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Methods & Tools - News, Facts & Comments Edition - November 2006

*** News ***************************************************************

* Borland Keeps Coding

Borland is separating its development tools group (DTG) in a new subsidiary named CodeGear. As a subsidiary, the DTG will have its own sales and marketing strategy. CodeGear will continue to develop the Developer Studio and JBuilder products. The 2007 version of JBuilder will be built on Eclipse.

Borland decided earlier that it would like to sell its development tools division, but, as they said themselves, they were not able to demonstrate what they believe to be the true value of the business to several serious bidders. The commercial development tool market is now facing many difficulties. The main target platform is shifting from workstation to web-based systems. This decreases the market for languages like C or Delphi as people shift to PHP or Ruby. Open source tools like Eclipse or NetBeans provide many functionalities for free. Many commercial editors are also offering free editions of their tools. There are enterprises willing to pay for collaborating features and support, but those customers are also those that need the higher-costs marketing efforts. This reduction of margins is responsible for the financial losses suffered by Borland in the past quarters. My opinion is that the subsidiary's goal is to provide a better visibility to both Borland and potential buyers.


* Sun Open Sources Java Platform

Sun announced that it is releasing its implementation of Java technology as free software under the GNU General Public License version. Sun is also adding the GPL license to the Java Platform Enterprise Edition.

The pressure on Sun to release Java technology in the open source world has been important. The Apache Foundation has created a project to provide an open source Java run-time environment implementation. It is expected to produce its first results in mid-2007. The goal of these efforts is to allow the diffusion of Java technology with Linux distributions that are also based on the GPL license. An important thing to remind is that Sun will still maintain control on the evolution of the Java language and define the tests that allow external products to be "Java certified".

On the Web:


* PHP Goes Windows

Zend recently announced a technical collaboration with Microsoft to improve the reliability and performance of PHP on Windows Server. Zend will deliver a Windows specific version of its Core product, an enhanced version of the open source PHP language. Microsoft will develop an Internet Information Service (IIS) add-on component that will serve as an interface between PHP and the IIS Web server.

After the agreements with IBM and Oracle, this is another recognition of PHP as a major server-side scripting language for Internet applications. This is an important agreement for Zend, the commercial company that is the main driver of the evolution of the open source PHP. This is even more important as Microsoft is a competitor for PHP, having created its own scripting language for its .NET architecture. If you can't beat them, join them ;o)


* M&T Press Releases Forums

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

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

* Standards without control

Our last poll wanted to know if programming standards are still in use in development organisations... and if they are controlled ;o) The question was: does your organisation implement programming/coding standards?



Yes, but without control 49%
Yes, with control 31%

Participants: 369

You can see that a majority of the participating organisations have coding standards... and a majority does not control them ;o) This is not a surprise for me, as I know many situations where the programming standards are just documents taking dust on the shelves. On the contrary, I would say that I am rather surprised by the number of organisations that control the respect of their programming standards. Almost 1/3 of the participants are controlling the applications and I wonder if this is done "manually" or if they use some automated tools to help them. If you want to share your practice on this topic, go to the "General Software Development Discussion" section of our forum and contribute to the "How to control programming/coding standards" thread.


* Are you outsourcing software development?

Our current poll wants to know if your internal applications are developed exclusively inside your organisation or if you use outsourcing software development services. Go to [poll] to participate and to see intermediate results.

*** Books **************************************************************

* Implementing Lean Software Development

This book from Mary and Tom Poppendieck helps to apply the lean manufacturing approach to the software development activities. After a presentation of the way Toyota designed its lean approach for manufacturing and product development, the book describes how these principles could be translated in the software development world. The main part of the book describes how the lean approach can affect elements of the software development process (value, speed, people, ...). Finally, the authors provide a transition path to evolve towards a leaner approach.

The strength of the book lies in the good presentation of the lean philosophy in the software development context, balancing concept presentation and concrete examples. Lean is a state of mind, so you will not find in this book explicit processes saying "to get A, do B, then C". Instead, it provides material to think with a different and interesting perspective about every software development activity and how to improve it.

To get more details on this book or buy it on click below:

To get more details on this book or buy it on click below:

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

* Javapolis 11-15 December 2006, Antwerp, Belgium

Once again JavaPolis will dominate the European Java landscape with its fifth edition. This 5-day conference will bring you the biggest names in Java, the hottest issues and latest trends. With a low-cost entrance fee and high-quality content, it has become the Apache of Conferences. Register now and donít miss JavaPolis 2006 from December 11th-15th:


2007 AJAXWorld East Conference & Expo, 19-21 March 2007, New York

Delegates will hear first-hand from the creators, innovators, leaders and early adopters of AJAX, and a slew of leading vendors will provide sneak-peeks of the very latest frameworks, tools, products and applications during the conference, which will have over 100 sessions and presentations given by 125 different speakers - the largest AJAX-focused speaker faculty ever assembled in one place at one time. Conference & Expo 2007 East will be jump-started with a full one-day "AJAX University Boot Camp", personally led by Web 2.0 and AJAX guru Dion Hinchcliffe.

Pay $50 less registering as a Methods & Tools reader. Use our coupon codes. The registration page: Golden Pass Coupon Code is "methodsgold", Bootcamp Pass Coupon Code is "methodsboot", Golden Pass and Bootcamp Coupon Code is "methodspackage"


* Software Practice Advancement conference 25-28 March 2007,Cambridge UK

SPA provides a high-energy learning experience thatís different and fun. Come and explore how to advance your software practice with the experts. Inspiring invited speakers: Brian Marick, Dave Thomas and Tony Hoare. More @ Super early-bird discounts available now"


* European SEPG, 11-14 June 2007, Amsterdam

The European SEPG is the largest and most authoritative event in Europe focused on current practice and thinking in process improvement models, methods and techniques that support business goals. This practical, industry-based conference aims to help systems and software professionals understand how process improvement can be utilised within their organisations: the issues, pitfalls and how to succeed. It also brings together the industry leaders and practitioners to discuss new ideas, approaches and experience-based results.

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

* Software Development Article Portal

Surfing on the Web looking for material for Methods & Tools, I often find many good articles published by other publications or only available on personal or company sites. I have now decided to create a site where this knowledge could be reached and shared more easily.

On, you will find the initial results of this compilation effort and you would be able to add your own material, using an open source system that allows to classify an article in multiple categories. You contributions and comments are welcomed.

Some of our last additions:

* Walking through a UML design
This article demonstrates how object oriented design and UML are used in the real world of software engineering.

* An Introduction to Ajax
This article introduces a methodology, Ajax, you can use to build more dynamic and responsive Web applications.

* A Flexible Model for Data Integration
This article introduces flexible models for combining data across disparate systems


* Future Issues of Methods & Tools

In future issues, you will find articles on:

  • Creating Domain-specific Modelling Language
  • Feature Modelling
  • Project Stakeholders Analysis
  • Database Testing
  • Process Improvement Ė Is it a Lottery?
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Agile Architectural Reference Model
  • Software Release Criteria


* Professional Recruitment with Methods & Tools

Do you want to recruit software development professionals? Methods & Tools reaches each month more than 40'000 of them. You can place a job ad with us for $15 each line for the first five lines and $10 for additional lines. These ads will be visible in our text or PDF issues AND on our web sites for as long as three months. [contact]us if you are interested.

The content of this publication cannot be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher
Copyright (C) 2006, Martinig & Associates

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