TogetherSoft Announces Plans to Acquire WebGain Technology


News: TogetherSoft Announces Plans to Acquire WebGain Technology

  1. TogetherSoft Corp. and WebGain, Inc., today announced that TogetherSoft plans to acquire WebGain Studio, which consists of VisualCafe, StructureBuilder, Business Designer and Quality Analyzer and provides support for BEA's WebLogic Server. TogetherSoft will also provide an integration package, allowing WebGain Studio customers to migrate to TogetherSoft's development environment.


    Press Release
    RALEIGH, N.C. and SAN JOSE, Calif. - August 12, 2002 - TogetherSoft Corp. and WebGain, Inc., today announced that TogetherSoft plans to acquire WebGain Studio, which consists of VisualCafé, StructureBuilder, Business Designer, and Quality Analyzer and provides support for BEA's WebLogic Server™.

    As part of the proposed agreement, TogetherSoft intends to take over full support for current WebGain Studio customers. TogetherSoft also will provide an integration package, offering WebGain Studio customers the opportunity to migrate to TogetherSoft's award-winning application development environment. Customers will be directed from WebGain's web site to for continued support and maintenance, in addition to upgrade options.

    "Upon completion of TogetherSoft's proposed acquisition of WebGain Studio, WebGain's customers will be able to maximize their application development investment while experiencing a level of stability that can only be provided by an industry leader like TogetherSoft," said Robert Melendres, the WebGain C.E.O. "TogetherSoft is in the best position to move WebGain's current customers forward and provide them with more advanced application development opportunities in the future."

    As one of TogetherSoft's partners, BEA Systems (NASDAQ: BEAS) and TogetherSoft provide a comprehensive Java development environment based on BEA's leading application server, BEA WebLogic Server™, and TogetherSoft ControlCenter, which allows developers to seamlessly build and deploy applications.

    "With this technology acquisition, TogetherSoft will be positioned to offer more comprehensive support for Java and J2EE application development," said Scott Dietzen, chief technology officer of BEA Systems. "One of the great strengths of the BEA WebLogic runtime environment is that it is so well supported by rich tool suites such as Together ControlCenter."

    "This acquisition provides a sensible cost-effective solution to sustain WebGain customers and their current development initiatives," added John Sherbin, CFO for TogetherSoft. "Given our strategic integration and partnership with BEA, TogetherSoft welcomes WebGain customers to benefit from the compatible technologies and we are confident that the addition of WebGain Studio to TogetherSoft's solutions will be a win for our joint customer base and the market overall."

    About WebGain Studio
    WebGain Studio helps companies rapidly design, define, construct, deploy and evolve mission critical Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) applications to leading J2EE application servers. WebGain Studio integrates requirements management, the VisualCafé Enterprise IDE, and UML modeling into one integrated product suite

    About Together ControlCenter
    Development teams worldwide recognize ControlCenter for its simultaneous roundtrip engineering, extended refactorings, robust pattern support, integrated QA support, automatic migration between application servers and up-to-the-minute documentation generation. ControlCenter 6.0, introduced in March 2002, includes a new UI Builder, improved text editor, ten new refactorings, and a new testing framework module. It also offers additional modeling functionality and new mobile licensing.

    About TogetherSoft Corporation
    Dedicated to improving the ways developers work together, TogetherSoft Corporation creates and delivers software that enables enterprises to create high-quality applications quickly and on-budget. TogetherSoft is the momentum leader among software development vendors - with 81% revenue growth in 2001 and significantly faster delivery of new product features to the market using its proprietary, patent-pending technologies. TogetherSoft solutions are used in some of the world's most innovative companies including Sprint PCS, The Home Depot, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems and J.D. Edwards. For more information visit

    Threaded Messages (20)

