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JBuilder goes Eclipse

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Borland Software will roll out its first Java development tools based on Eclipse within the next year, answering growing competition from open source products.

A version of Borland's core JBuilder suite, codenamed Peloton, is planned for the first half of 2006, Borland said Tuesday. Peloton is part of roadmap that will see an updated version of Jbuilder, with greater code sharing capabilities, delivered later this year.

Borland is using Eclipse's Java Tools and the Web Tools Project to provide Peloton with common IDE elements like source code editors, wizards, database access and query tools at little R&D expense to Borland.

Rob Cheng, director of developer solutions, said Eclipse would become Borland's integration framework for its tools and application lifecycle management (ALM) suite, spanning development, modeling and testing.

Peloton expands Borland's initial, somewhat cooler, backing for Eclipse which for sometime only extended as far as Borland's Together Unified Modeling Language (UML) environment. Borland inherited that support with the 2002 purchase of TogetherSoft - an early supporter of Eclipse along with Borland's biggest Java tools competitor IBM, which went on to purchase Rational Software.

Borland, though, has turned to Eclipse as it has experienced price competition from open source tools, particularly against JBuilder, and witnessed a growing shift in software development tools towards integrated suites that offer a rich level of functionality.

Eclipse helps Borland provide an integrated suite using a common set of interfaces for common views and repositories to share data.

Eclipse also offers the promise that third-party ISVs can enhance functionality because it uses a framework that is increasingly supported by the community. The bonus is, since its already out there, using the framework reduces Borland's costs.

Chen said the common Eclipse framework provides the ability to integrate Borland's Core Software Deliver Platform (SDP) - the suite that wraps-up JBuilder with CaliberRM for requirements management, StarTeam for collaboration and Together.

"Testing has an operations component - it's not just a unit test. It's how does [the application] look when it's live," Cheng said. "There's still a lot more than can be done to tie together development, testing and the deployment cycle."

Ahead of Peloton, which is defined as a "small ball or pellet, or a small military unit", Borland plans JBuilder 2006. The IDE will allow developers working in distributed environments to share views of the same code and undertake joint debugging. JBuilder 2006 and Peloton will be made available for free to customers on Borland's support and maintenance agreements. ®

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