Borland has announced its intentions to acquire software quality and testing products company Segue Software and to seek a buyer for its suite of integrated development environment tools. Borland sees both events as intricately linked, and the simultaneous announcements highlight the direction the company is taking.
Borland has announced plans to acquire Segue Software and sell its IDE tools suite.
The Segue acquisition will fill the remaining gaps in Borland’s already comprehensive application lifecycle management (ALM) suite: software testing and application performance management. This follows on from the acquisition in October 2005 of Legadero, a specialist in project portfolio management and IT governance, and the earlier acquisition of TeraQuest, the specialist in facilitating capability maturity models (CMM).
Borland is focused on fulfilling enterprise needs for managing software development and delivery. Indeed, this is a growth area, with its emphasis on governance and business alignment.
The integrated development environment (IDE) market has become a far more difficult one with its low margins and need for volume uptake – the popularity of open source software IDEs, notably Eclipse, has changed the rules irreversibly. To survive this, an IDE must be distinctive and evolve with the very latest advances for software developers.
Borland admits that it has not been able to prioritize development of its IDEs while its sights are set on the ALM market; the increasing divergence of the nature of these markets makes this news less surprising and perhaps inevitable. However, Borland is careful not to abandon its IDE customer base, and the successful buyer will be carefully vetted for its vision of how to progress these tools and service the existing users.
Whoever makes a bid for these tools will not find it easy to compete with the pressures from open source and freeware. In addition, the intensity has just been upped a notch with Sun’s latest moves, offering free access to Java Studio Creator and Java Studio Enterprise IDE.
For Borland though, the future is in the management of software development, an area that has been neglected for too long and where the crisis in software development (namely the poor track record of large projects) can best be tackled.
Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)