Inprise to change its name back to Borland

Struggling tools vendor Inprise Corp. plans to return to its roots and change its name back to Borland.

After accumulating big losses in revenue and market share as Borland International Corp., the Scotts Valley, Calif., company switched its name to Inprise in 1998. But it was under the Inprise name that the company aborted a failed merger with Corel Corp. last May.

Inprise will assume its old name next quarter, officials said this week.

The company also announced an acquisition to jump-start its new developer service provider (DSP) business unit. The DSP group will develop a collaborative software development platform to link developers in disparate locations.

Inprise acquired Bedouin Inc., a Chicago-based development shop, in an all-stock deal. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Analysts said providing Web-based access to Inprise’s tools is welcome news, but they noted that the market for such services is small.

Inprise must “get the industry to see them as innovative and having the flair and resources to invest in new ideas,” said Yasim Natis, an analyst at Gartner Group Inc. in Stamford, Conn. “Large IT departments are struggling with building applications with developers spread around the world … but it’s a small group of people that have this problem,” Natis added.

Using Bedouin’s Web-based application development product, Inprise expects to launch the Borland DSP platform in January. The first release of the service will offer Web-based access to Inprise’s Java, C++ and Delphi development environments as well as source-code management capabilities.

Using Borland DSP, a company could track the progress of an application development project outsourced to developers in India or coordinate a joint code-development project, said Ted Shelton, senior vice president of business development at Inprise.

Borland DSP will be available as a server and hosted offering. Pricing has yet to be determined.

Rikki Kirzner, an analyst at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass., said a number of tools vendors have recently sought partnerships or acquisitions to expand the Web-based collaborative capabilities of their tool sets.

“Most companies don’t want to go to multiple vendors to buy the tools to design, create and mange code and content, which is essentially what has happened,” said Kirzner.