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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Borland Software Corp will reach-out to low-end and entry-level developers for the first time this week with a cut-down release of its popular JBuilder,

Gavin Clarke writes

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Scotts Valley, California-based Borland is expected to launch a version of its enterprise suite lacking many high-end features, called JBuilder SE, for departmental developers and those working in code.

Borland's goal is to eventually migrate such developers onto JBuilder 7.0, also due for launch this week. These latest versions of JBuilder are expected to be launched at Borland's 13th annual BorCon event in Anaheim, California.

Tony de la Lama, Borland vice president and general manager of Java solutions, said JBuilder SE would introduce developers to both Java and Borland's tools. "Our goal is to get them automated and to understand the Java development environments," he said.

JBuilder SE is also designed to attract low-end developers with its price - $399 compared to $4,999 for the full enterprise edition. "We felt it was important to have an offering that goes after customers that don't have any IDE, who just edit," de la Lama said.

Borland's natural habitat is enterprise-level developers skilled in Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE). JBuilder is the number-one Java integrated development environment (IDE) with 40% market share in a market estimated to represent three million Java programmers.

However, Borland is increasingly reaching outside this group. Recent deals have seen Borland extend into mobile and small foot-print devices - an area of explosive growth for Java - through deals with Nokia Corp, Sprint PCS and Siemens AG.

The companies agreed during the last 12-months to offer free software development kits (SDKs) for download featuring JBuilder tools, emulators and extensions for the companies' respective mobile platforms.

Borland, though, is very much in experimentation mode. While de la Lama said Borland is considering tools specifically based on Sun Microsystems Inc's Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) - for mobile devices - the immediate strategy remains partnerships.

"We are not experts in mobile development, network operators or infrastructure," de la Lama said.

Borland hopes JBuilder SE will snag developers' who eschew IDE-environments. The product is a simplified version of JBuilder enterprise edition, featuring: core debugging and editing, project management, team code repositories and re-factoring to propagate change.

JBuilder 7.0 is targeted at developers working in complicated application and web services development and modeling environments. Features include visualization of Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs) in Unified Modeling Language (UML) with full code support and ability to describe EJBs as a web service for deployment on J2EE-based application servers using Web Services Deployment Descriptor (WSDD).

JBuilder 7.0 runs on BEA Systems Inc's WebLogic 7.0, Sun's ONE Application Server 6.5, Oracle 9i and Sybase application servers.

de la Lama claimed JBuilder 7.0 features even tighter integration with Borland's TeamSource Development Services Platform (DSP) for online source code management and collaborative software development, with instant messaging that can attach source code.

JBuilder 7.0 also takes on more features from the OptimizeIt Suite, acquired from VM Gear in January this year. Borland has paid particular attention to code coverage for detailed testing and measurement of code quality.

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