A Sip From The Firehose: December 18, 1996

By: David Intersimone

Abstract: 1996 - The Year In Review - What A Year It Was

SipFH - Scotts Valley, CA
December 17, 1996

1996 - The Year In Review - What A Year It Was

1996 started with great news for Borland. It also ends with great news and the promise of even better times and new products in 1997. I've taken a look back at the year that was and wasn't (isn't everybody?). While some of you might remember 1996 as a bad year for Borland, I always chose to focus in on the good things that happened. In my 11.5 years here there have always been the highs and lows. Even when things haven't looked so good, there have always been three common themes that have reminded me of why I came here in the first place and why I am so optimistic about the future:

  1. we have the best engineers, great technology and cool powerful tools
  2. we have loyal customers (some I would say are even fanatics)
  3. we continue to have an impact on and improve the process of development

Okay, enough of the introspection, on to just a few of the reminders of what took place this past year (if you want to take a complete look you can find an archive of all the press releases published this year.

January - We get a new Chairman of the Board, Dr. William F. Miller. Bill brings a wealth of business, management, engineering and computer science experience to Borland. Borland prevails in the five-year long Lotus Copyright Suit as the U.S. Supreme Court affirms a decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals which had ruled in Borland's favor. We ship the Visual dBASE 5.5a Update.

February - Borland unveils our strategic direction building on the success in the client/server market and delivering a family of Internet development tools. We announce three new Paradox 7 Developer products: Paradox 7 Runtime, Paradox Client/Server, and Paradox Developer Tools. Borland puts a pre-release version of our Borland Debugger for Java up on our web site. We preview Internet and Intranet tools for Visual dBase.

March - Borland announces the availability of three new versions of Delphi 2.0 for Windows 95/NT. We also announce the availability of Borland C++ Development Suite 5.0 and Borland C++ 5.0. Willows and Borland partner to deliver OWL cross-platform with Willow Twin APIW. Delphi wins the prestigious Jolt Cola Award for Best Development Tool at the Software Development Conference in San Francisco. In front of a cheering live audience, Borland C++ 5.0 wins the Software Development '96 Windows/C++ Superbowl contest. Two developers from Borland (Bruneau Babet and Pete Williams) beat a team from Microsoft in the stress filled competition.

April - Borland ships ReportSmith version 3.0. Delphi 2.0 takes First Place in the NSTL Comparative Client/Server development tools Ratings Report achieving the highest rating outperforming Powersoft's PowerBuilder Enterprise for Windows, Microsoft Visual Basic Enterprise Edition and Gupta SQLWindows. Borland Announces Paradox 7 for Windows 3.1 & Windows for Workgroups. Netscape Licenses Borland Java Just In Time Compiler for inclusion Netscape Navigator 3.0. David I's "Sip From the Firehose" column debuts on the Borland Online web site. The first column is titled "On the road in Europe".

May - Borland Ships Visual dBASE Professional with Intranet Tools. We enter a definitive merger agreement with Open Environment Corporation. The acquisition will combine Borland's high-performance, rapid application development tools with Open Environment's scaleable, multi-tier solutions, to make it easier for developers to create open, scaleable, distributed applications across heterogeneous environments. Borland announces Java enabled InterBase SQL database server. Borland rallies behind Sun Microsystem's Java Beans Java Component Model.

June - Delphi 2.0 update is announced providing Internet and Intranet-enabling and substantially strengthen Delphi Client/Server Suite's performance and openness. Borland Announces Borland C++ Development Suite With Design Tools 5.0 adding "round trip engineering" object modeling with support for the emerging standard Universal Modeling Language (UML) as a required part of any C++ development environment. EDS chooses Delphi to Develop a Case Tracking System for the National Labor Relations Board.

July - Borland announces the Delphi Language Pack and the Delphi Translation Suite that provide an integrated and powerful way to localize Delphi applications into Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. Borland and Netscape ink strategic marketing, technology, and OEM deals cover the licensing of key technology from the new Netscape ONE Open Network Environment including Netscape FasTrack Server software and Netscape Navigator Gold. The seventh annual Borland Developers Conference takes place in Anaheim California. More than 2500 customers get head start on integrating client/server and the Internet. At the opening keynote they see our "Golden Gate" Internet/Intranet strategy in action. Golden Gate bridges traditional client/server software architectures to the emerging Internet-based technologies through an open, scaleable architecture for more efficient business computing. JavaSoft adds the Borland BAJA Event Model into the draft of the Java Beans API.

