Feeds

Borland IDE segues off stage left…

Interesting times for Borland developers, once again.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Comment So, Borland is selling its IDE business (see El Reg passim; links at bottom of article) and buying Segue, a well-respected “quality optimisation” and software testing company (as well as a currently trendy verb: segue: \SEG-way; SAYG-way\, intransitive verb 1. To proceed without interruption; to make a smooth transition).

I wonder how smooth this segue will be? As usual, Borland leaves me slightly confused as to the future of its loyal IDE customers and Reg Developer columnist Tim Anderson has also been reporting somewhat confusing feedback from his Borland contacts in his Blog here, here and here.

When I asked Tim about this, he said: “There's no doubt that Borland intends to leave the IDE market – unless, I suppose, it can't find a buyer and changes its mind. Some key questions, it seems to me, are:

• “Who will buy?

• “Why has the disposal been announced before a buyer is found?

• “Will JBuilder and Delphi/C++/.NET be split (this is where I have conflicting information)?

• “How will Borland untangle the integration of its ALM and IDE lines in its dealings with a new entity?

• “Has Borland bled its IDE team so dry that there isn't a viable IDE company to sell? - This would be the force of an anonymous comment on my Blog with respect to JBuilder; Delphi is in a better state but note the recent departure of chief scientist Danny Thorpe for Google.

“It's not exactly a good pitch to prospective buyers,” Tim says. “There’s no money in IDEs these days, anyone want to buy our IDE company?”.

I put some of these questions to Laurent Séraphin (EMEA product solutions director, Borland) and, as you’d expect, he was certain that Borland was acting in the best interests of its loyal customers. Basically, he says, Borland’s IDE business is profitable, but Borland simply hasn’t the resources needed to service both its IDE and its ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) customers as it would wish. Its proactive announcement of the disposal is simply evidence of its transparent honesty and good faith; and he has every confidence that Borland’s IDE customers will find a comfortable home in the not too distant future. And there is considerable interest out there in buying the IDE business, but he’s unable to name names…

Nevertheless, I suspect the path to a bright future which is so clear to Borland will be less clear to its long-suffering supporters and customers. The anonymous comment on Tim’s Blog, noted above, suggests there may be some anger out there.

Which is a pity, because I have a lot of time for Borland still. I think its vision is correct, I think the development industry is moving inexorably away from IDEs (leaving them to Eclipse; and possibly Visual Studio) and that application management and QA is where the value-add is. I think Borland’s acquisition of Teraquest was particularly far-sighted (it gives it an almost unique process improvement capability for where it wants to be) and its acquisition of Segue is pretty clever too. It now has a really good ALM story higher up the stack where it can truly add value, and it still has some sort of a stake at the IDE end (even if this does end up “owned” by Eclipse).

On the other hand, Borland will now be competing head-on with the likes of Compuware and other companies with an established story in the Enterprise application quality management space. Serena Software CEO Mark Woodward, for example, welcomed Borland’s new direction: “Borland’s news is indicative that Serena's Change Governance strategy is the right one and validates what we see as critical in addressing changing customer needs. As this market evolves, tighter integration of life-cycle management is imperative to meet customer requirements. In addition, this adds muscle behind Serena's Eclipse/ALF initiative and solidifies the direction we have charted. It is great to see the category we are defining for our customers to succeed in effectively managing change is causing others to take notice and follow this charge.” But this rather implies Serena thinks it has this stuff covered already. Borland may find joining in rather tough going and may also find it difficult to carry a large part of its development community along with it.

Or, it might open up “application lifecycle management” and process improvement to the sort of SME that has barely heard of Compuware or Serena and thinks that rigorous testing is a pretty cool idea. We shall have to wait and see – but we wish Borland luck and are very interested in feedback from El Reg readers….®

David Norfolk is the author of IT Governance, published by Thorogood. More details here.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.