Impressions from BorCon 2005

After a kickoff by David Intersimone, Borland Icon and Developer Relations mogul, the opening session (delivered by Boz Elloy, Sr. VP of Software Products at Borland) set the tone and messaging for the event.

Borland is an enterprise Developer Tools company that Loves Developers, is a platform neutral company, does “one thing” very well and has had 18 consecutive fiscal quarters of profitability!

“We build Software for Software People”, Boz Elloy.

“These days if you’re in business – you’re in Software.

“If you turn off the bits – you turn off the lights!” 

Boz, and most of the executives said several times throughout the week, “Borland is ALL about developers. Whatever else we might do, software development tool is our DNA !”

“Everything is about the developer. 1/3 of software projects fail (in Japan alone that’s $90 Billion  wasted), 90% of software projects finish late and 50% finish over budget, and more than 2/3 of finished projects are not considered successful – but it’s not the developer’s fault – “Software developers are God’s and it’s the business guys who change the requirements, write poor specs, etc. that cause projects to fail“ (statistics from the Standish Group )

This affords Borland an interesting way to position their Lifecycle Management tools. It’s because of the business guys that developers need our ALM & SDO tools. 

Borland’s mid to long range focus seems to be “Software Delivery Optimization” (SDO) products and “Application Lifecycle Management” (ALM) products,  Borland has always made great Developer Tools and their ALM tools look great too.

They outlined three projects along this strategy line.

1.)    Project Themis

Deliverables in the 1st ½ of 2005 and focuses on roles based, team oriented design, development and decision support for Analysts, Architects, Developers. and QA Engineers.

2.)    Project Hyperion

Focuses on “Visibility and Predictability” by including management functionality and adds roles for Project Managers, IT Directors / Managers, Administrative Staff, and Operations Personnel.

3.)    Project Prometheus

Completes the vision to deliver “ERP for Software Development”. It adds functionality for Line of Business Managers, CIOs, CFOs, VP of Development, etc.

These strategies extend on existing products like CaliberRM, Together, and StarTeam.

As far as dev tools go Borland announced JBuilder 2005 (and distributed trials) and the developer tool code named “Diamondback”. (Developer previews were given to attendees that attended the evening preview.)

JBuilder 2005 includes support for Refactoring, Requirements Management with a built in CaliberRM client, and Security Audits (from Fortify)  They also showed some interesting code generation IDE features to insert Patterns Based templates from common Java Patterns (like the GOF patterns)

Diamond back is the next generation of developer tool from Borland. It is a multi language IDE that will support Delphi (for .NET and Win32) and C#,  Diamondback looks very  much like Visual Studio 2003 and Borland (led by notables like Rick Nadler & Danny Thorpe) has done a fair bit of work to make Delphi for .NET a friendlier player in .NET’s multi-language environment.

It includes Unit Testing (NUnit, DUnit, and other support), built-in FTP deployment, Multi-Language Architecture, many cool UI features for added productivity.

Absent from ANY discussion that I witnessed from Borland was any discussion of future versions of Kylix (Their Linux IDE), C++ Builder, and C# Builder.

One particularly interesting Java Session was on a Java & Corba to .NET Interop technology called Jeneva – developer edition is a free download at

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