RealTime IT News

Borland Works To Evolve Java

Borland Software celebrated the tenth major upgrade to its Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Java Tuesday by announcing an upgrade for Borland JBuilder, the company's flagship IDE offering.

The improvement, dubbed JBuilder X, will be released in three distinct editions by the end of the year, and is targeted to increase the productivity of enterprise teams, corporate developers, and code-centric Java developers.

The release marks the latest in a series of evolutions of the JBuilder product since its launch in 1997. Earlier this year, following its acquisition of TogetherSoft, Borland announced the Borland Together Editon for JBuilder, a version designed to help enterprises deliver Java-based software quickly and efficiently. Around this time last year, the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based company unveiled a co-branded version of the JBuilder product with BEA Systems , designed specifically to work with BEA's Weblogic Server 7.0.

The newest iteration introduces more than 100 new features to these older JBuilder products, and focuses on deployment of J2Ee, the latest version of Java runtime for the desktop.

"JBuilder X exemplifies the next generation Java IDE," said George Paolini, Borland's vice president and general manager of Java solutions. "[It] allows us to continue to support the ecosystem around JBuilder and offer customers additional functionality from our third-party community."

As Paolini explained, the JBuilder X product boasts advanced Web application development support that includes a standards-based visual designer for the Apache Struts framework, as well as comprehensive support for Borland's popular open source application server, JBoss. What's more, the product includes Borland's Optimizeit Suite 6.0 for performance profiling and Automatic Quality Analysis (AQA), and can be extended through the Java Swing-based OpenTools Application Programming Interface (API).

Paolini added that the product's "X" brand is a symbolic nod to the Mac OS X, a next-generation, UNIX-based operating that Apple Computer launched in 2001. JBuilder X is the first Java-based operating system to support the Mac OS X.

With features like these, experts say the new JBuilder product is designed to take Java programming to the next level, helping to ensure a Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach without sacrificing scalability like many of the other RAD-style Java development environments currently do. JBuilder X also appeals to users with varying skill levels, a characteristic that, according to Thomas Murphy, senior program director at META Group, also contributes to make the product unique.

"The creation of J2EE applications continues to challenge IT organizations who are still struggling to migrate skilled developers from other technologies," Murphy said when asked about JBuilder X. "Too often solutions seem to lock companies into specific J2EE platforms... that leave developers short without the tools required to design, develop, and maintain complex applications."

In conjunction with news of the JBuilder X release, Borland announced today that it has changed the licensing for its most basic version -- JBuilder Foundation, previously referred to as JBuilder Personal Edition. Bill Pataky, the company's director of product management and marketing for Java solutions, said that JBuilder Foundation, which is available for free, now can be used commercially through Borland's OpenTools API, which lets independent software vendors build plug-ins for the tool.

Aside from the free JBuilder Foundation, Pataky said Borland will ship two additional editions of the new product: JBuilder Developer and JBuilder Enterprise. The Developer edition, aimed at Web application and code-centric development, will retail for $1,000 per developer seat. JBuilder Enterprise, designed more for heavy-duty J2EE and Web services development, will cost $3,500 per developer.

All products were scheduled to be available by the end of the year.