Borland stresses harmony

In the world of software makers, Borland plays the role of Switzerland: it does its best to remain neutral. At least that’s the message delivered by the company’s executives at BorCon 2002, Borland Software Corp.’s recent annual user conference.

Dale L. Fuller, Borland’s president and chief executive officer, kicked off the event in Anaheim, Calif., last month by addressing topics at the top of many developers’ minds. He acknowledged the fierce competition between Microsoft Corp.’s .NET strategy and Sun Microsystems’ Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE).

Fuller also referred to the increasing importance of the success of Web services.

“Steve Ballmer said that he is betting the future of Microsoft on Web services. Well, Borland has already bet the company on Web services,” he said.

Richard Todosichuk, a BorCon attendee and senior developer at Boston-based Eze Castle Software, also saw Web services as the key message of the conference.

“It’s a big thing throughout the industry and I think that Borland wants its customers to know that it’s in there and that they can do this too,” he said.

Simon Thornhill, Borland’s vice-president of RAD solutions, said Delphi developers are looking for ways to gradually evolve to a managed code environment, and are looking to gain benefits from this.

“This gives a great opportunity to seek out new business relative to Web services, and to go out and make a difference right now,” he said.

In the C++ world, Thornhill sees a refreshed opportunity in the mobile space.

Keeping their “Swiss” identity intact, Borland’s keynote speakers hailed from a variety of companies, including Anders Hejlsberg, a Microsoft developer and engineer, Sun vice-president and Intel’s Chris Thomas.

According to Todosichuk, this mix hit the right note for the audience of developers. “They were very valuable. I’m sure that I will be drawing back on that knowledge for months to come,” he said.

In the opinion of Len Lewin, a developer at Stony Plain, Alta.-based Seljax International Inc., the conference showed that Borland is on the right track.

“I feel that they’re really doing things to help us developers in keeping up with new technology,” Lewin said. “They’re doing what their customers are requesting and wanting, and that really impresses me.”

The conference touched on a variety of other topics, such as the mobile enterprise and the challenges of global development.

For more information on BorCon and conference announcements, visit http://info.borland