Borland Details New Vision for Software Development At Bor-Con

At its annual Bor-Con developer conference in San Jose, Borland unveiled the Software Delivery Optimization (SDO) vision, a plan to make software development more cost-effective by mapping the software development process to business needs, said Martin Frid-Nielsen, Borland's general manager and vice president of Development Services Platform Business Unit.

"Software development is evolving from black magic to something that is becoming far more predictable and process-oriented and something that is aligned with business objectives," Frid-Nielsen said.

With SDO and related product changes, Borland appears to be heading in the same direction as its competing tools vendors, notably Microsoft and IBM Rational, which both have announced plans to more closely integrate different aspects of the application development life cycle into an integrated development environment (IDE).

Borland has identified several business factors, such as risk mitigation, time to market and cost, that will be taken into consideration as the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based vendor delivers future versions of its tools to partners and customers, Frid-Nielsen said.

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As part of the first phase to implement SDO, Borland has been working to more tightly integrate StarTeam, its change management and configuration tool, and CaliberRM, its requirements management tool, with Borland IDE products such as JBuilder and Delphi.

"As a developer, I need to see [related processes such as] the application requirements as I develop my code inside my development environment," Frid-Nielsen said.

Borland already has included interfaces to CaliberRM and StarTeam in the latest version of JBuilder, available now, and plans to do the same in a new version of Delphi, expected in October. The interfaces will be updated over time, so it will become increasingly easier for developers to take advantage of CaliberRM and StarTeam in whatever IDE they are using, Frid-Nielsen said. Borland also will work with partners such as Microsoft and IBM Rational to include interfaces for their tools, he said.

As another part of this strategy, StarTeam 2005 and CaliberRM 2005 will include new features called Borland Search Server and Datamart that will help tie business processes and information to software development, Frid-Nielsen said. These new versions of each tool will be available in the next 90 days.

Search Server allows developers to do ad hoc queries of the repositories within the tools to search for information and reusable code, he said. Datamart is a reporting and analysis feature that allows developers to perform tasks such as establishing relationships between application requirements and source code to ensure the business needs of the application are being met, Frid-Nielsen said.

Datamart also can help developers predict when the development on the application will be complete so business decision-makers can make planning decisions around other software development projects in the organization, he said.

Future phases of Borland's SDO strategy will see the vendor adding more process automation and reusable assets to its full toolset for application life-cycle management, Frid-Nielsen said. Eventually, all of Borland's tools will be offered as one, integrated platform, he said.