BEA, Borland join on dev tool for Java Web platform

BEA Systems Inc. and Borland Corp. on Wednesday announced Borland JBuilder, WebLogic Edition, which will pair Borland's Java development tool with BEA's WebLogic Web applications platform.

Developers will gain a Java tool specifically tied to BEA's WebLogic Server application server as well as to other WebLogic offerings, includingPortal, which is BEA's portal platform; Integration, for application integration; and WorkShop, a tools product, officials of the two companies said. An initial version of JBuilder, WebLogic Edition is set to ship in approximately two weeks.

"We recognize the marketplace and that Borland is the leading Java development environment [and] BEA is the leading application server, so it was in our customers' best interest that we come together to offer this product," said Eric Frieberg, director of product marketing for WebLogic Server and WebLogic Workshop, in San Francisco. While Workshop provides a framework for development of J2EE applications, JBuilder, a Java IDE, is more of an enterprise offering, enabling developers to utilize low-level APIs and object-oriented techniques, according to Frieberg.

"This agreement enables us to offer hands down the best available platform in the industry [for developing applications on J2EE]," Frieberg said. "We went with the company that provided the most breadth to our customers," he said.

A Borland official concurred that the pairing links industry leaders.

"They're No. 1 in Java deployment, we're No. 1 in Java development," said Frank Slootman, senior vice president for software products for Borland, in Scotts Valley, Calif.

An analyst said the pairing would better enable BEA to compete with IBM, which offers tools to function with its WebSphere application server platform.

"This leaves [BEA] on equal footing [with IBM]," said analyst Nina Lytton, president of Crossroads-Open Systems Advisors, of Boston.

Both BEA and Borland will sell the JBuilder offering for WebLogic.

Representatives of BEA and Borland were not in agreement on when the new JBuilder product would be equipped with Web services development capabilities. While BEA's Frieberg said this feature would be in the initial release, Borland's Slootman said a version of the product featuring backing for Web services standards such as SOAP, UDDI, and WSDL would be out in the fall, following the first version.

Borland JBuilder, WebLogic Edition will cost US$3,500 for a single developer's license.

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