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Borland Rides Java Wave

SAN FRANCISCO -- Borland Software is hoping a little of that 'ole Java magic will rub off on its desktop this week.

The software firm made a slew of announcements Monday aimed at bringing more revenue and developers to its slate of platforms and services.

Central to its Java strategy, the company has expanded its developer-support relationship with eBay and its PayPal subsidiary; updated a software package that diagnoses J2EE applications with service-oriented architectures ; and become a core member of the Java Tools Community (JTC).

"As a global leader in the software industry for more than 20 years and the voice of almost three million developers, Borland has the opportunity and a responsibility to help the Java community meet today's challenges and prepare for the future," Pat Cerpan, CTO of Borland, said during his keynote at Sun Microsystems' JavaOne developer conference here.

The eBay announcement alone should bring in hoards of developers to Borland. The online auction giant has upwards of 25 million auction listings at any given time and is building a Web services-based affiliate program. The deal means that eBay and PayPal software development kits (SDKs) will become available to Borland's JBuilder developers.

This is an extension of the agreement between the two companies, which started when eBay granted SDKs for Borland's Delphi developer tools for the Microsoft .NET platform.

To make sure that it can stay in the hunt with Java distribution leaders like IBM and BEA Systems , Borland updated its Optimizeit ServerTrace platform. Version 3 works with both the J2EE platform and its SOA environments to pinpoint performance issues and help IT teams track software performance through development, testing and production.

"Application outages due to poor J2EE application quality and performance pose a tremendous business risk," George Paolini, vice president and general manager of developer tools at Borland, said in a statement. "Adoption of SOAs further heightens the need to manage application performance as often external dependencies are involved."

The new SOA view tracks AXIS/SOAP and JAX-RPC (Java API for XML-based RPC) Web services transactions so users can see how much time each request takes as it flows between SOA applications and Web services providers. Borland said the updated Optimizeit ServerTrace is scheduled to debut in August.

And to ensure its say in the future development of enterprise Java, Borland has joined the Java Tools Community as a core member. The company will now promote tool-friendly Java technology standards along with constituents BEA, Compuware, Embarcadero Technologies, Iopsis Software, JetBrains, Oracle, Quest Software, SAP AG, SAS and Sun.

The JTC was founded in January 2004 as an independent entity that advises the Java Community Process (JCP) on tool standards issues. It acts as a discussion forum for tools vendors to collaborate on making Java tools better, easier, open and more interoperable. It also functions as a liaison to elevate these important issues within the JCP and its member companies.

Borland was initially reticent about joining the JTC citing immaturity of the group. But back in April, Borland began calling for a formalization process between the JCP and the JTC setting the wheels in motion for the company to become a member.

Borland will now advise the JCP on Java Specification Requests and help resolve the so-called "toolability" issues as they pertain to developers' standards-based tools.