Focused on improving its requirements management arsenal for software development, Borland Software Corp. on Wednesday announced its acquisition of Estimate Professional, a software project planning and estimation tool.

Borland is acquiring the technology from Software Productivity Center. Acquisition costs were not disclosed.

The tool will be embedded within the next version of the Borland CalibreRM requirements management system, Version 7.0, which is due later this year, according to Borland. Estimate Professional allows users to more reliably predict the required investment, time to market, and associated risks of software development projects before they begin, Borland said. This helps companies maximize the business value of their software, the company said.

Borland already offered the product as an optional bundle with CalibreRM, said Martin Frid-Nielsen, vice-president and general manager of development services platform solutions at Borland.

“We’ve already had a relationship with (Software Productivity Center) for quite a while, and the product is pretty complete as it stands,” Frid-Nielsen said.

“It’s more of a task of further integrating it into our products,” he said.

Embedding Estimate Professional’s capabilities within CalibreRM will help users predict staffing, scheduling, and budget parameters, Borland said. Additionally, the capabilities will flag problems and detect variances throughout the application life cycle.

“What we want to do is further the use of estimation in our products,” Frid-Nielsen said. He defined estimation as associating information about cost and timeline with projects. CalibreRM assists with team-based development and also helps product managers define the project itself, he added.

“What we’re seeing is that software is becoming more mature and process-driven, and we see that cost and estimation is part of that,” which is why the company is acquiring Estimate Professional, Frid-Nielsen said.

Through the acquisition, Borland hopes to get a leg up on rival products including Telelogic Doors and Rational Requisite Pro, Frid-Nielsen said.

Borland cited a list of expected benefits that users would receive through the new planning and estimation capabilities being added to CalibreRM:

– Linking of project scope, schedule and cost, resource allocation and risk management, so when one variable changes, a user can predict effects on other variables.

– Improving up-front budgeting and planning to gauge degrees of risk, likelihood of meeting deadlines or budget, and the impact on other projects.

– Adjusting of project scope to determine impact on deadlines and resources.

– Ensuring the accounting of quality assurance activities in development schedules.

– Preparing for project delivery via defect modeling and prediction.

– Reducing workload stress by planning projects according to realistic time schedules.