Borland is to ship Entera 4.0 next week, as part of the company's transformation in the wake of last year's acquisition of toolmaker Visigenic. During the next few months the company is expected to announce a host of enhancements to its development tools family and a new direction and focus, beginning with the Entera middleware product. According to analysts, the company's new strategy is to distance itself from Microsoft's competing tools such as Visual Basic. The main thrust of Entera version 4.0, according to Borland, is to bring the product in line with the Visigenic ORB (Object Request Broker). In an exclusive interview with PC Week, Brian Ledbetter, Borland's newly appointed enterprise product manager for Western Europe, said: "We want to make (our Entera) middleware easy for people who develop in visual programming tools, like Delphi, to use. "We are also going through an image change in the next couple of months to focus on enterprise client server applications and integrating information systems," he said. He explained that Delphi Enterprise Edition already offers some aspects of this and that Borland C++ Builder will be the next development tool in line. When the new C++ Builder Enterprise Edition ships in mid February, it will include both the Visigenic ORB and Entera 4.0 middleware. "Our strategy is all about taking out the complexity associated with developing with middleware," said Ledbetter. Rosemary Rock-Evans, an associate at analyst group Ovum, said that previously, Delphi was too like Visual Basic. "The company needs to move to a different market," she argued. Rock-Evans predicted that by embracing different flavours of middleware, Borland is positioning itself to compete with high end tools companies like Forte and Dynasty. "I think (Borland) has a chance to establish itself here," she added. Borland is now close to finalising its acquisition of Visigenic, having successfully undergone an anti-trust investigation by the US Department of Justice. This will allow the company to move forward quickly on incorporating the Visigenic ORB across its product line.
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