Another tools vendor buys into hosting

Looking to remain viable in the highly competitive market for application development tools, Borland plans to branch out into the hosting business, beginning with the acquisition of ASP Bedouin.

"We realised there is a hole to be filled in hosting the whole set of application development life-cycle tools," said Ted Shelton, vice president of corporate business at Borland.

Shelton added that Borland will offer a service to help companies manage the application development life cycle.

Analysts said as developer shops span the globe with geographically dispersed teams, they can reduce costs and speed time to market with a one-stop shop.

"It makes a lot of sense to offer an end-to-end solution, and most companies can't really grow that organically so they have to do it with partnerships and acquisitions," said Knecko Burney, an analyst at market research firm Cahners In-Stat Group.

Indeed, Borland is not the first tools vendor to host its wares.

In September, Merant International created Merant ASaP, a service in which tools are rented to help developers manage, track and communicate during the application development process.

In the same month, Compuware rolled out a hosted service called Point Forward, which is aimed at helping companies test their Web sites.

Whereas Merant and Compuware developed their own service provider programs, Borland has obtained its infrastructure and manpower from Bedouin.

To facilitate the move into the ASP arena Borland created a fourth business unit, Borland Developer Services.