borland software corporation

Borland

Borland Software Corporation is a software company headquartered in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1983 by Niels Jensen, Ole Henriksen, Mogens Glad and Philippe Kahn.

In February 2006, Borland announced its intent to divest its IDE business, known as the Developer Tools Group, to allow Borland to be completely focused on the enterprise and driving its Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) business forward. As part of that plan, Borland acquired Segue Software Inc. (NASDAQ CM: SEGU), a provider of software quality and testing tools.

In November 2006, the company announced its decision to separate the Developer Tools Group into a wholly owned subsidiary called CodeGear.

On May 7, 2008, the company announced it had sold the CodeGear subsidiary to Embarcadero Technologies for $23 million.

History

The 1980s: Foundations

Three Danish citizens, Niels Jensen, Ole Henriksen, and Mogens Glad founded Borland Ltd. in August 1981 to develop products for the CP/M operating system using an off-the-shelf company. However, response to the company's products at the CP/M-82 show in San Francisco showed that a U.S. company would be needed to reach the American market. They met Philippe Kahn who had just moved to Silicon Valley and had been a key developer of the Micral. The three Danes had embarked, at first successfully, on marketing software first from Denmark, later from Ireland before running into some challenges at the time when they met Philippe Kahn. The partnership seems to have benefited all involved. Philippe Kahn was at all times Chairman, President and CEO of Borland Inc. from its inception in 1983 until he left in 1995. Main shareholders at the incorporation of Borland were Niels Jensen (250,000 shares), Ole Henriksen (160,000), Mogens Glad (100,000) and Philippe Kahn (80,000).

Borland successfully launched a series of blockbusters that included Sidekick, Turbo Pascal, SuperKey and Lightning, all developed in Denmark. According to the London IPO filings, the management team was Philippe Kahn as President, Spencer Ozawa as VP of Operations, Marie Bourget as CFO, Spencer Leyton as VP of business development, while all software development was continuing to take place in Denmark and later London as the Danish co-founders moved there. While the Danes remained majority shareholders, Board members were Philippe Kahn, Tim Berry, John Nash and David Heller. With the assistance of John Nash and David Heller, both British members of the Borland Board, the company was taken public on London's Unlisted Securities Market (USM) in 1986. Shroders was the lead investment banker.

A first US IPO followed in 1989 after Ben Rosen joined the Borland board with Goldman as the lead banker and a second offering in 1991 with Lazard as the lead banker. All offerings were very successful and over-subscribed.

Borland developed a series of well-regarded software development tools. Its first product was Turbo Pascal, using the compiler developed by Anders Hejlsberg. 1984 saw the launch of SideKick, a time organization, notebook and calculator utility, notable for being a Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) program.

In 1985 Borland acquired Analytica and its Reflex database product. The engineering team of Analytica, managed by Brad Silverberg and including Reflex co-founder Adam Bosworth became the core of Borland's engineering team in the USA. Brad Silverberg was VP of engineering until he left in early 1990 to head up the Personal Systems division at Microsoft. Adam Bosworth initiated and headed up the Quattro project until moving to Microsoft later in 1990 to take over the project which eventually became Access.

In 1987 Borland purchased Wizard Systems and incorporated portions of the Wizard C technology into Turbo C. Bob Jarvis, the author of Wizard C became a Borland employee. Turbo C was released on 18 May 1987 and an estimated 100,000 copies were shipped in the first month of its release. This apparently drove a wedge between Borland and Niels Jensen and the other members of his team who had been working on compilers. An agreement was reached and they spun-off a company called TopSpeed. They launched a compiler that became TopSpeed Modula-2 which exists today as the underlying technology of the Clarion 4GL Programming Language, a Windows development tool.

In September 1987 Borland purchased Ansa-Software, including their Paradox (version 2.0) database management tool. Richard Schwartz, CEO of Ansa, became Borland's CTO and Ben Rosen joined the Borland board.

The Quattro Pro spreadsheet was launched in 1989 with, at the time, a notable improvement and charting capabilities. Lotus Development, under the leadership of Jim Manzi sued Borland for copyright infringement (see "look and feel"). The litigation brought forward Borland's open standards position as opposed to Lotus' closed approach. Borland, under Kahn's leadership took a position of principle and announced that they would defend against Lotus' legal position and "fight for programmer's rights". After 6 years of litigation the United States Supreme Court validated Borland's position and Lotus lost the case.

Additionally, Borland was known for its practical and creative approach towards software piracy and intellectual property (IP), introducing its "Borland no-nonsense license agreement". This allowed the developer/user to utilize its products "just like a book"; he or she was allowed to make multiple copies of a program, as long as only one copy was in use at any point in time.

The 1990s: Rise and change

In September 1991 Borland purchased Ashton-Tate, bringing the dBase and InterBase databases to the house, in an all stock transaction. Competition with Microsoft was fierce. 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 and C++ outsold Microsoft's. Borland survived as a company, but no longer had the dominance in software tools that it once had. It has gone through a radical transition in products, financing, and staff, now a very different company from the one which challenged Microsoft and Lotus in the early 1990s.

The internal problems that arose with the Ashton-Tate merger were a large part of the fall. Ashton-Tate's product portfolio proved to be weak, with no provision for evolution into the GUI environment of Windows. Almost all product lines were discontinued. The consolidation of duplicate support and development offices was costly and disruptive. Worst of all, the highest revenue earner of the combined company was dBASE with no Windows version ready. Borland had had an internal project to clone dBASE which was intended to run on Windows and was part of the strategy of the acquisition, but by late 1992 this was abandoned due to technical flaws and the company had to constitute a replacement team (the ObjectVision team, redeployed) headed by Bill Turpin to redo the job. Borland was losing financial strength to project its marketing and moving internal resources off other products to shore up the dBASE/W effort. Layoffs occurred in 1993 to keep the company afloat, the third retrenchment in 5 years. By the time dBASE for Windows eventually shipped, a nice product and a heroic effort, the developer community had moved on to other products such as Clipper or FoxBase and dBASE never regained significant share of Ashton-Tate's former market. This happened against the backdrop of the rise in Microsoft's combined Office product marketing.

