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Borland tools get personal

Company looks to bring personalization to the world of application development, mirroring a strategy employed by IBM and Microsoft.

Borland Software is bringing the notion of My Yahoo to software development.

On Monday, the company introduced a recast product line meant to give developers a suite of interlinked tools tailored to the specific tasks they do, much like the way Web sites, such as My Yahoo, deliver personalized information. Borland's move mirrors approaches by competitors IBM and Microsoft, which are also building tool suites for teams of programmers.

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Called Borland Core Software Delivery Platform, or Core SDP, the suite includes four products designed for various tasks within a collaborative development project, including design, programming, testing and gathering application requirements.

The individual products are integrated and can share related information, such as source code, models and application requirements, according to Borland. An individual has access to different functions and information depending on his or her role in the process.

"We have more and more customers saying they need to revamp what amounts to a global software factory," said Pat Kerpan, chief technology officer at Borland. "In that situation, it is better to move in with a role-based approach rather than push point products."

Borland has during the past three years assembled a so-called application development life-cycle suite. The strategy now, though, is to have a full range of tools that address different aspects of corporate application development, rather than build tools that make individual programmers more productive. With this recast product line, Borland will start designing its products according to individual roles with a development team, Kerpan said.

The products within the Core SDP suite include Core:Analyst, which has tools to capture application development definitions; Core:Architect, which focuses on modeling tools for designing applications; Core:Developer for writing and managing code; and Core:Tester for checking for program bugs and features.

Individual products will act as plug-ins to the Eclipse tools framework or to Borland's own user interface.

Borland competitors IBM and Microsoft have taken similar approaches.

IBM last year delivered the first tools from its Atlantic strategy, which calls for a common interface to a range of tools.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is expected to ship Visual Studio Team System later this year, which is designed for easing collaboration among developers.