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Embarcadero Buys CodeGear for $23M: New Life for JBuilder?

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Embarcadero Technologies, a privately held database tools vendor, today announced a definitive agreement to purchase Borland's CodeGear division for $23 million. The deal is expected to close within 30-60 days and will propel Embarcadero into the league of the world's largest independent ISVs for developer tools. CodeGear's product line spans nearly all significant development platforms and languages, including Java, Windows, C++, Delphi, PHP and Ruby.

“CodeGear is a recognized leader with a loyal developer community and established global channels,” said Wayne Williams, CEO of Embarcadero Technologies. “By incorporating its strong product portfolio, Embarcadero will be positioned to expand into new markets and develop cutting-edge products that are a quantum leap for the industry. The combination of our companies will unlock enormous potential for our customers and partners.”

This marks the end of an era that began when Philippe Kahn introduced Turbo-Pascal for $49 over 25 years ago. Borland's original entry into the developer tools space utterly disrupted the market and reset developer expectations for product value. In later years, however, the company seemed to lose sight of that vision and ended up increasing prices by literally 10,000% for so-called "enterprise" products. Although widely praised for its power, the company's JBuilder product line faced a daunting challenge to remain competitive in a market where most developer tools cost nothing at all.

So, where will Embarcadero take this? Does this mean a new lease on life for JBuilder? What would your strategy be if you were in charge of this takeover? How does JBuilder's transition to an Eclipse-based foundation factor into the picture?



Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Wed, 2008/05/07 - 10:49am

I would very closely integrate Atisan with code development using templates and a glue language so that you can easily tie in with J2EE, JPA, Hibernate, and any other POJO and DTO flavor with database development.  I would see if I could exploit new techniques to exploit stored procedures.


James Cook replied on Wed, 2008/05/07 - 12:01pm

Hell, if I knew they would have sold it so cheap, I would of cracked open my piggy bank.

So, now this leaves Borland with, ummm, ahhh,  hrrmm?

I see a new record low in our future.


Berry Crawford replied on Wed, 2008/05/07 - 12:08pm

JBuilder has some nice visual tools, but if I was its owner, Id rip them out and sell them as Eclipse plugins.  Or do they already do that and Im unaware of it?

James Cook replied on Wed, 2008/05/07 - 1:11pm in response to: Berry Crawford

You're not far off. JBuilder is a set of plugins for Eclipse already.

JBuilder 2008 Turbo is a free version and the next level is $475, and theEnterprise is $1,474. Maybe the next time I have to use Eclipse I'll d/l the turbo version as a starting point.

There is a feature matrix that compares the versions.



Collin Fagan replied on Wed, 2008/05/07 - 1:20pm in response to: James Cook

Well they still have StarTeam, which is a competitor to Rational ClearCase/ClearQuest and some other enterprise class applications.  They have been trying for years to get rid of their IDE division. Remember when they renamed themselves Inrpize? They were looking for a buyer back then too. The original JBuilder lives on as Oracle JDevloper and the new JBuilder is more of a customized Eclipse. I wish the people at CodeGear the best. It's got to be hard to work for a division that management has been trying to get rid of.

Jeroen Wenting replied on Thu, 2008/05/08 - 1:52am

JDeveloper has diverged so much from JBuilder there's probably very little of the old JB 3 on which it is based left in there.

My guess is that Embarcadero wants the people rather than the products. Expect a major hack and slash soonish in the product line, with the remaining stuff being refocussed on specifically supporting other Embarcadero technology.

Siamak sarmady replied on Thu, 2008/05/08 - 3:41am

It's a shame. A few years ago when they changed all their investement and focus toward java and JBuilder, I predicted these times. Their most important product was Delphi and it took them a long time to give Delphi 8 out after the successful delphi 7.  It took them years before they can decide what they want to do about .NET. They thought win32 will die and they will not be able to compete with C#. At that time I looked at the stock and decided that I should no more continue with delphi.

Anyway I think  they should go exactly the way MyEclipse goes. A subscription based quality Eclipse based java IDE which offers much more than Eclipse itself. However I am not sure if they have enough resources to compete with genuitec.

 For their Delphi/C# etc platform I think they might be able to bring it up again (perhaps on win32/.NET and perhaps JVM), if they cannot they should rather make it open source (like netbeans, under their control and support). Their Delphi for Linux could have been open sourced. They should then open source every other product they can not maintain. Perhaps the community can do something.




Genady Beryozkin replied on Fri, 2008/05/16 - 3:11pm

They changed focus (Borland/Inprise, c++/java/delphi and the various java tools) too many times.


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