A change in market conditions also contributed to Borland's fall from prominence. In the 1980s, companies had few people who understood the growing personal computer phenomenon, and so most technical people were given free rein 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-1990s, however, companies were beginning to ask what the return was on the investment they had made in this loosely 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 new kinds of marketing and support materials from software vendors, but Borland remained focused on quality and software craftsmanship.

During 1993 Borland explored ties with WordPerfect as a possible way to form a suite of programs to rival Microsoft's nascent integration strategy. WordPerfect itself was struggling with a late and troubled transition to Windows. The eventual joint company effort, named Borland Office for Windows (a combination of the WordPerfect word processor, Quattro Pro spreadsheet and Paradox database) was introduced at the 1993 Comdex computer show. Borland Office never made significant in-roads against Microsoft Office. WordPerfect was then bought by Novell. In October 1994, Borland sold Quattro Pro and Paradox to Novell for $140 Million in cash, repositioning the company on its core software development tools and the Interbase database engine and shifting toward client-server scenarios in corporate applications. This later proved a good foundation for the shift to web development tools.

Philippe Kahn and the Borland board came to a disagreement on how to focus the company, and Philippe Kahn resigned as Chairman, CEO and President of Borland, a position he had held for 12 years, in January 1995. However, the parting was amicable as Kahn remained on the Borland board until November 7, 1996, when he resigned from that position. Borland named Gary Wetsel as CEO, but he resigned in July 1996. William F. Miller was interim CEO until September of that year, when Whitney G. Lynn became interim president and CEO and then continued to have a succession of CEOs including Dale Fuller and Tod Nielsen presently.

Philippe Kahn co-founded Starfish Software in 1994 and pioneered wireless synchronization. The company is now owned by Nokia. Kahn then founded LightSurf in 1998 after his invention of the camera phone in 1997 which he discusses in a recent NPR interview

The Delphi 1 rapid application development (RAD) environment was launched in 1995, under the leadership of Anders Hejlsberg.

The Inprise years, and name changes

On November 25, 1996, Del Yocam was hired as Borland CEO and Chairman.

In 1997, Borland sold Paradox to Corel. In November 1997, Borland acquired Visigenic, a middleware company that was focused on implementations of CORBA. 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 software, 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. dBase was sold in 1999. In 1999, in the middle of Borland's identity crisis, Dale L. Fuller replaced CEO Del Yocam. At this time Fuller's title was "interim president and CEO." The "interim" was dropped in December 2000. Keith Gottfried served in senior executive positions with the company from 2000 to 2004. A proposed merger between Inprise and Corel was announced in February 2000, aimed at producing Linux based products. The scheme was abandoned when Corel's shares fell and it became clear that there was really no strategic fit. InterBase 6.0 was made available as an open source product in July 2000.

Borland reborn in name and fame

In January 2001, the Inprise was abandoned and the company became "Borland" once more.

Under the Borland name and a new management team headed by President and CEO Dale L. Fuller, a now-smaller and profitable Borland refocused 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. Borland stopped open source releases of InterBase and has developed and sold new versions at a fast pace.

Delphi 6 became the first Integrated Development Environment to support web services. All of the company's development platforms now support web services.

C#Builder was released in 2003 as a native C# development tool, competing with Visual Studio .NET. As of the 2005 release, C#Builder, Delphi for Win32, and Delphi for .NET have been combined into a single IDE called "Borland Developer Studio" (though the combined IDE is still popularly known as "Delphi"). 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.

Former CEO Dale Fuller was fired in July 2005 after a series of financial and commercial blunders, but remained on the board of directors. Former COO Scott Arnold took the title of interim president and chief executive officer until November 8, 2005, when it was announced that Tod Nielsen would take over as CEO effective November 9, 2005.

In October 2005, Borland acquired Legadero, in order to add its IT Management and Governance (ITM&G) suite, called Tempo, to the Borland product line.

On February 8 2006 Borland announced the divestiture of their IDE division, including Delphi, JBuilder, and InterBase. At the same time they announced the planned acquisition of Segue Software, a maker of software test and quality tools, in order to concentrate on Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). The new spinoff is called CodeGear.

On March 20 2006 Borland announced its acquisition of Gauntlet Systems, a provider of technology that screens software under development for quality and security.

On November 14 2006 Borland announced its decision to separate the Developer Tools Group into a wholly-owned subsidiary focused on maximizing developer productivity. The newly formed operation, CodeGear, will be responsible for advancing the four primary product lines formerly associated with Borland’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE) business.

In early 2007 Borland rolled out a new company tagline, branding and go to market focus around Open Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) – defining it as the segment of the ALM market in which vendors’ solutions are flexible enough to support a customer’s specific processes, tools and platforms.

In April 2007, Borland announced that it would be relocating its headquarters and R&D facilities to Austin, Texas.. It also has development centres at Singapore, Santa Ana, California, and Linz, Austria.

On May 7 2008, Borland announced the sale of CodeGear division to Embarcadero Technologies for an expected $23 million price and $7 million in CodeGear accounts receivables retained by Borland.

Products

Current products

Borland's current product line includes:

Old software, no longer actively sold

Programming tools

References

External links

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