Borland and HP stay mum on global software deal

Worldwide deal appears to endorse Borland's application lifecycle management (ALM) strategy

A worldwide deal between Hewlett-Packard and Borland appears to endorse Borland’s application lifecycle management (ALM) strategy — but neither party is prepared to talk about it.

Computerworld understands that last year Hewlett-Packard committed to rolling out the Borland ALM suite internationally, while in New Zealand, Borland had already sold a company-wide deal to HP.

This cosying-up of the one-time tools rivals reflects the changing landscape. For instance, IBM bought Rational and then last year HP bought Mercury Interactive, with the longer-term view of integrating Mercury’s key testing tools into Open View.

In the meantime, Borland has undergone a fundamental change in direction. It put its integrated development environment (IDE) business, CodeGear, on the block so it could focus its energies on ALM. However, nobody came up with sufficient money to buy the IDE business, and Borland has had to take that back into the fold.

Many critics claim markets for developer tools do not mesh with those for ALM. IDEs are typically sold as shrink-wrapped software at minimal prices — sometimes even given away free as open source — but ALM enjoys a much more lucrative, if longer term, enterprise sales-cycle.

Computerworld approached Borland’s newly appointed Australasia managing director, Mark Wilkin, about the worldwide HP deal, but he wasn’t prepared to comment. HP hadn’t responded to calls by deadline.

In 2004, the New Zealand subsidiary achieved a major coup when EDS dumped Rational for Borland and went on to adopt the ALM solution globally.

Borland has introduced its version of “open” with a new managed business process called Open Application Lifecycle Management.

Borland’s president and chief executive, Tod Nielsen, says Open ALM is Borland’s stake in a market that is quickly dividing into two camps: those choosing a flexible customer-centric approach to ALM and those intent on a closed monolithic approach.

“Customers’… existing investments in tools and practices should be easily incorporated into an overall solution, regardless of vendor origin,” says Nielsen.

“A customer’s software delivery process should be independent of any specific deployment platform or technologies, yet supportive of all.”

Open ALM enables customers to use any combination of lifecycle tools and any process, whether waterfall, Agile, RUP or customised. It supports applications deployed on a broad range of platforms and automates third-party data collection, to drive cross-process software delivery metrics and measurement.

The company has also released Borland Gauntlet, a continuous build-and-test automation product that supports lifecycle quality management, by continuously tracking, measuring and improving software through the application lifecycle.

Borland is currently working on the second phase of its ALM strategy, called Project Helios, which is understood to have an open source component. However, the company won’t release details until the roadmap is defined.

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Tags borlandapplication lifecycle managementHewlett-Packard

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