Borland has a new application life cycle management strategy. The company, which has been undergoing a radical shift since the departure of CEO Dale Fuller last November, is moving away from its role-based Core SDP ALM solution. Instead, the company is releasing a new line of tools which are more function-based, called LQM.

This strategy makes sense. Core SDP, which the company had flogged continuously since March 2005, divided software developers into four different roles: analysts, architects, developers and testers. Different ALM tools within Borland’s product line were assembled into four suites — called Core::Analyst, Core::Architect, and so on. Companies would then license the appropriate suites for their developers, everything would interoperate, and software would be written.

Borland’s role-based approach is far from unique. The two big bananas of the software tools market, IBM and Microsoft, have similar role-based focus within their IBM Rational and Visual Studio Team System solutions.

The problem is that few companies divide out their world that way. Different people play different roles at different times. Not every company defines the roles the same way, or uses the same terminology, or even wants the same subset of tools for developers within those roles. In short, it was a good idea, but not good enough.

Thus Borland’s new strategy, which still the company’s tools into four piles — but by function, not by developer role. So, there will be a suite for quality management, one for IT management and governance, one for requirements definition and management, and the fourth for change management. Developers would select the building blocks that they need. Or that’s the plan.

Note that Borland is still selling the same individual tools, like the SilkCentral test management software, or CaliberRM requirements manager, or the newly acquired Gauntlet test-automation software. But they’re being assembled in a more rational way.

Alex Handy got the scoop on all this in this week’s News on Thursday newsletter, and we’ll have a fuller report on it in the Oct. 15th issue of SD Times.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick