The last time I talked about Borland, the ‘Open ALM Company’ (its words, not mine) was when the company’s Pete Derry gave the keynote speech at the Agile Conference 2007, alongside its partner in agile crime, BT.
Now they are showing developers how to be agile with the launch of Borland Together 2007, a new release of its modelling product that (allegedly) will help companies increase business agility and lower application maintenance costs. So says Borland, and in particular the chief scientist there, Richard Gronback, “Modelling is changing - it’s moving from traditional architect and developer-focused tools to more business-centric activity.”
So what does Together 2007 actually do? Without getting too techy, it provides support for UML, ER modelling, BPMN and DSLs within a single tool. So rather than having multiple tools doing similar jobs and getting in each other’s way, everything is integrated together, neatly simplifying the software delivery lifecycle. This all fits in nicely with Borland’s so-called holistic approach to software development. As to whether the purported advantages manifest themselves in said fashion after implementation remains to be seen, but one imagines that this kind of product is well tested before roll out.
The key to all of this and in particular the saving money and being better for the business bit (as good software development should be), is the DSL toolkit. Enabling customers to create all those diverse domain-specific languages, to cut a long story short, produces a modelling solution ‘that aligns with the exact needs of [the] business.’
Now here’s the science: Together 2007’s capabilities include .NET support with C# code generation, a visual brainstorming notation capacity, extended QVT features (queries, views and transformations) and BIRT reporting (IT’s addiction with acronyms strikes again).
The suggestion here that we may possibly infer is that more corporate IT vendors have realised that development is not about IT. It’s about business. Together 2007 may just be a small tool in a big tool box, but it’s one that supports this growing trend.