  2. Is this a round-about strategy to sell more Together Control Center licenses? TCC is an excellent product but few people can afford it. I don't see any added value WebGain brings to the table, and it is unlikely the former WebGain users (I am one of them) will switch to TCC in mass. Eclipse + Ant + XDoclet is good enough for me now.
  3. TogetherSOft 3,000 dlls challenge price makes it an excellent offer (at least to the american developers where it is available).
    Visual Cafe is a very popular product, TogetherSoft can use it very profitable to attract and/or keep customers

  4. I totally agree, the only intention of doing this is to try to acquire the customer base of webgain. I would like to know if webgain customers would be willing to shift to togethersoft. TogetherSoft may also be acquired by BEA down the line.
  5. Hi,

    My current company was a client of Webgain as BEA was pushing them when we bought Weblogic. At the end of the day a few of the developers used Visual Cafe but that was about it. I personally found Visual Cafe to be terrible and poor in comparision to IDE's like JBuilder and Eclipse.

    In terms of gaining Webgains customer base I do agree that is why Togethersoft bought Webgain. However this pretty laughable. Togethersoft is a good tool if you practice round trip engineering but it is mega bucks and like most people we do not have the money.

    Eclipse, XDoclet, JUNit rocks.

    If I need to do some visual OO modelling I use my $90 Enterprise Architect.


  6. Hi,
    I think togethersoft could care less about the VisualCafe user-base. VisualCafe has had big stability problems for a long time, and people have been increasingly moving away from it over the last couple years. Even the developers say the code-base sucks.
    togetherSoft has their eye on the StructureBuilder, Business Designer tools, and the quality analysis tools. Most of us are happy with doing our job without cadillac design tools, but there will always be a market for a high end development suite. This just expands togethersofts offering to encompass even more designing tools. They will be going head-to-head with Rational. This is why they made the move they did.
    How many of us "need" Rational or a big TogetherSoft suite? I don't, but they do fine in the market. In a large corporate environment that has the money to endorse products like this, if I'm told to use it, I will happily do so. Would I pay for it personally - no.
  7. Notepad, penicil sharpener, ticker tape.

    I hear this all the time, and to be honest I've been in the boat too. I also came from a Unix background, where we have developed without these fancy GUI IDE things for years.

    Bottom line is that M$ and Unix developers can learn a lot from each other and when you do eventually get a really good tool like together you really see the benefits.

    I've been involved in a number of IDE evaluations and have often come out the other side worried about the time and effort I'm going to have to invest to actually make having the IDE worthwhile.

    All too often you end up spending more time trying to configure the damn thing that you actually get producing stuff, which is the whole point of having an IDE in the first place - to make things easier.

    An IDE is there as a benefit, not to distract you from deliverables. Having spent only a matter of months working with TCC 6.0, I can honestly say that I've found a tool that actually helps with productivity.

    The cost side of things is always the first thing you'll hear about TCC and at (I think) £4-5k a head is not suprising.

    But given the cost of resources, even in this market, a good tool can save that amount of money in no time at all. And in my humble opinion Together does just that.

    As for the WebGain take over, well the immediate response is a cynical stab at the marketeers and a bit of marketshare grabbing.

    Consider this though. Roughly 6-9 months ago WebGain were talking about a complete reengineering of their IDE. a complete rewrite with the net result a slick, flexible IDE. they were talking about being on the brink of readiness then.

    What have TCC been working on? the next generation IDE to replace TCC 6.0.

    There is some common ground here. Have TCC run dry with funds on their rewrite? Can they see a better architecture in the new WebGain approach?

    I have certainly never seen anything in WebGain that approaches anything that Together has to offer in terms of modelling and the current Together is particularly slick in terms of the developer interface.

    Also, TCC supports .net already and a concern has always been that they were always going to to be stretched trying to support both .net and J2EE and this has been prevalent with the delay in delivering versions of their IDE to keep up to speed with the changing J2EE world.

    If it is marketing, would the WebGain people really be interested. From what I recall you get the full WebGain suite including WLS for about £2-2.5k, this is a lot less than Together so I can't see how they will force a market such as this to cough up twice as much money for an IDE.

    There has to be more to this.

