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Borland, Microsoft Move Closer on Databases

Building on its January promise to release a new Microsoft .NET development product this year, software tool developer Borland Software unveiled C#Builder for the .NET Framework Monday.

Borland also announced that it has expanded its relationship with Microsoft to allow it to ship Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 Developer Edition with the product. That rounds out its offering, which also includes full developer editions and developer licenses for Borland InterBase, Oracle and IBM DB2.

Widely regarded as the last major independent software development tools vendor left after IBM moved to acquire Rational last December, Scotts Valley, Calif.'s Borland has long pitted its developer tools against similar offerings from Microsoft, while also catering to developers on other platforms like J2EE.

But the move to include the SQL Server developer product with C#Builder is just one of several signs that the two companies are now ready to work closely together. As part of the agreement, Microsoft has agreed to create a Borland page where developers can get information about C#Builder, and which can be reached from the SQL Server Web site. The two companies also said they are planning to jointly host a series of seminars designed to show customers the benefits of the two products.

"Our ongoing relationship with Microsoft is further proof of our commitment to provide solutions that drive development of enterprise database applications for the Microsoft .NET Framework," said Simon Thornhill, vice president and general manager of .NET solutions for Borland. "With this agreement to include SQL Server with C#Builder, we are helping enterprise development teams to improve productivity and deliver better software, faster."

C#Builder itself takes C#, the object-oriented language Microsoft designed specifically for the .NET Framework, and uses it as the core of an environment that supports direct interoperability between .NET, J2EE and CORBA infrastructures. C#Builder Architect includes a full developer license for creating C# applications for .NET that can communicate over IIOP with existing CORBA and J2EE infrastructures without the need for extra bridges, hubs or translating, the company said.

Borland also noted that C#Builder is the cornerstone of a standards-based application lifecycle management (ALM) solution, with support for and integration with other vendor ALM solutions. However, the company is positioning the product as perfect for working with its own Enterprise Core Objects (ECO) for .NET because of its Unified Modeling Language, or UML , visual design features.

The company said that C#Builder enables smoother integration of the UML modeling environment development and runtime phases with ECO, creating a model-driven application design system which maintains the integrity of the design throughout the development lifecycle through to deployment. Borland said the two products will allow applications to seamlessly import and export UML models between the C#Builder application and a variety of external modeling tools, while from within the ECO platform customers can create and edit the UML model simultaneously with the visual model designer, powered by Borland's Together technology.

Borland said it plans to begin shipping C#Builder with Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Developer Edition worldwide this summer. Microsoft plans to make its Borland page on the SQL Server Web site available in July.