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Borland Updates Silk For Web 2.0 Testing

Borland Software today announced the release of Borland Silk 2008, the first major architecture revision to its automated testing tool in two years, adding new functionality and language support.

The Silk line is part of Borland's Lifecycle Quality Management" offerings, which are designed to cover quality assurance and testing earlier in the application development process so problems can be caught sooner in the development process.

For Borland (NASDAQ: BORL), which moved from Cupertino, Calif. to Austin, Texas, last year, an overhaul of Silk has been a lengthy process, requiring almost two years. That's because it redesigned the structure of the application to make it more open and customizable while retaining backward compatibility.

"What customers have been asking us for is the ability to extend Silk, to make it more flexible, to support apps we don't support," Brad Johnson, Borland's director of product marketing for Lifecycle Quality Management, told InternetNews.com. "To do so meant either we abandon our old customers with a new product or we took more time for a new architecture. We chose a new architecture."

Johnson said the company wanted to give customer the option of adding languages or technologies either "we can't support fast enough or stuff we will never support. The open agent allows customers, partners and vendors to write their own functional automation support."

The move to Flex

Borland Silk 2008 consists of three parts. The first is SilkTest 2008, the functional and regression-testing product designed to support Web 2.0 applications and built on Adobe Flex. With this version, Borland replaced the custom object oriented language it used to develop automated tests in favor of the Java.

The second part is SilkPerformer 2008, the enterprise-class load and performance testing solution. This new version supports testing the scalability of Web 2.0 applications in Flex and AJAX .

Finally there is SilkCentral Test Manager 2008, which is designed to act as the test management console, handling test assets, security, and providing assistance to manual testers. It's been upgraded to greater scalability and performance over a distributed network.

Borland said it chose to emphasize Flex in this release because it's the best choice for RIA development in the enterprise. "The reason is you have a vendor to go to who is in control of the spec and will answer the calls. We're not neglecting AJAX, but there are 200 flavors of it. We went deep and complete with Flex, but we're working with an existing customer base for AJAX testing," he said.

Thomas Lin, senior manager for QA automation at education software developer BlackBoard, said he was most interested in the open architecture of Silk 2008. "The whole concept of automation is to build an integrated, automated framework," he said. "We use many tools, both in-house developed and open tools. So building an open platform that is easy to integrate and extend is something that's very desirable."

Borland Silk 2008 is available now from Borland and authorized resellers.