RealTime IT News

Borland's Core Delivers ALM

Borland announced this week the release of Borland Core Software Delivery Platform (SDP), its integrated application lifecycle management (ALM) system.

Previously codenamed Project Themis, Core is the result of several years of progress in combining the software development needs of programmers and business managers.

Designed to let architects, analysts and testers view an entire software project's workflow while providing a customized work environment, Core is broken into four components, or roles:

  • Analyst -- translates business needs and processes into software requirements;
  • Architect -- allows the architect to keep track of a project's progress, keeping code and models synchronized throughout;
  • Developer -- gives the programmer access to items like project changes and build test results;
  • Tester -- lets the quality assurance team stay on top of defect tracking and changes to the project.

A 2004 report by the Standish Group showed that only 29 percent of all IT projects were delivered on time and on budget. The remaining 71 percent were either cancelled, never delivered, didn't have the required features or functions, or came in over budget or late.

According to Borland officials, there are a lot of factors that can be attributed to a software project's failure: limited information flow/collaboration between IT and the business organizations; mixed software environments; project change management; and keeping track of outsourced components are just a few.

Since Borland began operations, it has focused on making tools that help the individual programmer, said Patrick Kerpan, Borland CTO, but it is a model that needs to be changed in today's software development environment.

"That's why we're making the distinction and not calling this software development optimization, but actually software delivery optimization," he said. "How do we break down the barriers between the business side, the analysts that work for the business side, and ultimately ensure that what gets built is the right piece of software?"

Borland's software delivery optimization movement (SDO) started last September when the company announced the impending launch of its first two products in the area, CaliberRM and StarTeam. The following month, Borland unveiled Together, the modeling foundation for Core.

To help unite the disparate components, Borland bought consulting firm TeraQuest Metrics in January.

Borland believes its platform and process neutrality will make it stand above some notable competition in the ALM space -- IBM and Microsoft .

IBM got a jump with the 2004 launch of Atlantic, the Rational-based code name for its ALM product. Microsoft, on the other hand, expects to gain some traction with this year's release of Visual Studio 2005 Team System.

Rob Cheng, Borland director of product marketing, said the company -- with its software platform neutrality catering to both Java and .NET -- doesn't have a huge global services division like IBM.

Sometimes, however, companies are looking for assistance in developing a software delivery platform to take. Kerpan said that need drove Borland to step up and bring in the expertise by acquiring TeraQuest. The new division will be used to provide the services capabilities Microsoft and IBM already provide.