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Tony de la Lama is vice president and general manager of Java solutions for Borland. He is responsible for the strategic and technical direction, business development, engineering, and marketing efforts of Borland's core Java products, including the JBuilder development platform. JDJ readers asked him the following questions about Borland and Java.

<john rogers>: I have been a long-time supporter of Borland, all the way back to the Turbo Pascal days ­ what a great product! I also love JBuilder, but I'm an independent consultant and I'm having a hard time keeping up with the upgrade costs. There are two problems. One, some of the product features that I need are in the "Enterprise" version, but I'm not a "big enterprise" and find that the price of the enterprise version crushes my less than enterprise budget. The second problem is that full version upgrades are coming out twice a year, and there seems to be little price breaks for your loyal followers who try to upgrade all the time. I understand that license revenues fuel the development of additional features, but I think it would be great to have some sort of subscription (say $500 to $1,000 per year) to ease my small company (just me ­ president and peon) budget.
<tony de la lama>: We've heard from a number of customers like you who would like to move toward a subscription model and, of course, we took the feedback to heart. With the release of JBuilder 8, we introduced a software assurance program that includes support and all upgrades for a year for JBuilder Enterprise for $750. This is, of course, renewable. It sounds like this is exactly what you're looking for.

<dan doyle>: Will there be a forward evolution of JBuilder with Together-Soft as a complete project management tool? What does Borland view as a complete project management toolset?
<de la lama>: We're releasing the initial integration of JBuilder and Together JBuilder Edition in the first quarter of 2003. This is a great step forward but only the beginning of the tight integration you will see between these products.

Your second question is very interesting. Borland is committed to delivering a complete application development life-cycle solution that includes design, development, requirements, and configuration management and testing. Our Java development solutions for these activities are Together JBuilder Edition, JBuilder, StarTeam EE, Optimizeit Suite, and Optimizeit ServerTrace. These products support all the major deployment platforms, including BEA WebLogic, Borland Enterprise Server, IBM WebSphere, Oracle, and Sun ONE.

<mileta cekovic>: JBuilder has been my favorite Java IDE for years (and I also used Turbo Pascal, C++, and Delphi), but despite its six-month release cycle, it seems to me that JBuilder is losing its technical superiority against the competition and is playing catch-up more and more (refactoring, code formatting from IDEA, Struts integration from JDeveloperŠ). I'm not saying that JBuilder copied particular implementations from other IDEs, but that it's copying ideas from other IDEs. Will JBuilder continue to add original new productivity features and maintain technical leadership or just copy others' ideas ?
<de la lama>: I can't agree with your assertion that JBuilder is playing catch-up. JBuilder is the number one development environment for the Java platform. It's built by developers, for developers, with their needs at the center of its design. It's clearly the developers' favorite choice for a productive, easy-to-use Java development environment.

Of course, other vendors bring out new features ­ some are successful; many fall flat. As Borland and other players in the Java industry continue to innovate, the best features will be adopted on a broad basis. However, the industry is moving beyond point features. Now it's about how well products integrate the phases of the application development life cycle and integrate with other products. What good is an IDE if it doesn't integrate well with different application servers? Enterprise Java development now requires performance profiling as a part of unit testing. Why would developers want to leave their IDE to run unit tests and performance profiling? That's really where the differentiation is occurring.

That being said, JBuilder will continue to evolve and deliver the cutting-edge productivity features and ease of use that have made it number one.

<gerard lambert>: How will you manage the competition of Rational Rose (included in Borland Enterprise Studio) and the modeling tool that will result from the acquisition of TogetherSoft?
<de la lama>: That's pretty straightforward. Rational Rose has been replaced in Borland Enterprise Studio for Java with what we believe is a far superior product ­ Together JBuilder Edition.

<m. allen>: Why would I want to pay such a price for Java tools, when I can find comparable tools at a much lower cost?
<de la lama>: I love this question. What you're really asking is "Why is JBuilder number one?"

Developers have figured out that JBuilder is the best environment to boost their productivity and to make complex or tedious tasks easier ­ that's the main reason people buy tools like JBuilder. JBuilder is designed around Java developers and their role, by Java developers. JBuilder supports open, standards-based Java solutions. JBuilder gives you the freedom to choose your deployment platform and Borland will be here to support you tomorrow.