  8. And one other thing,

    The idiots at together think that as a consultant I am going to be biting their hand off at the opportunity to pay 25% off for TCC.

    I really do like the tool, but as a consultant who will be in a position to recommend tools to clients, Together need to wake up and smell the roses. I can't recommend it unless I get to use it and I aint going to pay for it. My clients who I'd recommend it to might though.

    Don't they realise that by providing free licenses to the very people that feed their business is only going to benefit them?

    The trial period for a developer licesne for TCC is 14 days! Please - what do they expect you to learn about a tool in 10 working days?

    Now where's that notepad....

  9. We are currently using TCC6.0 actively and I seen not a single day when no one hated TCC (we have 100+ devs). The TCC IDE really sucks big time. So many configs inside - so you gotta be a configMaster to master a simple tool. I guess TCC is not for you - you are for it. I would be better off with my TOAD, JEdit, etc tools.
    Also, can't download that tool more than once sounds out of this world. I have been following this tool from 5.0>5.5>6.0 now, but have to maturely leave this tool because it has so many bugs. I think I will probably come back to this tool when I have lot of white hairs (or I'm bald) and have a lot of time to figure out a "Together" way of doing things. To use this TCC tool they really need pros that unfortunately end up giving Together seminars and not real world development.
    I love to ignore this tool and crank stuff off of my freewares.
  10. That is pretty much my experience with Together as well. It is a great tool and one can do many powerful things with it but... it has SO many bugs. Numerous times I had the GUI flake out and require a restart (almost as bad as Windows). I hoped to see the bugs disappear with 5.5 but they didn't. Same story with six. It seems like Together is focusing so much on doing everything that they don't excel in any one thing. Personnally, I like strong concentrated tools such as IDEA (they are on the ball).

    The client that I currently consult for uses WebGain so they are particularly interested in where Together is going with this purchase. One thing is for sure, I would rather use anything except Visual Cafe. I was hoping it would die a quiet death.
  11. Interesting thread - I wouldnt have expected Togethersoft to want much of the technology, but the customer base, wondering what to do next, that is a different matter.

    I was the Principal Professional services consultant for WebPain in the UK so I know a lot about Studio 452 - I spent a lot of time teaching the course :-(

    Basically that tool was OK (no better) and could be used if it was set up properly - very few customers ever bothered to take the training or pay for a couple of days of consulting and blaming the tool is an easy way out for developers without enough knowledge and experience (I dont reccomend letting VB developers loose on a live EJB project with 2 weeks Java training for example)

    As for using IDEs well I used to be a Smalltalker (and Visual Age pundit) so Im very pro IDE because they do offer productivity benefits when used correctly.

    It is true that very good developers can be very productive with simpler, often freeware, tools but that is an individual perspective. It doesnt scale to a development shop of 100s of programmers of varying degrees of skill and using a (decent) consistent, supported development environment in those circumstances makes a lot of sense.

    There are some very good IDEs on the market & WebGains failure to get the Studio 7 product into shape in time was a huge factor in its downfall. As I understood it Studio 7 beta wouldnt have shipped until end August & even then it wouldnt have had the UML component in as it was too buggy so I suspect that Togethersofts intention to release it next year ought to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    In the meantime I joined Oracle (voluntarily rather than as part of the TopLink acquisition) because I see a bright future for Java and J2EE based there.

    JDeveloper does basically everything you need in non IBM, corporate Java (J2EE, web services, deploy to BEA or OC4J) but the pricing is amazing by comparison (list 995 USD). When you factor in the TopLink Mapping workbench and TopLink itself the Oracle Java development stack looks very impressive indeed (of course I would say that now ;-).

    True that it doesnt do too much UML at the moment but then continual round trip development brings its own problems in large scale development (who authorises a change to the model for example, who is responsible for tracking it ?) and most large corporates would use Rational tools anyway.

