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Borland splits Together for Visual Studio .NET

Don't expect VSTS plug-ins from partners this year

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Borland Software is updating its application design and modeling tools for .NET to bolster customers using an increasingly dated version of Microsoft's developer suite.

The lifecycle management specialist has launched two role-specific versions of its Together Unified Modeling Language (UML) environment for Microsoft's current version of Visual Studio .NET - launched two years ago.

The products contain features for users designing .NET applications with the Object Management Group's Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.0 and those coding with Microsoft's increasingly popular Visual C# .NET and controversial Visual Basic .NET.

Borland's launch comes after Microsoft recently confirmed that the update to its current development environment, Visual Studio 2005, and the planned lifecycle management platform, Visual Studio 2005 Team System (VSTS), are again slipping. Both have been pushed back from mid-2005 to "second half of 2005".

Decoded, that phrase is often taken to mean the very end of the year.

Tom Gullion, Borland's Together product manager, said Borland's two products, Together Designer 2005 for Visual Studio .NET and Together Developer 2005 for Visual Studio .NET, will help companies using the current version of Microsoft's IDE get the most from their existing tools.

"There's a lot of hype and hope [around Visual Studio 2005]... we have a lot of customers who have to get the software out of the door today. This is the deployable platform for Visual Studio today and for the rest of the year," he said.

With the delay to Visual Studio 2005 and VSTS, partners of Microsoft's building plug-ins should be expected to deliver products early next year, instead of this year, he added.

Borland used the Together Designer and Together Developer launch to declare its own plans to support Microsoft's somewhat unorthodox approach to application modeling in VSTS. Microsoft is placing its bets on Domain Specific Languages (DSLs), which are expected to help application architects punch out domain-specific models, instead of fully supporting UML.

Gullion said Borland would "complement" DSL with the ability to transfer models to UML and support for features like tracing of code and requirements management expected through integration with Borland's CaliberRM product. Borland also plans a set of documents to help users "grab UML and Microsoft diagrams and pull them into some cohesive whole".

Delivery is of course dependent - as it is for other Microsoft partners - on Microsoft's ability to finally release VSTS. ®

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