<kurtis williams>: Product after product, Borland's offerings almost always stand head and shoulders above those produced by other companies. JBuilder is no exception. Some of those companies (most notably one) invest substantially more in both capital and resources. How is Borland able to consistently achieve this level of quality, functionality, and stability?
<de la lama>: This really comes down to philosophy. Borland is about developers and open standards. We've touched upon this several times. Developers are at the center of design of every Borland product. We don't spend money developing proprietary standards or extensions so that developers are hooked on Borland products. We spend our resources developing best-of-breed solutions that make developers' lives easier and free them from lock-in to stack vendors. Developers continue to buy Borland products ­ not because they're hooked and switching costs would be staggering ­ they're not. Developers continue to buy Borland products because they like them and they meet their needs better than any other product.

<matt olsen>: There has been a recent trend in the Java/XML development tool industry to label products "Enterprise," move some functionality from their other offerings to the Enterprise version, and then charge a premium for that Enterprise edition. Borland has always had an Enterprise edition of JBuilder, but what has been bundled with it has changed over the past year or two. What does "Enterprise" mean to Borland?
<de la lama>: Well, depending on the context, "Enterprise" means quite a few things. In the case of JBuilder Enterprise Edition, it's directly related to Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE). We, and apparently most developers, believe JBuilder Enterprise Edition is the best development solution to build applications targeting J2EE-compliant application servers.

<sean bates>: WebGain Studio customers have seen their IDE investment go through two different acquisitions. Since Borland is now the owner of VisualCafé and has accrued some benefit from its acquisition, are they planning to pass this on to WGS customers?
<de la lama>: Many WebGain customers have already converted to either Together ControlCenter or Borland JBuilder. Migration tools are already available for both of them. This acquisition will simply make it easier for other WebGain customers to migrate to one of these leading application development tools.

<dave weaver>: What do you see as the migration path for Together users who have adopted ControlCenter as their sole Java IDE? Will it continue as a separate product, or will these users eventually have to switch over to JBuilder?
<de la lama>: Going forward, Borland plans to invest in both the JBuilder and ControlCenter product lines as each represents a distinct product "personality" (code versus design-centric). JBuilder will not be a substitute for ControlCenter (or vice versa). Therefore, a migration path from ControlCenter is not necessary. However, the company does plan to converge both products onto the same underlying technology platform within the next 12 months and many components used by both product lines will be shared. Examples include UML class diagramming, Web services, and pattern and application server support.

<david lowry>: What is the planned time frame for integrating the TogetherSoft and JBuilder platforms? What will be the new product and which portion of TogetherSoft will you keep?
<de la lama>: As mentioned earlier, Borland does plan to converge both products onto the same underlying technology platform within the next 12 months and many components used by both product lines will be shared. But customers won't have to wait that long to benefit from an integrated product. Together JBuilder Edition (TJBE) will be released in the first quarter of 2003. This product delivers the best of TogetherSoft's modeling, audits and metrics, and more, designed to work specifically with Borland's JBuilder.

<noches bellas>: With your acquisition of TogetherSoft, what will happen now with VisualCafé? Will it get scrapped in favor of JBuilder? If so, will VisualCafé owners get some kind of upgrade deal to JBuilder? Or would you be willing to make VisualCafé open-source software?
<de la lama>: The WebGain Studio Suite of products was acquired by TogetherSoft and is no longer available for purchase or download. TogetherSoft does continue to offer limited technical support to existing customers with maintenance contracts. WebGain users can already take advantage of migration tools available for both Together ControlCenter and Borland JBuilder. There are currently no plans to make VisualCafé open-source software.

<barry gaunt>: Now that Borland has acquired TogetherSoft, will we see a Community Edition of Together/J that can actually do something useful?
<de la lama>: Effective September 30, 2002, TogetherSoft discontinued support for the Together Community Edition product. However, the TogetherSoft Community Web Portal continues to be a key component of TogetherSoft's support for collaboration of our user base. TogetherSoft will continue to foster communication of information through active support of forums; helpful tips and advice for our products and services; and downloads of productivity tools, templates, and interfaces through the Together Community Portal. Customers can enjoy all the features of the Community Edition and much more by purchasing TogetherSoft's Together ControlCenter or Together ControlCenter Solo Edition. Note: TogetherJ no longer exists as a product, having been replaced some time ago with Together ControlCenter, now in its sixth generation.

<andre>: Does Borland plan to fully integrate the functionalities of TCC, JB, and Optimizeit along with increased Web services, XML, and mobile computing support ? If so: How? When?
<de la lama>: This question goes to the heart of the needs Borland is trying to fill. Developers need more than an IDE ­ they need a way to easily manage the entire application development life cycle, from requirements, design, coding, and testing to deployment. To answer your question directly, yes, look for Borland to continue to expand its support and integration of the entire application development life cycle in future releases of JBuilder

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