RealTime IT News

Borland Introduces Software 'Simulator'

Borland Software, which earlier this month announced it was being acquired by Micro Focus, announced today the release of Borland TeamDefine, a simulation tool for business analysts to create working models of basic software designs.

The problem for many development projects, as David Wilby, senior vice president of products noted, is that many projects start without really testing the behavior, and the later you get into the development cycle, the more expensive it becomes to make changes when users realize the app doesn't do what they want.

"Almost every analyst report I look at seems to be in rigorous agreement that poorly written requirements are the root of all evil," he told InternetNews.com. "However, we seem to be doing an equally shoddy job of fixing that problem."

Borland found that customers had to rewrite about 35 percent of an application on average due to poor requirements that could have been caught much earlier. The sooner a design flaw is found, the cheaper it is. Wilby said it can cost around just $150 to fix a problem in the earliest stages of defining an app, but $14,000 to change it when the app is at the deployment stage.

Enter TeamDefine. It is a rapid prototyping program to articulate and capture vague concepts into working models and storyboards. With TeamDefine, members of a development team can create browser-based simulations of applications, with or without a user interface, to understand features and functions before development begins.

This way, designers and end users alike can see the app in action, how processes flow, and how the app behaves. Wilby said this can be prototyped and running in minutes. Don't like how something operates or looks? Make some changes in the interface and hit the F5 key, since it's presented in a browser.

There is some integration with Borland's other products. For example, TeamDefine can manage all of its storyboards and simulations as a standalone product or with Borland CaliberRM repository. But it can't be used to generate an application framework, for example. Perhaps down the road but not now, Wilby said.

Borland is in the process of being acquired by UK application development and management software vendor Micro Focus for $75 million. That purchase, announced on May 6, is expected to close in late in this quarter or early next quarter.

TeamDefine is available now from Borland and its resellers for $3,000 per user with an unlimited number of simulation reviewers.