Applications

Borland updates its life-cycle tools

New versions of CaliberRM and StarTeam are intended to ease communication between developers and businesspeople.

Borland Software plans to update to its array of development tools this fall as it works to diversify its product line.

At its BorCon customer conference in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, Borland is expected to announce that in 90 days it will ship updates to its CaliberRM and StarTeam version management tools. The company will sell the tools individually and as part of a larger development suite for addressing the phases of application development.

With CaliberRM 2005 and StarTeam 2005, Borland is trying to ease communication between developers and business people who define what a custom-written application needs to do. The updates are designed to foster collaboration, particularly when it involves scattered development teams, and to improve integration with other development programs, such as modeling tools.

StarTeam, which tracks changes to code as it is developed, has been changed to better accommodate offshore development teams, which may not have a regular network link. CaliberRM, which is used to document an application's requirements, now includes searching as well as the ability to generate reports on the status of projects or bugs.

The two products are part of Borland's application life-cycle management suite, which also includes tools for application modeling and design, actual coding and debugging, and testing. In 2002, Borland acquired a number of companies to fill out its product line.

By creating close links among various tools, Borland is trying to provide the resources for a very structured development process, said Martin Frid-Nielsen, general manager of Borland's developer services business unit. Increasingly, application development projects require regular communication between businesspeople and programmers, he said.

"We want to get businesspeople involved...where they interface with developers and discuss projects and trade-offs in real time," he said.

The push into tools for the application development life cycle is central to Borland's strategy to sell products that complement its traditional strength in integrated development environments, or IDEs, which are used for writing code. The company sells products for both the .Net environment and the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) development and deployment standard.

Borland competitors IBM and Microsoft are also beefing up their life-cycle tools. In 2002, IBM acquired Rational, which sells a full development suite. Microsoft is now working on its first major entry into modeling with a Team version of Visual Studio.Net, which is due next year. Borland's application life-cycle products also compete with those from companies such as Serena and CompuWare.