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Mission-Critical Optimization
Borland VisiBroker 7.0 enhances SOA support and adds capabilities for more control over CORBA-based applications

May 8, 2006

Borland Software Corporation announced recently a significant new release of its VisiBroker product. Visibroker 7.0 is an enterprise middleware layer that is optimized for mission-critical applications and provides the ability to expose as services CORBA application functions in service-oriented architectures (SOAs). Concurrently, Borland also announced the release of the 6.6 version of its Borland AppServer, a high-level, J2EE application server that supports the J2EE 1.4 standard and can be embedded into applications and environments that employ tight integration among CORBA-J2EE applications.

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VisiBroker has a long history at Borland that began with a ten-year-old acquisition of Visigenics, which at that time was a supplier of a middleware product that was based on the CORBA standard. Though CORBA's prominence as a standard for building enterprise-class, distributed applications that required the reliability and scalability necessary for mission-critical applications gave way in the late nineties to Java and the J2EE platform, significant deployment of CORBA between the late 1980s to the mid 1990s means that many substantial "pockets in the world where CORBA is still a very viable and heavily deployed technolog" remain, according to Raj Sehgal, senior director of product marketing at Borland.

"At a fundamental level CORBA is just a standard definition of how you build applications to talk to each other in a very tightly coupled way," Sehgal said. Because today’s applications have a lot of complex, transactional data going back and forth, requiring a high degree of reliability, scalability, and synchronization, the integrity and the synchronization of the data needs to be guaranteed. CORBA, Sehgal said, is still very well suited for this role, even in today's enterprise environments.

Borland's middleware products parallel the company's application development tools and application life-cycle management (ALM) lines of business. However, the middleware product line, of which the lead product is VisiBroker, is deployed in a run-time production environment; the middleware is embedded in applications and invoked when those applications are run. In addition to VisiBroker, Borland's J2EE-based AppServer builds on the VisiBroker technology along with other ancillary products that support interoperability across multiple, different applications.

"For the middleware market, even though at a macro level CORBA is flat to maybe slightly declining, it's still, we believe, an over $200–250 million business worldwide," Sehgal said. "Borland has a market-leading share of that [space] in terms of licensing revenue. The J2EE application server is a well-tracked market, and obviously there are some big players like IBM, BEA, Oracle, and others. What we have is a smaller, but very healthy business with our J2EE application server, mostly on the high end, that follows the lead of the VisiBroker product line, and customers come to us for the J2EE business because they've been using the CORBA-based product."

Prior to these announcements, Borland was shipping the 6.5 versions of both products. While the 7.0 version is a major new release for the VisiBroker line, Borland AppServer has undergone a minor upgrade with its 6.6 release; however, Sehgal said there will be a major release of the J2EE application server some time in 2007.

Organizations can use VisiBroker 7.0 to integrate distributed applications that may be built using various languages, platforms, and standards. Enterprise data "locked" in older CORBA applications can be leveraged into newer applications that are built on other technology stacks such as Web services, Microsoft .Net, or Java EE. Applications native to the .Net platform can participate equally in a set of tightly coupled cooperating applications with CORBA applications written in C++ and Java. VisiBroker also supports MontaVista Software’s carrier-grade Linux operating system platform for telecommunications and data communications.

For more information about both middleware offerings and pricing, visit Borland's Web site.
Borland Software Corporation
800-632-2864; 408-863-2800




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