Borland's CodeGear upgrades Java IDE

Newly christened CodeGear, Borland Software's subsidiary offering developer tools, will make its first major product announcement on Monday.

Set to be unveiled is the company's JBuilder 2007 IDE for Java, open source and the Web, formerly code-named "Peloton." The highlight of this version is it delivers on Borland's pledge to base the environment on the open source Eclipse platform. It is built on the Eclipse 3.2 core.

Eclipse's free IDE had precipitated a commoditization in the IDE market that made it tough for commercial vendors such as Borland to compete. But the new Borland-owned business unit seeks to accommodate developers accustomed to Eclipse by adding value. CodeGear has been careful to respect the way Eclipse works and seeks to complement it rather than conflict with it, said Joe McGlynn, JBuilder product manager at CodeGear.

"We didn't violate the Eclipse project model," McGlynn said.

Will developers pay nearly US$2,000 for the Enterprise version of JBuilder when the free Eclipse alternative is available? Whether or not developers will pay for an IDE depends on how much support they need, said Bola Rotibi, principal analyst at Ovum.

"At the end of the day, you can get the basic Eclipse IDE for nothing," Rotibi said. Skilled developers who know their way around Java coding may try their luck with the free offering first, she said. "However, a lot of commercial enterprises don't really have the time or the inclination from that perspective and are looking for [product support]," she said.