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CodeGear's Long Goodbye

Redmond Developer News was just getting started, launching its inaugural November 2006 issue, when Borland Software Corp. announced it would spin out its Developer Tools Group (DTG) as an independent subsidiary called CodeGear.

The timing, in a sense, was fitting. RDN arrived as a newcomer to the dev space, covering the new generation of tools and functionality built around .NET Framework 3.0 and Web development. And here was one of the old guard, Borland's tool unit (you know, the one that gave us the modern IDE via Anders Hejlsberg's Turbo Pascal), getting a new lease on life after languishing on the sales block for over six months.

Well, the lease is now up. Yesterday, leading data management and admin tools vendor Embarcadero Technologies announced it was buying CodeGear from Borland for the fire sale price of $23 million.

The purchase is good news all around. For Borland, it finally unburdens the ALM-focused organization from a dev tools business that it honestly had no interest in running. For Embarcadero, the acquisition positions the firm to innovate in the fast-growing arena of data-driven development. We can expect some very cool stuff to come out of this purchase eventually.

And for CodeGear? As Burton Group Research Director Peter O'Kelly said to me, CodeGear will enjoy "another lap around the track." Dev shops that use JBuilder, C++ Builder, Delphi and the new PHP and Ruby tools can feel more confident that those tools will continue to be supported and refined. CodeGear, in short, has a future again.

But more important, CodeGear will soon have some fantastic greenfield space to innovate against. There's more than a long industry legacy at CodeGear; there are a lot of good engineers and good engineering there. And those assets and resources are now going to be turned toward one of the most important and, honestly, exciting challenges facing the dev industry: enabling effective data-driven application modeling and deployment.

So CodeGear, finally, is no longer part of Borland. The once-mighty dev tools company with technical savvy and vision is no more. But now, ironically, it may be poised to do some great things.

What do you think of the purchase? E-mail me at mdesmond@reddevnews.com with your thoughts.

Posted by Michael Desmond on 05/08/2008 at 1:15 PM


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