Borland Spells Success ALM, Not IDE

The end of an era is on the way for many of the country's top enterprise developers. Borland Corp. is getting out of the IDE business, and setting its future sights on Application Lifecycle Management. Borland has retained Bear, Sterns & Co. to find a buyer for its whole line of IDEs, including JBuilder, C#Builder, C++Builder and Delphi. Meanwhile, Borland lays out spending and product build plans for ALM.

Tags: Borland, ALM, IDE, Developer, Business, Management, Quality,

The end of an era is on the way for many of the country's top enterprise developers. Borland Corp. is getting out of the IDE business, and setting its future sights on Application Lifecycle Management.

Borland officials have confirmed it has retained Bear, Sterns & Co. to manage the sale of its entire dev tools portfolio, including Delphi, C++Builder, C#Builder and JBuilder. The sale could be complete by mid-year.

ESB-CON Due Diligence Day - March 2, 2006 - Free Online Conference

Join leading ESB vendors BEA Systems, IBM, Sonic Software and Sun Microsystems as they address "The Tough ESB Questions" at ESB-CON -- a live, free online event. Attendees get a full-day of ESB straight-talk about Architectures, Use Cases, Most Popular Features, Designing Pilots, Product Details, and Roadmaps for SOA. Click here for details and no-cost registration.

In explaining the decision to jettison IDEs while spending millions on ALM, Borland's president and CEO Tod Nielsen said in part:

"Developers will always play an important role in the application lifecycle, but the ALM and IDE markets are very different…Both markets are important, but Borland can no longer give both the resources and attention they require. Therefore, Borland has chosen to focus wholly on its ALM business, while acting in the best interests of the development community. Our intention is to create a standalone business focused on advancing individual developer productivity,"

Nielsen added, "The decision to expand our emphasis on ALM, and at the same time enable our IDE business to get the attention it deserves, enables us to do what's right for our business, what's right for our customers, and what's right for the future of software development."

Analysts, Devs React
But some analysts watching the action say that any potential buyer will face challenges. Burton Group analyst Anne Thomas Mane told eWeek Borland's IDE business has been on the decline for about a decade, mostly because of tough competition from Eclipse, the Open Source (and freely available) Java IDE. "It's really hard to compete with free—especially when the free stuff is really good," Manes told eWeek.

Meanwhile, Borland employees are trying to present a good face on Borland's current on-going developer support. At the Borland Developer Network John Kaster shows a sneak peek screenshot at Borland's work on support for Microsoft's Compact Framework mobile devices.

In his BDN post is entitled "Business as Usual," Kaster remarks: With all the attention and activity around Borland's plans to sell its developer tools, I thought a demonstration of our continuing focus on getting our work done would be a good idea. So, I got a screen shot from a [Borland] Principal Architect that shows a prototype of some of the work he and his team are doing right now.

Borland's ALM Road Ahead
Turning to its ALM future, Borland last week announced it had acquired Segue Software, a provider of global software quality and testing solutions. The purchase was valued at roughly $100 million.

Segue's quality optimization products and services "will add significantly to our growing portfolio of [ALM] solutions," Nielsen added. In 2006, Borland intends to offer packaged solutions that focus on the following "critical process" areas:
  • IT Management and Governance
  • Requirements Definition and Management
  • Change Management and
  • Lifecycle Quality Management.

    Each solution offering will be an integrated package of Borland's ALM technology, process optimization services and skills training, tailored to the customers' unique needs and goals, the company added.

    A recording of the conference call and webcast of the ALM and IDE announcements are available until Feb. 23. To access a phone recording of the concall, dial 800-405-2236. The webcast can be seen at Investor Relations area of