Over the past few months I've had some interesting conversations with Embarcadero executives. They've seeing a trend in IT and development that they've called the blended career. Since the their acquisition of Code Gear last year, which gave the company an international reach and a fresh set of developer products, folks from Embarcadero have been visiting customers to get a read on the needs and wants of the IT and Developer audience, especially in these difficult economic times.

In a discussion with Michael Swindell, the VP of product for Embarcadero, he told me that they've learned that IT and Developer budgets were under pressure in a number of differnt ways. Software licenses are being scruritnized. Basic Message was get more out of what you have. Companies may have smaller budget and need to do more: This puts a lot of pressure on the development and IT team. Many companies are dealing with layoffs and mergers and acquisitions: However, those systems stay in place, so the team has to take on this work in addition to the work that they’re already doing. This means that the existing teams have to understand the work that other people did. They have to be able to very quickly ramp up on source code that they’re unfamiliar with, or database platforms they may not have worked with, and they may not even have the tools they need for these different platforms and frameworks.

In other words, in many companies it's no longer enough to be a pure application developer, or a pure SQL Server DBA. What Embarcadero heard from developers, DBAs, and architects is that they're taking on both extra work in their field and additional roles. So a developer may now be asked to do some testing and performance testing. Or an architect may be asked to take on some DBA responsibilities. They call these blended roles, and they're becoming more and more typical. So it's important that tech professionals work smarter, not harder, to meet the demands put on them by their line of business owners, senior management, and the company as a whole. Often, due to budget constraints, it's no longer possible to rewrite, re-architect, or even replace applications and databases that are core to running a business as a means of achieving better performance or scalability. Likewise, simply throwing additional computing resources at the problem in an attempt to extend the life of an application or system is often no longer feasible due to capital costs. The only option is to get more out of existing systems with as little effort as possible.

For Embarcadero these studies helped them position their tools offerings. In February the company released Embarcadero All-Access, what they're calling the industry’s first software development solution that provides application developers, architects and database professionals with cost effective, on-demand access to all the tools they need to design, build and run software applications and data systems for all of their platforms and programming languages. In today’s economic climate, companies are under intense pressure to boost IT and R&D productivity while simultaneously reigning in costs,” said Al Hilwa, program director, Application Development Software, IDC. “One of the best ways to address this challenge is to provide application and database developers with the full range of tools they need to speed development, manage changes and compliance more efficiently, and to design things right in the first place. Software vendors that can affordably provide this broad range of tools across the industry’s most popular platforms and languages are well-positioned to become strategic partners to companies seeking to optimize their IT spend and boost efficiency, productivity and innovation.”

Recently Embarcadero announced a set of new and enhanced performance optimization tools to detect, fix and prevent a range of software errors that will improve the performance, availability and scalability of software systems. These tools include J Optimizer 2009 for Java profiling and optimization, DB Optimizer 1.5 for SQL profiling and tuning, and Performance Center for automated 24/7 database monitoring. Embarcadero All-Access is now available worldwide. Pricing in North America begins at $2,250 USD for a “Bronze” single-user Workstation license. To learn more about Embarcadero All-Access packages, visit the Embarcadero website.

J Optimizer and DB Optimizer are available now. Performance Center is available now and the new 2.7 release will launch in Q2 2009. For more information and pricing on individual optimization products, visit the company’s website www.embarcadero.com. As with all Embarcadero products, these optimization tools are also available in the Embarcadero All-Access tool chest