After nearly two years in development, Borland announced today two updated tools for C++ developers: C++BuilderX and Enterprise Studio for C++. The company is calling the tools the first technology-independent development suite designed to address the complexity of modern-day application development.
While newer languages, such as Java, Jini, Perl and Microsoft’s C#, receive much more attention in the press than C++, the C++ group of programmers is still, by most analyst estimates, the largest group of developers by far. Development tool vendors like Borland, Rational (recently purchased by IBM), Metrowerks (operating now as a division of Motorola) and Sun continue to release tools for this community.
“C++BuilderX is the result of over two years of a renewed research and development effort focused on delivering new advanced development capabilities for the entire C++ market,” J.P. LeBlanc, vice president and general manager of the mobile and C++ solutions group at Borland, said in a statement.
“We are focused on standards-based C++ application lifecycle management, as well as multiplatform and multicompiler support as important priorities.”
As one of the largest development tool vendors, Borland has championed C and C++ development for more than 15 years. The C++Builder environment itself was first launched in 1991.
The new C++BuilderX brings Unix support to the tool and also offers CORBA integration. (CORBA — or the Common Object Request Broker Architecture — is an Object Management Group specification that provides a standard interface between OMG-compliant objects.)
With the new tools, Borland hopes to offer a standards-based, cross-platform approach to programming in C++ with a development environment based on the same enterprise framework used by Borland JBuilder.
In JBuilder, an XML project format helps minimize the complexities of managing multiple compilers and debuggers through a single user interface. Coupled with debugging capabilities, this format is designed to shorten the porting time of applications to new platforms.
Borland hopes C++BuilderX also will help ease the complexities associated with developing for multiple platforms by letting developers visually build and deliver cross-platform applications that do not require compiler extensions.
C++BuilderX also offers support for mobile and embedded computing environments, continued integration with Borland C++ compilers, and support for other standards-based C++ compilers, including GCC, Intel, Metrowerks, Microsoft Visual C++ and Sun Forte C++.
“The C++BuilderX IDE notably incorporates Intel C++ compilers, Intel Performance Libraries and Intel VTune Performance Analyzers for Windows and Linux, supporting the Intel Pentium, Itanium, and Intel XScale families of processors,” said Jonathan Khazam, general manager of the Intel software products division.
The Enterprise Studio component for C++ is designed to help reduce the complexity of enterprise applications. With the software, developers can define, design, develop, test, deploy and manage stages of an entire C++ project.
Included in Enterprise Studio for C++ is the new Borland Together Edition for C++BuilderX, a tool designed to help developers create and communicate projects with detailed blueprints in the form of UML-based models.
UML — or Unified Modeling Language — is an open method used to specify, visualize, construct and document the artifacts of an object-oriented software-intensive system under development. UML represents a compilation of “best engineering practices” that have proven successful in modeling large, complex systems.
According to research firm IDC, C and C++ professionals will remain the largest class of developers through 2005.
“When application runtime performance, code size and low-level access to machine functions and resources is critical, C++ is often the language of choice,” said Rikki Kirzner, research director at IDC.
Borland C++BuilderX and Borland Enterprise Studio for C++ will be available toward the end of September. The current version of C++Builder on the market is priced at US$999.