Borland, IBM eye coders

Eyeing Microsoft Corp. Visual Basic and Linux developers, Borland Software Corp. and IBM Corp. on Monday revealed plans to collaborate on development offerings for Windows and Linux platforms on Intel hardware using Borland's RAD (rapid application development) technology and Big Blue's DB2 database.

Frank Slootman, senior vice president of software products at Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Borland, acknowledged that converting VB developers is one goal of the alliance.

"This is an opportunity for them to review the combined IBM-Borland application development platform," Slootman said.

Jeff Jones, director of data management strategy at IBM in San Jose, Calif., said the company aims to lure IT departments to DB2, which competes with Microsoft's SQL Server and the Oracle Corp.'s database software.

"We're on a push now to attract developers real hard to look more closely at DB2 as their database choice," Jones said.

Borland and IBM seek to enable enterprises to develop GUI, database, Web, and Web services applications, the companies said.

Beginning this summer, IBM will bundle 30-day trial versions of Borland's Delphi Studio Architect, C++ Builder Enterprise, and Kylix Enterprise with the most current versions of DB2 Universal Developer's Edition and DB2 Universal Personal Edition. Borland, for its part, will bundle DB2 Universal Developer's Edition with the most current versions of the Borland products that IBM is featuring in its bundles.

Delphi is used for Windows application development; Kylix supports Linux application development.

The two vendors also will develop a portal to assist developers interested in migrating to IBM and Borland cross-platform editions. IBM will host the portal on its Web site; both companies will market it.

Borland's arrangement with IBM follows the deal between Borland and BEA Systems Inc. that was detailed last week. Through the deal, Borland will provide a version of its JBuilder Java application development tool customized for the BEA WebLogic Web application platform. The first version of that product -- Borland JBuilder, WebLogic Edition -- is expected in about two weeks.

Ironically, analyst Nina Lytton, president of Boston-based Open Systems Advisors Inc., commented last week that BEA's arrangement with Borland would better enable BEA to compete against IBM, which has tools to accompany its own WebSphere Web application platform.

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