borland this month shipped a tuned CaliberRM requirements management system for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System. The plug-in is designed to put business and technical analysts on the same page when gathering, tracking and managing apps requirements.

As an example: Analysts using CaliberRM and Microsoft development tools will be able to leverage Borland's best practices in requirements management to:
  • Specify use cases, analyze and model requirements;
  • Estimate necessary resources against defined scenarios
  • Validate requirements against different stakeholder perspectives;
  • Manage and trace requirements across all roles and phases in the lifecycle; and
  • Analyze the impact of changes on project schedule, cost and quality.

    "Within Visual Studio Team System, the software development team, including analysts, will now have a comprehensive way to manage and track requirements, enabling organizations to feel more confident that the projects that are delivered will map to business priorities." said Microsoft's John Montgomery, director in the .NET Developer Product Marketing Group.

    Also in 2006, Borland will integrate its Together modeling solution with Microsoft VSTS to provide architects a bridge between Microsoft's own modeling solutions, (including the emerging Software Factories approach) and UML (Unified Modeling Language) based modeling.

    Plugging Architects, devs into the Broader Enterprise
    The idea behind these VSTS-tuned versions of CaliberRM and Together is to make it easier for business analysts to have real-time, more frequent and more in-depth connection with architects and devs, say Borland execs.

    So, what do these plug-ins for VSTS mean for Borland's vision of the architect and developer in 2006? Borland senior director for product marketing Mike Hulme took some time to share some 2006 insights from Borland

    "There are new pressures and new demands being put in the architect and developer,""For instance, today software is really more about the application life-cycle, and less about just building code, per se," Hulme told IDN. "This puts a brighter spotlight on the role of the developer and their ability to effectively delivery software and Borland is investing in integrating the developer into the overall software delivery process with the goal of improved quality and the ability to better satisfy the needs of the business," Hulme added.

    What Borland sees for 2006, Hulme said, is there is a "broader enterprise organization where the developer needs to be plugged in[to]. And, there are other roles that need to be plugged into that as well." Borland's product and services roadmap, "will acknowledge that these new pressures are shifting the buy decision away from the dev base, but that the developer still has to play an important role," he added.

    Hulme shared some examples of this life-cycle trend he's seen from his customer discussions since coming to Borland (from BEA Systems) 13 months ago. "There is a significant change around how composite apps get built -- the impact of web services, new loosely-coupled approaches. These [technologies] are changing the discussions about software projects from 'Build me a new application that does X,' to something more like: 'Can we change this software to let me do X?' .

    Hulme said Borland is seeing "increased interest" in several key technologies that enable that shift, including (a) requirements management, (b) change management, (c) quality initiatives, and (d) even governance/IT management. And, Hulme said it's not just the 'suits' from the Executive Suite that are thinking this way. "Many of our customers' senior developers and architects want us to help them do more to map their skills to the needs are the business are also seeking us out," Hulme said.

    Borland's 2006 Bottom Line
    In 2006, Borland will "aim our energies at solving problems at the IT management level, but make sure that we bring architects and developers into that new discussion," Hulme told IDN. "It's important to [Borland] that the developer not become less important in this new focus. But that they have the tools and Best Practices to continue to play an important role - but maybe not the central role, as they did in the past."



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