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Jolt Awards

12th Annual Jolt and Productivity Awards


Borland has a solid track record for making great software tools. Indeed, the company has received Software Development Jolt or Productivity awards for an unprecedented eight of the last 11 years, picking up an additional two awards this year.

Borland has been delivering exceptional software tools since the PC's infancy. The company's 1983 release of Turbo Pascal not only turned Pascal into a viable language for mainstream commercial programming, but also set the stage for serious PC application development.

Top: Simon Thornhill, VP and GM of Borland RAD solutions. Middle row, from left: Mike Bartzel, Director of Business Development, RAD solutions; Michael Swindell, Director of Product Management, RAD Solutions; Alison Deane, Senior Director of Product Marketing and Business Development, RAD solutions; John Ray Thomas, Linux RAD Product Manager. Bottom row, from left: Daniel Thorpe, Lead Engineer, Delphi compilers and libraries; Blake Stone, Chief Scientist; Allen Bauer, Architect, RAD solutions; Chuck Jazdzewski, Chief Scientist.

The company continues to steadily produce other products that have been recognized as leaders in their respective fields. For example, its C++ Builder is prominent in the C++ IDE market, and includes an effective cross-platform visual component library, CLX, recognized as a finalist by this year's Software Development Jolt Award judges. Also a Jolt finalist this year is the company's Interbase product, a fully-functional, relational database server for Linux, Solaris and Windows.

Borland Chief scientist Blake Stone claims that the source of excellence for the company's development tools is the instant feedback the product teams receive. He notes that "We use JBuilder to build JBuilder and Delphi to build Delphi. And, if we don't do something perfectly, we have to live with the rough edges."

Another key factor in Borland's success may be the special culture that has resulted from the company's history. Back in the early '80s, the company competed fiercely with Microsoft, spurring some question as to which company would dominate the desktop. "That question has been answered," grants Stone, but the positive result was that the company refocused on its core strength of innovation. "Given our resources, we always have to find a clever solution, rather than a brute force approach. For bigger companies, the tools may serve a larger marketing agenda, whereas for us, the only purpose of the tool is to be the most useful alternative." This existential challenge has been embraced by Borland's famously dedicated employees. "I've never been anywhere with more passionate people. Despite a rough two years when the company's management seemed out of touch with its customers, the employees never lost their passion to create the best tools," says Stone. Indeed, financially and in terms of continuing innovation, the company seems to have recovered from its brief and unprofitable identity change to Inprise in 1998. In early 2001, the company signaled a return to its core expertise by changing its name back to Borland.

Software Development's judges recognize Borland's reputation for delivering tools that enhance productivity while avoiding vendor lock-in. In the software industry ecosystem, it's valuable to have a company like Borland to balance the behemoths by providing top-notch tools for languages and platforms it does not own.

—John Reitano

Joining the Ranks
These are the products and companies who have found a permanent place of honor in the Software Development Hall of Fame.

2001 Borland Software Corp., 2000 Visual SlickEdit by MicroEdge,
1999 O'Reilly and Associates, 1998 Visio by Visio Corp.,
1997 Visual Basic by Microsoft Corp., 1996 BoundsChecker by NuMega.

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