August - Borland announces InterBase version 4.2 providing performance improvements and superior resource usage compared to prior releases. InterBase 4.2 also includes ODBC 2.5 drivers for Windows 95 and Windows NT and thread-safe 32-bit client libraries. We announce the product line and pricing strategies for our IntraBuilder line of live data-driven Intranet applications development suites for Windows NT and Windows 95 that includes the bundling of the Netscape FastTrack web server and Navigator Gold Internet client software.

September - Borland updates our Borland C++ product line to include full MFC source code. Borland partners with Viewsoft placing a demo version of their PowerCharger for MFC on the update CD. PowerCharger for MFC automatically connects the visual components of MFC to the underlying application data types without code, automating the tedious and redundant tasks normally associated with GUI development. Borland ships IntraBuilder for Windows 95 and Windows NT. Borland InterClient is announced, written entirely Java it provides JDBC compliant connectivity for InterBase dramatically improving the performance of web-centric database functions (a beta of InterClient is available).

October - The recent, successful landing of the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis concluded an exceptional week for NASA and Borland. A computerized map, built with Delphi, was used on both Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir while in orbit to help identify and capture photographs of the Earth. The same week, a separate NASA computer program developed with Delphi was named one of the nation's top client/server applications by InfoWorld magazine. Borland announces a letter of intent to license AS/400 compatible connectivity and development software from Traitement Cooperatif & Integration de Systeme (TCIS) of Paris, France. The combined Delphi/TCIS software solution will enable developers to build open, scaleable client/server applications using Delphi to access AS/400 systems. Borland and Corel announce that Corel is licensing Paradox from Borland and will assume responsibility for Paradox development, support, sales, and marketing. Borland ships InterBase 4.2. Borland announces its new JBuilder Partner Program for independent software vendors creating Java Beans components.

November - Borland announces IntraBuilder Client/Server, a complete toolset for client/server developers to build and maintain data-driven web applications connecting to corporate databases. Borland announces the availability of new high-performance Informix and DB2 database drivers for Delphi Client/Server Suite customers. The new drivers are part of Borland Database Engine 3.0 which includes new features, performance enhancements of up to 200 percent, and updated support for Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server and Borland InterBase database servers. At the annual Comdex convention in Las Vegas, Borland gives sneak peeks at Borland C++Builder our new Rapid Application Development C++ tool that will be released in First Quarter of 1997. Borland completes the acquisition of Open Environment Corp. providing our customers with Desktop-to-Enterprise development solutions. And in the biggest news of the year, Borland gains a high-profile technology executive as Delbert W. Yocam joins the company as our new Chairman and CEO (I have never been more excited).

December - Borland announces that it will support IBM's new San Francisco Project with its upcoming visual Java development tool, Borland JBuilder. IBM's San Francisco Project is an initiative open to broad industry participation that will provide high-level Java-based business components that can be used to build business-critical, multi-platform applications. For the first time, Borland and its newly-acquired Open Environment division demonstrated their combined family of enterprise application development tools at the Database and Client/Server World trade show in Chicago. Open Environment announced the availability of Entera v3.2 and Entera/Qx. Entera is a new breed of client/server software that enables companies to quickly build and manage large, global information systems, while preserving existing investments in people, hardware and software systems.

Looking forward to 1997 - We are planning to ship three new products beginning in the fourth quarter of our fiscal year 1997(our fiscal year runs from April 1st to March 31st) and fiscal year 1998. The three products -- called Borland JBuilder, Delphi 97 and Borland C++Builder -- are designed for client/server and Internet developers building business applications for the departmental and centralized IT marketplaces. To quote Del Yocam, "It's clear that Borland has a rich heritage of high-quality, leading-edge technology and that more great products are planned for its future. The challenge and exciting opportunity that attracted me to Borland, however, was the idea of taking Borland's great technology and coupling it with strong management and focused sales and marketing in order to return the company to market leadership." I am excited too!

Stay warm and well.

PS: I will be taking two weeks off during the holidays to get ready for a great 1997. Expect a hose full of SipFH's in the new year. Don't forget to send along your suggestions for topics (maybe even a guest column?) you want me to cover.


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