Borland upgrading IDE while preparing for Eclipse future

Open source Eclipse is growing at the expense of commercial IDEs

Borland Software on Tuesday will unveil a major upgrade to its JBuilder IDE. The release, however, comes amid uncertainty regarding the future of commercial Java IDEs, in large part because the open source Eclipse consortium continues to provide so much advanced technology to developers for free.

Borland JBuilder 2006 boasts peer-to-peer developer collaboration, new Java standards support, and productivity gains. At the same time, Borland, like rival BEA Systems, plans in the future to base its IDE on the Eclipse platform and its open source IDE.

Borland officials believe JBuilder will maintain market presence by offering features that Eclipse does not yet have, such as visual designers and advanced re-factoring.

“I think the confusion is that a lot of people equate Eclipse with an IDE, but what they don’t realize is that first and foremost Eclipse is an application integration framework,” said Rob Cheng, director of product marketing for developer solutions at Borland.

The forthcoming Eclipse-based version of JBuilder, called Peloton, is due in the first half of 2006. It will include JBuilder’s usability and collaboration features, as well as application lifecycle management integrations.

According to Evans Data, Eclipse has gathered a market share of between 20 percent and 30 percent in the IDE space. Growth is coming at the expense of commercial IDEs, said analyst John Andrews, COO of Evans Data.

“We’re seeing a growing appetite in the developer community for Eclipse,” Andrews said.