On 13 November 2001, MKS announced the integration of its MKS Source Integrity Enterprise Edition software configuration management (SCM) product with Borland JBuilder 6, Borland Software's Java development environment. The integrated product will be available on the release of MKS Source Integrity 8.2, scheduled for December 2001.
The integration of MKS Source Integrity and Borland JBuilder shows that vendors can work together to deliver a best-of-breed solution without the complication — and the risk — of a merger or acquisition. Application development (AD) organizations and outsourcers need a complete workbench of tools, not just for coding, but rather to support the entire software development life cycle. By integrating a Java development environment with a set of SCM tools, MKS and Borland are enabling developers, managers and quality assurance teams to view and track file check-in/check-out, file merge and comparison and repositories, and communicate with one another throughout the development process. JBuilder users will certainly benefit from SCM integration. Organizations that are evaluating such products can have confidence in the proven JBuilder and MKS Source Integrity combination pedigrees. Competitive stand-alone SCM products, e.g., Rational ClearCase and Merant PVCS, can complement popular Java development environments, but none are available as integrated products.
This new MKS/Borland relationship appears solid, but not truly substantive. The two companies will integrate their products and engage in joint sales and marketing efforts — and Borland will provide MKS with technology training and assistance — but the relationship lacks a compelling financial incentive. As they go forward, the partners should explore ways to reinforce the relationship by adding financial components, e.g., cross-company compensation or funding for joint research and development initiatives.
The complementary nature of MKS Source Integrity and Borland's TeamSource hosted development service (HDS) offers other possibilities for the partners to develop their relationship beyond JBuilder integration, with Borland offering Source Integrity as part of its HDS. MKS would therefore not have to invest in infrastructure and operations for an HDS of its own; Borland, having already invested in HDS, would be able to provide software services to the newly emerging AD market of outsourcers and system integrators.
Analytical Sources: Theresa Lanowitz and James Duggan, Applications Development and Maintenance
Written by Terry Allan Hicks, gartner.com
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