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Embarcadero Buys CodeGear for $23M: New Life for JBuilder?

Embarcadero Technologies, a privately held database tools vendor, today announced a definitive agreement to purchase Borland's CodeGear division for $23 million. The deal is expected to close within 30-60 days and will propel Embarcadero into the league of the world's largest independent ISVs for developer tools. CodeGear's product line spans nearly all significant development platforms and languages, including Java, Windows, C++, Delphi, PHP and Ruby.

CodeGear is a recognized leader with a loyal developer community and established global channels, said Wayne Williams, CEO of Embarcadero Technologies. By incorporating its strong product portfolio, Embarcadero will be positioned to expand into new markets and develop cutting-edge products that are a quantum leap for the industry. The combination of our companies will unlock enormous potential for our customers and partners.

This marks the end of an era that began when Philippe Kahn introduced Turbo-Pascal for $49 over 25 years ago. Borland's original entry into the developer tools space utterly disrupted the market and reset developer expectations for product value. In later years, however, the company seemed to lose sight of that vision and ended up increasing prices by literally 10,000% for so-called "enterprise" products. Although widely praised for its power, the company's JBuilder product line faced a daunting challenge to remain competitive in a market where most developer tools cost nothing at all.

So, where will Embarcadero take this? Does this mean a new lease on life for JBuilder? What would your strategy be if you were in charge of this takeover? How does JBuilder's transition to an Eclipse-based foundation factor into the picture?

 

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