Borland chases ASP vision

Borland chases ASP vision

Toward the end of next month, Borland Software will preview a set of hosted application development services to be generally available in the fall, company officials said.

The services build on Borland's initiative that began with the November acquisition of ASP (application service provider) Bedouin. Although Borland is planning to host the entire application development life cycle, other companies, such as Merant, Compuware, and recent startup Westside, have brought point services to market within the past several months.

The overall ASP model, as promoted by Borland and others, has been somewhat plagued by user reluctance to surrender control of data to a host.

"Since application development is a technology piece, there is more of a comfort level working with an ASP," said Tracy Corbo, an analyst at Cahners In-Stat Group.

One customer reaping the benefits of application development hosting is outsourcer and systems integrator Electronic Data Systems (EDS). Company officials said recently that for the past six weeks its developers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) have been using the online marketplace infrastructure technology from ComponentSource to better manage the software components they need for building software solutions for clients.

EDS hosts components that have already been developed and makes them accessible on a network to its 10,000 developers in 12 countries.

Faster and easier access to components and the efficient integration of prewritten bits of software have made the application development process more productive, said Steve Heidt, president of information solutions delivery for EMEA at EDS.

"What we're trying to do is set a different stage," Heidt said, adding that he wants his developers to become "solution integrators" rather than authors of new solutions.

Borland steps up to mike as RAD host

Starting next month, Borland will offer hosting for RAD (rapid application development) that is based on technology from its acquisition last year of ASP player Bedouin. But Borland is not the first.

* Merant International offers AsAP.

* CompuWare's hosted service is Point Forward.

* Westside is a Seattle-based startup that named its service Westside.

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