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Methods & Tools - News, Facts & Comments Edition - April 2005

*** Products ***********************************************************

* Eclipse Shines Brighter

During the last months, The Eclipse Foundation has announced a number of important changes in its membership:

  • Wind River became a Strategic Developer, bringing its expertise in tools for device-level software.
  • BEA Systems joined as a Board Member and Strategic Developer. The next release of BEA WebLogic Workshop will be build leveraging the Eclipse framework. BEA will also merge its AspectWerks project with Eclipse's AspectJ project.
  • Borland increased its participation by joining the Board of Directors as a Strategic Developer.
  • Sybase joined the foundation as a Strategic Developer and will contribute resources for a new project aimed at developing a comprehensive data management tooling framework.
  • Computer Associates expanded its participation by becoming a Strategic Developer. It will propose and lead an enterprise management tools project.

Eclipse has a Board of Director drawn from four classes of memberships: Strategic Developers, Strategic Consumers, Add-in Providers and Open Source project leaders. Eclipse currently counts more than 90 companies in its membership.

This confirms the leadership of Eclipse as the open source framework for integrating software development tools. Only Sun is fighting against this trend by continuing its solitary way with the NetBeans IDE. It is true that many of the large companies join Eclipse with their own "pet project". Some are leaving all options open, like for instance Borland which has still its own IDE and supports Microsoft Visual Studio. Nevertheless, I think that the Eclipse framework provides a fair opportunity for smaller companies in the software development tools market to integrate their product with others and reach a larger audience.

more info on


* Product News

You can view the last product press releases from software development tools vendors on our forum

*** Companies **********************************************************

* Adobe Buys Macromedia

Adobe will acquire Macromedia in an all-stock transaction valued at more than $3.0 billion. This will create a company with a large offering of content management software with the following products: Acrobat, PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, Flash and Breeze.

The new company will be able to compete against Microsoft in the PC market. Macromedia has already a lead in other content management markets, like mobile phones for instance with recent deals with Nokia and Samsung. As far as software development is concerned, there is a true risk that the Coldfusion product, already a minor business for Macromedia, will suffer from the acquisition by Adobe.


* Telelogic in Acquisition Mood

The Swedish company Telelogic has announced the acquisition of Popkin Software, the US based editor of System Architect for $ 45 million in cash. Popkin's revenues for 2004 were $ 19.1 million and it had currently 108 employees. Telelogic has also launched a bid to buy Focal Software. With 26 employees, Focal Software develops and sells web-based solutions for decision support in product development and project portfolio analysis. Founded in 1983, Telelogic has currently more than 750 employees. Its main products are DOOR, a tool for requirements management, TAU dedicated to design, implementation & tests and SYNERGY for configuration management.

With these acquisitions, Telelogic completes its product portfolio and expand its market opportunities. In this relatively good year for software development tools vendors, you can expect other acquisitions or mergers. In this case, Jan Popkin has found for his company a partner that will allow him to develop its product.


* IBM Pushes PHP

In February IBM announced an agreement with Zend Technologies to propose a new solution based on PHP. This solution will integrate IBM's Cloudscape, a 100% Pure Java SQL object-relational DBMS based on Apache Derby, and Zend PHP open source environment. IBM will also propose integration between PHP and DB2. The PHP's access driver for Cloudscape will be available in the second quarter of 2005 from IBM's developer portal.

After its commercial collaboration with Sun and its contribution to the standard for integrating script languages in Java, this new agreement reinforces the position of Zend (and PHP) as a major player in the area of Web scripting languages. In a recent Computerworld survey (see below), PHP was used by 16% of the participants, not too bad for a relatively young language which is not officially supported by a big company.


* Company News

You can view the last company press releases from software development tools vendors on our forum

*** Numbers ************************************************************

* Oracle Still Ahead

According to IDC, Oracle is still the world leader in the relational database market with a market share of 41.3 %, before IBM with 30.6% and Microsoft with 13.4%. The market grew 12% in 2004 to $ 15 billion. The growth in number license numbers has been even higher as there was a price war between these three companies. They are fighting against each other and against the growing relevance of open source DBMS solutions.


* C# or Java?

At the end of 2004 Computerworld conducted a study amongst 966 of its subscribers. Here are some of the answers.

As far as development language usage in company was concerned, C# got the higher rate of answers with 72% before Java (66%), Visual Basic (62%), C++ (54%) and JavaScript (50%). The preferred framework was .Net for 51% of participants and J2EE for 42%. However, in another question considering only Java and .Net, 37% said that their organisation was using mostly Java versus 23% for an equal usage of both and 26% for using mostly .Net. It is therefore difficult to determine where the leadership is in the battle between .Net and Java.

In a question about UML usage, 33% of participants were using this modelling technique, 48% were not using it and 13% were planning to use it in the future. This last number tells a lot about the speed of technological change as we can certainly not label UML as a new technology. This could be also a "politically correct" answer to express that the organisation could evolve...

In the open source area, 51% of participants use open-source code in their applications and 29% develop Linux applications.



* Adoption of Agile Methods

After the publication of our Winter 2004 PDF issue focused on the agile approaches, the current M&T poll looks at what stage is the adoption of agile methods (XP, Scrum, FDD, etc.)

Go to [vote] to participate and to see intermediate results. The final results will be published in a future issue.

*** Conferences ********************************************************

* European SEPG 2005: 13 - 16 June, London

You are warmly invited to join Europe's Process Improvement event of the year, where practitioners and gurus from Europe and around the world gather to exchange experience, knowledge and latest thinking. More than 80 presentations, tutorials and workshops paint a global picture of process improvement in action: techniques and approaches, return on investment, people issues and business focus. The event provides four days of learning and networking - equipping you with practical advice and inspiration that will directly benefit your process improvement initiative. Rapid growth in European expertise will be demonstrated, and the Software Engineering Institute will discuss developments with the CMMIR v1.2 and related technologies. You will also have the opportunity to meet some of Europe's leading process improvement support organisations, in an exhibition showcase.


* SPLC-Europe'05, September 26-29, Rennes, France

SPLC-Europe’05 celebrates the foundation of a new conference series, the International Software Product Line Conference resulting from the merger of SPLC and PFE. SPLC is THE premier forum for practitioners and researchers to present and discuss the most recent ideas, innovations, and experiences in the area of software product lines engineering.


* Agile Business Conference, September 27-28, London

Keynote sessions from Craig Larman, Martin Fowler and Tom Gilb. This year’s focus is on Agile methods in action with case studies and workshops. Early Booking Discounts now available.

*** M&T News ***********************************************************

In the Summer 2005 issue published at the end of June, you will find articles about:

* Use Case Driven Development

* Guiding Development with Acceptance Tests



The content of this publication cannot be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher - Copyright (C) 2005, Martinig & Associates

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