Borland's object of desire

Borland's object of desire

Borland CEO Del Yocam announced at Comdex that his company would be acquiring Visigenics, a mutiplatform middleware vendor. That acquisition means a large leap forward for Borland on its path to recovery, and it's also good news for developers reliant on Borland's tools.

Speaking in Sydney in the week before the takeover, Yocam was coy about what Borland was about to announce. Yocam was called in to save Borland one year ago after the company had experienced several years of steady decline. He had developed a reputation as a solid administrator, first in his position as Apple Computer's chief operating officer (in the good times) and then as the saviour of Tektronix in his time as CEO there.

Sound advice

Yocam's advice to Borland was simple: "when all else fails, ask a customer". The customers' answers have formed the basis of a recovery that has seen Borland making steady ground for the past three quarters.

The answer was object-oriented tools and platform independence. The Visigenics deal will add that company's popular object request brokers (ORB) - based on the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) - to Borland's historically Windows-based develop-ment tools. That will make it easier for Borland users to develop applications for non-Windows platforms.

An ORB is a container that moves information between applications that otherwise would have a difficult time communicating. Because the information looks common to ORB-enabled applications, ORBs enable client-side applica-tions to call up and deliver data from disparate back-end servers.

Rick LeFaivre, vice president of research and development at Borland, said Visigenic's ORB, called VisiBroker, is already bundled into the latest version of Borland's Java development tool, JBuilder. He also said VisiBroker will be worked into Borland's C++Builder and Delphi.

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