Borland to encourage developer use of eBay SDKs

Borland Software Corp. has entered into a cross-marketing agreement with eBay Inc. to promote software development kits (SDKs) from eBay and its PayPal unit among Borland developers, the companies plan to announce Wednesday.

This is an initial step in a relationship that could expand later to include actual software integration between the two companies’ products, according to officials from both companies. The announcement will be made at Microsoft Corp.’s Tech Ed conference in San Diego.

The agreement seeks to familiarize users of Borland’s Delphi development platform — which is designed for creating applications for Microsoft’s .Net platform — with eBay and PayPal SDKs.

The Delphi developers can use these SDKs to create or extend .Net applications for the eBay auction Web site and for PayPal online payment services and link them via open application programming interfaces (APIs) with their companies’ systems.

EBay and its PayPal unit have been trying lately to attract the type of enterprise developers who use tools such as Borland’s Delphi, to encourage eBay and PayPal use among large companies. Traditionally, eBay and PayPal users have been consumers and small businesses. The SDKs let enterprise developers build eBay and PayPal applications that feature more functions both for the buyers or payers on the front-end interface and for the seller on the back end of the transaction.

As part of Wednesday’s agreement, the Borland, PayPal and eBay Web sites will feature information, resources, tutorials, code samples and tools to encourage Delphi developers to learn about and use the PayPal and eBay SDKs, officials said. In addition to that, the SDKs will be bundled with the next major Delphi upgrade, they said.

“This agreement is putting us in front of the over one million Delphi developers out there,” said Greg Isaacs, eBay’s senior manager of partner programs and market development.

“We’re going to be making the SDKs available immediately to Delphi developers via our Web site,” said Michael Swindell, Borland’s director of product management for Delphi and .Net products.

Both executives said their respective companies will monitor developer interest in this initial push and said that if the demand is there, Borland and eBay will consider building deeper software links and bridges between Delphi and the eBay and PayPal SDKs.

“We definitely see an opportunity to provide additional integration depending on the feedback we get,” Swindell said.

In the meantime, the two vendors will be hawking the SDKs to Delphi developers at Tech Ed this week at their respective booths and via show floor demonstrations, the executives said. Borland will also participate in the eBay developer conference in June, they said.

It’s unusual for a software development company to partner with a consumer-oriented company to reach out to developers, said Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst at Zapthink LLC. However, these types of partnerships have become more common recently and signal a trend of lines blurring between traditional software applications and consumer-oriented online services.

The Borland-eBay partnership will be much more interesting if they do expand it and actually provide software integration of Delphi and the SDKs beyond what can be accomplished with the products now, Schmelzer said.

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