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Borland Software Corp. announced Delphi 8 for the Microsoft .Net Framework at its BorCon conference in San Jose, Calif., Monday.

The new version is deeply integrated with .Net and enables Delphi developers to build applications for the .Net Framework and to migrate existing Win32 Delphi applications to the .Net Framework, said Simon Thornhill, vice president and general manager of the Scotts Valley, Calif., company.

Thornhill said Delphi 8 features support for all .Net Framework classes, as well as support for Microsoft’s ASP.Net Web Forms and XML Web services, Windows Forms, Microsoft ADO.Net, a .Net implementation of Borland’s Visual Control Library (VCL) and Borland Data Provider (BDP) for database applications. Delphi 8 also features Borland’s new Enterprise Core Objects (ECO) technology for design-driven development.

“A lot of our customers are eager to build new applications for .Net or convert existing applications to .Net, and we see a lot of this happening in the first half of 2004 as the platform moves from Win32 to the managed code of .Net,” Thornhill said.

At BorCon, Borland also announced ECO, its new model-driven runtime platform for rapid application development. ECO supports the Object Management Group’s Model Driven Architecture (MDA) and Unified Modeling Language (UML).

“ECO is aimed at helping developers to be able to quickly create applications from designs,” Thornhill said.

ECO will be included in Borland Delphi 8 for the Microsoft .Net Framework and Borland C#Builder for the Microsoft .Net Framework Architect Edition, the company said.

In addition to MDA and UML, Borland’s ECO technology supports the OMG’s Object Constraint Language (OCL) and XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) and provides a set of wizards and components to facilitate rapid model-driven development, Todd Olson, chief scientist of Borland’s Together business unit, said in an interview.

“We feel this is the first rapid MDA solution for .Net,” Olson said. “It can help organizations future-proof their applications. ECO provides true model-driven development that reduces the amount of code written and improves software quality.”

Meanwhile, Borland also announced Borland Enterprise Studio 7 for Java, a Java-based implementation of Borland’s application lifecycle management (ALM) solution that the company refers to as a unified development environment.

George Paolini, vice president and general manager of Java solutions at Borland, said, “Borland is trying to drive a solution around ALM, and we have a level of integration around the modeling, development and testing aspects of the lifecycle that are the best in the market.”

Borland’s Enterprise Studio 7 for Java is a single solution that features technology from several Borland products, including requirements and configuration management technology from Borland’s CaliberRM and StarTeam. The solution also features modeling technology from Borland’s Together line, performance management and quality analysis from Borland Optimizeit, and development technology from Borland Enterprise Server, Borland JdataStore, and the recently announced JBuilderX for Java Web application and Web services development, the company said.

“Much like the IDE did 10 to 12 years ago, this unified development environment is going to do the same for the broad-based enterprise development projects,” Paolini said.