IBM woos Linux developers with Borland deal

Challenge to VB

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

IBM is teaming with Borland Software Corp to drive its database among Windows developers unimpressed by changes to Visual Basic.

The companies are today expected to announce bundling of Scotts Valley, California-based Borland's cross-platform, rapid application development (RAD) tools with IBM's DB2.

IBM will bundle Borland's Delphi Studio Architect, C++ Builder Enterprise and Kylix Enterprise 30-day trial versions with the most current version of DB2 Universal Developer's Edition and Personal Edition.

Borland will offer a similar bundle: DB2 Universal Developer's Edition with Delphi Studio Architect and Enterprise, C++ Builder Enterprise and Kylix. Borland said bundling would begin "later this summer".

IBM is taking a shot at driving enterprise-level DB2 database into relatively small development shops, focused on Visual Basic and Redmond, Washington- based Microsoft Corp's SQL Server.

In doing so, IBM joins a growing list of vendors that hope to capitalize on perceived disruption among Microsoft's developer community caused through introduction of new technologies.

The biggest vein of opportunity is believed to be Visual Basic developers, stepping onto Visual Basic.NET. IBM is also making a play for Linux developers.

IBM hopes to tap both sets through Borland's increasingly popular, cross-platform RAD tools for Linux and Windows.

"We are number-one in the Linux space that IBM has been trying to get more access to, and they want to prepare the Visual Basic customer base. The perception is that group of people is in flux," said Borland's senior vice president of software products Frank Slootman.

IBM director of strategy for database management solutions Jeff Jones called the deal one prong in a strategy that includes using DB2 with IBM's WebSphere and Microsoft's Visual Studio.NET suite to reach developers.

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