Borland grows from strength to strength


Market Analysis

Borland grows from strength to strength
Borland capped off a busy month with another acquisition last week. This time it was TogetherSoft, a clever little firm that touts first rate development suites - making it a prime selection for Borland's increasingly powerful round table.

TogetherSoft, which has developed a respectable customer base over the years, will cost Borland around $185 million in a cash and stock purchase. It seemed the investors liked the news as the stock price trickled upwards. Overall this will bolster Borland's presence quite considerably, when you throw in the earlier October acquisition of Starbase which we'll come to in a moment. Development centres, new sales staff, it all adds up to a grand force.

Borland of course was after the technology from TogetherSoft. Its core product is the 'Together ControlCenter' which is probably best defined as a model-driven development suite as opposed to a model-driven application development environment (ADE). The difference being that the latter will be based on some form of 4GL or similar language, while ControlCenter is based on model-based code generation. That makes it a lovely complement to Borland's solutions.

Earlier in the year, TogetherSoft went out on the acquisition trail itself snapping up WebGain--another member of the competition--with it's WebGain Studio ADE. Interestingly at the time of this acquisition it was rumoured

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that Borland had been gunning for WebGain itself only to be pipped to the post by TogetherSoft. Now that circle is complete. Borland scoops the lot.

This pair, in fact all three of them, had already been working together as part of the Eclipse project anyway. Eclipse is an initiative aimed at offering a platform through which multiple tools can be integrated to create a best of breed Application Development Environment. Best of breed meaning that a customer could pick and choose from any number of Eclipse compliant vendors, including Borland, IBM, Merant, QNX Software Systems, Rational Software, Red Hat, SuSE, TogetherSoft, and WebGain. Presumably Borland feels there is strength to be gained from pulling some of these relationship closer.

Then of course there is the October 9th 2002 acquisition of Starbase to factor in to this equation. Borland paid $24 million for it only a few weeks ago. Again it's a development environment software vendor, specializing in requirements management, version control, collaboration, and defection detection, and it's a nice fit with Borland's products, aims and objectives. Right now Borland is looking positively formidable.

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