Days after Rational Software Corp was plucked from .NET’s orbit by IBM, it has emerged Microsoft Corp is warming up a potential replacement in application lifecycle management.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is evaluating whether to build new version control software, updating its existing Visual SourceSafe product and beefing up the company’s presence in application life-cycle management.
Visual SourceSafe provides code control for application developers, but is believed by analysts and competitors to be lagging in areas such as distributed project management.
Until now, Microsoft has relied upon application lifecycle management specialist Rational Software to round out such gaps in its portfolio. Rational’s own version control software is ClearCase.
That option, though, came screeching to a halt last week, when IBM announced its proposed $2.1bn acquisition of Lexington, Massachusets-based Rational. IBM is expected to tailor Rational’s products to its WebSphere Java development environment and the Eclipse framework, sidelining Rational’s .NET support.
A Microsoft spokesperson refused to discuss the company’s plans for version control software, saying it was not something Microsoft can comment on at this time. He added, though, more clarification would be provided next year.
One analyst, who wished to remain anonymous, said Microsoft should improve version control as Visual SourceSafe is largely a departmental offering. He said customers are now interested in enterprise-wide application development.
One of the things we are seeing from Microsoft is they don’t want to be pigeon holed as a departmental solution. Years ago, not many organizations had distributed development. As soon as that becomes something that’s needed in the 80% solution, Microsoft needs to also offer that 80% solution, the analyst said.
Borland Software Corp, meanwhile, is angling to fill the vacuum left in .NET’s world by Rational. Insiders at Borland told ComputerWire Friday that the Scott Valley, California-based is company in on-going talks with Microsoft to forge a closer relationship.
It’s a question of how and to what extent do we get closer with [Microsoft], a Borland source said.
Borland’s recent acquisition of Rational rival TogetherSoft SA potentially increases the appeal to Microsoft of a closer relationship with its number-one competitor for Windows developers. TogetherSoft’s ControlCenter product provides a single, Unified Modeling Language (UML) design, testing, code checking and deployment environment as an alternative to Rational’s offerings.
Borland also provides Microsoft access to much-needed consulting skills in application design. Microsoft could previously rely on Rational’s $90m consulting organization to helping enterprise customers design and deploy scalable .NET systems.
One of the things Borland offers Microsoft as a partner is a closer relationship with enterprise customers. Borland has a methodology, the Borland source said.