    For smaller teams, lighter tools can be used to great effect and JDeveloper is getting more UML in the future anyway

    If you are a cafe or Studio user check out

    in fact if you are non aligned & are looking for a corporate Java IDE at sensible price you should check this link out anyway

    </plug for new company >

    However a lot of this is moot - most companies would still see more return on investment by training, mentoring & continual upskilling of their developers than by trying to automate what is essentially a craft skill. At the end of the day an IDE (inc the UML tool) is just a tool - its the skill of the developer that makes the difference


  12. Phil: "Basically that tool was OK (no better) and could be used if it was set up properly - very few customers ever bothered to take the training or pay for a couple of days of consulting"

    IMO, there are plenty of IDEs on the market that are intuitive enough to use "out of the box" and documentation/newsgroup support is usually sufficient to address any non-obvious issues. Netbeans is a good example of such IDE.

    -- Igor

  13. Igor

    That's a fair point, but I also pointed out that the quality and experience of the developers involved makes a big difference and whats intuitive for one person is often not so for others.

    For example Visual age for Java was very intuitive for me as a Smalltalk consultant but I saw other people struggle with it for months and they hated it - good developers (C++ and VB) but for them that paradigm was not intuitive.

    In that case it makes sense for a company adopting new tools / process / whatever to take some practical experience at the outset - not when issues develop later

    I liken the IDE debate to that of salesmen and their cars ;-) - each salesman want the sexiest flashiest car about, the fleet manager wants to keep the costs as low and predictable as possible. Both are valid enough positions.

    Developers want the rest of the whole world to like and admire their favourite tool - but mostly its a matter of personal preference

    The importance of IDE features and form over total enterprise costs is a matter of perspective, but if you get both (as with JDeveloper:-) then thats great !
  14. I couldn't agree more. It seems that Together absolutely wants us to buy new mice every 6 months: each time you open the same dialog, it's back to its initial state, and you have to reopen the whole tree structure to find the same class you just opened before.
    IMO, Together is not adapted to pure analysis/design, because it's too close to the actual code. It's also not adapted to team work, because there are so many dependencies between diagrams that each time you change something, you have to checkout everything from the SCM to let it change all the dependencies. And it is also not adapted to programming, because it's much less productive than any other IDE I tried. The editor itself is so bad I couldn't even tell him to transform my tabs into spaces.
    Add to this that working with 256 Mbs of RAM is a pain, and nearly impossible if you have anything else open (a browser, for instance).
    Just my opinion, of course.

  15. Nice thread..

    My opinion. Together Control Center 6.0 is really a great product...!!! I have tried & worked with everything including the latest Rational XDE..

    If is great then why so many complaints.. !!!!
    Just becoz
    a) Memory hog.. yes you need 512 to work cool.
    b) Does everything but not really exceptional at anything.

    Ideally I feel it is not for everyone. Perfect fit for small team 1-10 members.
    Discuss - Model - Code - Refactor ...
    Small iteration.. less documentation.. less paperwork.. coool.


  16. IMO, Together is not adapted to pure analysis/design, >because it's too close to the actual code

    I've seen remarks like this popping up many times. I still don't understand the concept:pure analysis/design. What's this? Is it usefull in any way? Isn't the bottom line represented by code? Please, can u cast some light upon this topic?

    "Bubbles don't crash" Bertrand Meyer
  17. DODO DODO wrote :
    > I still don't understand the concept:pure analysis/design.
    > What's this? Is it usefull in any way?

    I'm not really sure. I'm a developer, a programmer, and I often find source code easier to understand than a bunch of class/sequence/collaboration diagrams. And I also prefer going to the code very soon, à la XP, without a long and tedious analysis/design phase. However, a whole lot of companies are still using a specification - analysis - design - implementation - test - maintenance development process, without any cycle.
    During the analysis/design phase, Together allows making class/sequence diagrams, but it stores a lot of things into Java code, and it becomes a nightmare when working in a team. Moreover, you need abstraction, and not details of implementation in this phase, so Java code is not the best representation. I'd even prefer to use an adapted drawing tool such as Visio over Together.
    During the implementation phase, I often find diagrams (other than the class diagrams) totally inappropriate, because they're full of small implementation details that are not important to understand how things work and how the objects collaborate. So using Together during this phase is not really helpful to me, since it's far from being as productive and easy to use as Emacs, Ant, JBuilder or any other IDE.

