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Borland + 3rd Party vs. DOT NET

Posted on 2002-06-19
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First of all, please don't answer if you emotionaly support one of the products.

I am asking this question because of a decision I have to make. So I am offering 1500 points to a serious answer. The system allows me only 500 at a time.

Question: Can Borland C++ Enterpise with all the bells and whisles with some *NIX server do what MS .NET framework and .NET server can do?

Or, here's another way of puting it. Is it possible to build a suite of non-MS products to be comparable or better than MS .NET with Borland C++ Builder and MS Visual C++ in center-points?

Main conserns are:
1. Development and delivery, 80% of the decision
2. Cost, 20%
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Question by:TheFriend
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by:jhance
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This is somewhat of a loaded question and IMHO, there are only THEORETICAL ANSWERS possible at this point.

Here's what I think so:

1) .NET is still in its infancy and its full potential has yet to be recognized or realized.

2) There is NOTHING in .NET that COULD NOT be duplicated or EXCEEDED by another product.  But that DOES NOT mean that it will be PRACTICAL to do so.

3) There are ALTERNATIVES to .NET being proposed by other companies in the industry, especially groups involving SUN Microsystems and Oracle but none of these concepts are anywhere near as organized or developed as .NET.  In other words, good or bad, Microsoft has a lead in this both in the technical realm and the marketing realm.  That doesn't mean .NET is BEST or even GOOD, the technical factors are not necessarily a good indicator of market success.

4) There are some "Open Source" .NET alternatives being proposed also, but these seem to be very long term.

5) There is NO WAY that a company like Borland, with its VERY LIMITED resources will be able to compete with Microsoft on .NET.  In my opinion, they'll be lucky to even make their development tools capable of building .NET compatible applications.

So if you are looking to adopt .NET or are considering an alternative there are a lot of things for you to consider.  But this is one place where choosing poorly will cost you your career!  There are certainly risks with either choice.
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DanRollins earned 500 total points
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The question is not only loaded, it is not nearly specific enough.

One selects a development platform for many reasons, but at some level it usually boils down to: "Will *this* platform be best for creating and running *this* application".  Without a clue as to what the target application is, there is no possible way answer the question.  

However, if the target applications is "Any program that will involve using the Internet" or "Any program that may need to use cutting-edge technologies" or "Any program that may need to run as both a Web Application and as a standalone program on the world's most popular computing platform," the answer is

    Go with Microsoft and, thus, go with .NET

The next reason (and usually the most important) for selecting a platform is this question: "When I am finished developing and I have a sellable product, which platform will provide the largest possible market so that when my company goes public I can purchase a small island off Bimini and retire?"  Again the answer is:

    Go with Microsoft and, thus, go with .NET

Next, you will want to have the best development environment.  The environment with rich online help and time-saving tools and debugging aids.  You want an IDE that lets you write different parts of your application in different languages and integrate them seemlessly.  You want to use the enviroment that will be there next year and the year after that.  Borland has had its ups and downs.  Microsoft's latest IDE contains *real* tecnological breakthoughs that simplify many aspects of writing and debugging programs.  So

    Go with Microsoft and, thus, go with .NET

Finally, there is the question "When I need to hire programmers to write and maintain this program and to produce updates and upgrades, what is the largest pool of programmers so that I might be able to hire a top-notch team."  The answer is not so obvious, because .NET is in its infancy.  However, programmers having a background in Microsoft tools are far more common than for any other platform.  And these programmers are gearing up for .NET, so the answer remains:

    Go with Microsoft and, thus, go with .NET

-- Dan
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