Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Borland Software Corporation (formerly Borland International, Inc.) is a software company , located in Scotts Valley, California, best known for its Turbo Pascal programming tool that has evolved into today's Delphi programming language.
The 1980s: Foundations
Borland was founded in 1983 by French math teacher Philippe Kahn, who led the company as it developed a series of well-regarded software development tools. Their first product was Turbo Pascal, initially developed by Anders Hejlsberg. 1984 saw the launch of SideKick, a time organization, notebook and calculator utility. In September 1987 Borland purchased Ansa-Software including their Paradox (version 2.0) database management tool. The Quattro Pro spreadsheet was launched in 1989 with, at the time, a notable charting capability.
Borland's release of Turbo Pascal is also famous because that was almost the only case in the whole history when Microsoft has experienced really serious difficulties due to rivals. Microsoft was the leading provider of programming languages before Turbo Pascal was released. When Borland released Turbo Pascal, Microsoft switched over to developing operating systems and application software, because Turbo Pascal's IDE was much better than Microsoft's pure compilers and interpreters.
The 1990s: Rise and fall
In September 1991 Borland purchased Ashton-Tate, bringing the dBase and Interbase databases to the house, however the high price they paid was to be one of the causes of subsequent financial difficulties, which were worsened when Microsoft launched the competing database Microsoft Access and bought the dBase clone FoxPro in 1992, undercutting Borland's prices.
During the early-1990s Borland's implementation of C++ was considered superior to then-market-trailing Microsoft. Also, its development of Paradox, with its ObjectPAL programming language, pitted it against software by Microsoft, in particular Access.
By the mid-1990s, Borland fell from dominance in the software tools market. Some people thought that competition from Microsoft was to blame.
Others felt that Philippe Kahn spread his company's resources too thinly over too many projects, in an attempt to battle Microsoft on many fronts. During Kahn's tenure, Borland introduced a number of then-obscure computer concepts that seemed to be promoted before the market was ready for them. The continued focus on pushing these technologies drained Borland's resources just when other companies were ready to capitalize on the growing acceptance of these new ideas.
Still others believed that a change in market conditions contributed to Borland's fall from prominance. Phillipe Kahn had focused on marketing to computer programmers. In the 80's, companies had few people who understood the growing personal computer phenomenon, and so most technical people were given free reign to purchase whatever software they thought they needed. Borland had done an excellent job marketing to those with a highly technical bent. By the mid-90's, however, companies were beginning to ask what the return was on the investment they had made in this losely controlled PC software buying spree. Company executives were starting to ask questions that were hard for technical folks to answer, and so corporate standards began to be created. This required a new kind of marketing and support materials from software vendors, but Borland under Kahn was slow to realize that the market had changed. Rival software companies such as Microsoft did a much better job of recognizing the changing market and supplying the information that corporations were looking for.
Kahn's personality was also a bit too colorful for many corporate executives to take. Stating he did not want to be a stumbling block for the company, Kahn left Borland in 1994.
The Inprise years
On April 29, 1998, Borland refocused its efforts on targeting enterprise applications development, and went through a name change to Inprise Corporation (the name came from the slogan Integrating the Enterprise). The idea was to integrate Borland's tools, Delphi, C++Builder, and JBuilder with enterprise environment sofware, including Visigenic's implementations of CORBA, Visibroker for C and Java, and the new emerging product, Application Server.
For a number of years (both before and during the Inprise name) Borland suffered from serious financial losses and very poor public image. When the name was changed to Inprise many thought Borland had gone out of business.
In October 1996, Paradox and Quattro Pro were sold to Corel. Corel also purchased WordPerfect to complete the acquisition of the software bundle previously known as Borland Office for Windows. The bundle of WordPerfect, Paradox and Quattro Pro is now sold as Corel Office.
dBase was sold in 1999, as Inprise decided to concentrate on software development tools.
In 1999, in the middle of Borland's identity crisis, Dale L Fuller replaced CEO Del Yokam . At this time Fuller's title was "interim president and CEO." The "interim" was dropped a few years later.
Borland reborn in name and fame
The Borland name (Borland Software Corporation) replaced Inprise in January 2001.
Today, under the Borland name and a new management team headed by President and CEO Dale L. Fuller , a now-smaller and profitable Borland continues work on Delphi, and created a version of Delphi and C++ Builder for Linux, both under the name Kylix. This brought Borland's expertise in Integrated Development Environments to the Linux platform for the first time. Kylix was launched in 2001.
Plans to spin off the InterBase division as a separate company were abandoned after Borland and the people who were to run the new company could not agree on terms for the separation. With the reenergized division under new management, Borland stopped open source releases of InterBase and has developed and sold new versions at a fast pace.
Borland made a commitment to the technology of web services releasing Delphi 6 as the first Integrated Development Environment to support web services. Now all of their current development platforms support web services.
C#Builder was released in 2003 as a native C# development tool, competing head-on with Visual Studio .NET. C#Builder, Delphi for Win32, and Delphi for .NET have since been combined into a single IDE, Delphi 2005. Supporting web services and now .NET is doing a lot to bolster Borland's image in the industry. With their consistent profitability, in late 2002 Borland purchased design tool vendor TogetherSoft and tool publisher Starbase, makers of the StarTeam configuration management tool and the CaliberRM requirements management tool. The latest releases of JBuilder and Delphi integrate these tools to give developers a broader set of tools for development.
The rounded-out set of product offerings legitimized Borland's new claim to the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) market, with tools spanning the software development chain from requirements, through design and development, to testing and deployment. In 2004 Borland rolled out its Software Delivery Optimization (SDO) marketing tagline, pitching the idea that SDO encompassed ALM in addition to higher-level software manufacturing concepts like portfolio management and estimation tools.
Borland's current product line includes:
- Optimizeit Suite
- Borland Enterprise Studio , for C++, Mobile and Java
- Borland Enterprise Server
Old software, mostly for DOS
- Borland Software Corporation.
- Borland Developer Network.
- Borland Code Central.
- Borland History: Will The Real Frank Borland Please Stand Up? – By David Intersimone.
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