    Just my opinion.

  18. I'm sort of on the fence with this one. I totally know what you are talking about. At the same time, it really depends on the level of abstraction you are modeling at. In other words, if you are going from a pure analysis level where you are iterating through the initial domain model from a problem scope/RUP like perspective, the fact that the models are persisted as java files don't really make a difference. Eventually, if you are going from a use case driven modeling/design process, the ability to quickly clone/link analysis model elements for initial roughing out and then forwarding can be quite productive, as well as reversing someone else's code with no documentation that suddenly falls on your lap (happens to me all the time :-).
    On the other hand, it is a memory hog, sometimes slow, the evaluation license sucks. I once joked to a sales guy that I would stand outside their campus cafeteria with a cardboard sign reading "will code for a control center license" :-).

    Altough I haven't use xde, I've used rose in the past extensively, and so far any pain points with together haven't approached the same dimension or universe as rose.

  19. Great thread. Interesting that the conversation led to questions about the design/analysis phase of projects and whether this phase is "too close to the code".

    First, I consider this phase extremely critical ... at my company, if good designs are not handed over, then the developers are doomed to failure. Second, while TCC is an OK tool, Together does not support this important phase of development. I find that one of our major problems with the design/analysis phase is that it is difficult to get the business/design folks communicating effectively with developers, and vice versa. There really has not been quality tool support for this interaction ... why not?

    Although, I do know of one tool that is working to solve the problem. Have you seen Adalon from Synthis Corp.? It allows non-technical and technical folks to work in the same environment to nail down the design, requirements, data fields, etc. Then it can generate documentation, wireframes, and code frameworks for our developers (thus a common design language for non-technical and technical folks). New tool and very cool. Check it out-

    As for the WebGain / Together deal, I'm sure the WebGain folks and customers appreciated the bail out!

    Hope that helps-
  20. Way to go, TogetherSoft!

    TCC is an excellent product (and I am a proud user of it), but it suffers from the unavoidable flaws of all-Java IDEs: giant memory footprint, slow method completion support, redrawing issues in dialogs, etc.

    Maybe they can use Visual Cafe technology to convert TCC to a Java/C++ hybrid, like JBuilder. I think this would improve the usability of TCC a great deal. Just a thought...
  21. I have been using Together since version 2.0. It was good and then with 4.2 got to be excellent and then by 5.5 was worthless and then finally with 6.0 became a good tool once again.

    I also use JBuilder and have used it for years. It was until recently the best tool on the market as an IDE, not including all of its wizards which are pretty much useless.

    These two tools together along with ant and a slew of open source I think were basically a Java Developers dream environment. It just shows how poor the tools market has been for java developers.

    Now, I currently use Together 6.0 for modelling, JBuilder 4.0 for printing my source code - that is right that is all I use it for - and eclipse for the heavy lifting - the day to day work.

    I won't get into a discussion here about eclipse other than to say it is by far the most productive IDE I have ever worked with, that includes previous versions Visual Studio. It is faster than either JBulder or Together hands down, it has excellent support for refactoring, lots of very useful features that just make working more enjoyable. It is lean, it is mean, and it does not require any green!

    This is the point I would like to make, I work in an organization that thankfully invests in tools. I have Together 6.0 control center on my desk, JBuilder 4.0 on my desk and 6.0 on my shelf, but I use eclipse not because it is free but because it is simply a better product.

    I understand there are rumblings that Together will release a package that integrates into eclipse - I can't wait to see this because it would truly reprepresnt the best IDE ever available bar none - please no emacs spam - I love emacs I am just not intelligent enough to work with it on a day by day basis :-)