The ‘I’ has it

If David “”I”” dropped most of his last name to save time, it would be easy to understand why.

Borland’s vice-president of developer relations and chief evangelist — who uses only the first initial of his surname among software developers — managed to squeeze a speaking engagement with Toronto

clients in between talking to customers in Germany, a wedding, and a flight to Los Angeles.

Despite his schedule, Intersimone (according to official documents) took some time Thursday morning to talk about Borland’s past, present and the future.


Computing Canada: What are you doing in Canada?

David Intersimone: Visiting with customers, talking about new products like Delphi 7 Studio, talking about Web services, talking about our support for J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and .Net. Talking about our reach across the development process and the whole development cycle and our plans moving forward in mobile and other things.

What I’ve really been showing people is how Borland is uniquely qualified to support J2EE and .Net and bridge across the two for customers that are going to have both in their infrastructure. All our products now support Web services, and many of them have supported Web services for over a year-and-a-half — in particular Kylix on Windows and Linux. But our Borland Enterprise Server exposes all EJBs (Enterprise Java Beans) as Web services and we can consume and aggregate Web services built in other things like Pearl and Python. We’ve been showing people how easy it is, showing our customers and prospective customers that they can be doing Web services development today. As .Net moves along, that they can look to Borland as a fiercely independent, 20 years in the software development solutions business, to keep things open and to be able to leverage all the infrastructure that they have.


CC: How do you feel about your product being in competition with Microsoft?

DI: We’ve always competed with the Microsoft developer division, but we’ve been strong supporters and strong partners with the IBM systems division and now the .Net framework people. They know for .Net to succeed they need the support of software developers and then, of course, software developer solutions companies. The fact we’re in J2EE and .Net means they can come to Borland to have solutions that not only work in both those worlds buy can bridge across them.

There are some other things to come — the work we’re doing with mobile and Symbian, with Nokia, Sony, Ericsson, Siemens and others — that will play into that as well because we’re going to have all sorts of clients that may or may not have the .Net framework. Plus all the legacy systems. Microsoft was never a Corba supporter, we still have a lot of customers in enterprises around the world that have Corba infrastructure and they want to leverage all of that existing infrastructure. They’re not going to throw it away today, tomorrow or any time soon. And we’ll talk Calm, Corba and .Net and RMI for a long, long time and bridge across all of those distributed computing infrastructures.

CC: Will .Net really become the standard for Web services?

DI: It’s the next big thing for Microsoft. For us, I think for most of our customers, it’s really going to be J2EE and .Net and that they’re going to co-exist. We can quibble about who’s going to get what percentage, but I just assume wait until 2005 and then we’ll all know.

CC: That’s the date for the final report card?

DI: I think it’s a good check point because .Net is just coming out now and J2EE has been out for a long time relatively speaking. J2EE has massive support behind it. Microsoft, though, is very large and very entrenched on the desktop and in department servers and such. So .Net will be there and will do very well, and that’s just more opportunity for Borland.

CC: You’ve got partnerships with a number of companies. Is there anyone you won’t partner with?

DI: We’re really focused on a few key areas though: Java, .Net, Windows, Linux and mobile. We’re focused in the developer/solution spectrum. We’re not trying to come up with office suites that work across .Net or J2EE.

CC: What’s the future of mobile technology and networks?

DI: These devices are getting more functionality, faster, smaller. People are centering around Symbian as one of the key pieces in J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition) as the other key piece that powers the devices. So given that it’s pretty good where Borland is. I mean, .Net framework is going to be there as well and we’ll support it. It’s hard to tell how many people are going to pick that up. In the telecom world there’s a lot of concern about Microsoft taking over or dictating especially from folks like Nokia. But it’s clear that the phone is more than just a phone and it will continue to be more than just a phone for a long time to come.

CC: Have people grown tired of waiting for the wireless revolution?

DI: All I know is there’s no stopping it. It’s almost like a birthright in Japan, Korea and some other places. If you look at i-Mode in Japan and now multimedia messaging, huge in Japan. And, of course, NTT DoCoMo is ready to OEM and partner that all over the planet. I think in the U.S. and Canada it’s been slow, but it’s not slowing down and it’s not going away.

There are some challenges. Billing is pretty clear, that’s already there, but presence, location, once you have things like and those APIs available then the world of brining in business . . . think e-Bay on steroids.

 CC: Looking back on the name change from Borland to Inprise and back to Borland, is there anything you wish you’d done differently and what did you learn?

DI: Don’t look back, don’t change the name, keep focusing on key areas, and that’s what we’ve been doing.

Comment: [email protected]

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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