Borland JBuilder is to join IBM WebSphere in becoming a Java development environment built out of proprietary extensions to the open source Eclipse IDE.
As I reported previously, Borland will be porting some of the unique core features of its JBuilder IDE to Eclipse, essentially making a free and open source version of JBuilder available for the first time. Until today, the question of what happened to JBuilder as a commercial product was up in the air.
According to The Register, Borland will keep selling an extended Enterprise version of JBuilder as a commercial product, but it will also provide commercial support services for the open source JBuilder components, in much the same way as IBM sells its Eclipse-based WebSphere development environment.
Exactly which features will be open source and which features will remain commercial remains to be seen, but I’d expect everything currently available in the free JBuilder 2005 Foundation edition to move to Eclipse and the Developer and Enterprise editions to remain commercial.
In such a scenario, the biggest change would be for current JBuilder users, who would have to adapt to the Eclipse environment. The functional limitations of the free edition would be pretty much the same as they are today.