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
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 JDeveloper). 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
<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
<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
<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
<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
<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
<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