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Borland, Oracle heat up Java tools

Borland is set to ship an update to its popular development tool, JBuilder. Already available: the Oracle 9i Developer Suite, for those building Web-based software.

Borland and Oracle are brewing new versions of their Java software development tools.

Borland this week will ship an update to its popular JBuilder tool. The new version integrates with two other Borland products: testing software that allows programmers to improve their software code, and an application that manages software projects.

Oracle, meanwhile, is shipping its Oracle 9i Developer Suite, a set of tools that Java and SQL developers can use to build their Web-based software. It includes the 9i JDeveloper Java development application and tools for building data warehousing and analysis systems, through which companies can examine business information and seek out patterns and trends, such as online buyers' preferences.

Like many large software companies, Borland and Oracle sell low-cost programming tools at minimal profit in the hope that businesses will use the tools to build software that runs on more expensive--and profitable--products, such as application-server software or database management systems. But while Oracle gears its tools to its own developers, Borland also markets its tools to businesses that buy their software from other makers.

Borland's new JBuilder 7 Java tool includes support for Web services, an emerging trend in software development, and better integration with Borland's Optimizeit Suite of testing tools. It also integrates with the company's TeamSource DSP product, Web-based software that allows programmers to collaborate on their projects and communicate via the Internet.

The company also announced a revamped version of its Borland Enterprise Studio for Java, a package of software that combines the JBuilder 7 tool; Borland's application-server software for running e-business and Web site transactions; Macromedia's DreamWeaver software for building Web sites; and Rational Software's Rational Rose tool, a visual modeling tool that allows programmers to build graphical representations of software.

Borland this week will also show a preview of its C++ development tool for building software for cellular phones--such as Nokia's--that run on the Symbian operating system. A test version of the C++ tool will be available in the second half of 2002, the company said.

Borland did not announce pricing for the new tools.

Oracle's developer tools suite, previously available as a test version, features three new pieces: the Software Configuration Manager, which allows businesses to manage software development projects; the Clickstream Intelligence Builder, which can give reports on Web sites, such as Web traffic; and Business Intelligence Beans, prewritten software code supporting charts and graphics for reports.

The suite of tools can be downloaded at no cost from Oracle's Web site. Oracle will charge $5,000 per developer once a business starts using software developed with the tools.