Tying together another loose end, Borland's next version of its Together design tool is adding out-of-the-box .NET support. The tool, which began life as a UML tool that could interactively spit out Java code, now gives you the choice of C# as well.
The new version, Borland Together 2007, also aims to broaden itself from simply a software modelling tool. It already has BPMN support, giving it business process modelling aspirations (although this is clearly a developer's, not a business analyst's view of a process). In this version, Borland is adding support for so-called domain specific models. These are frameworks that you can custom design as your own de facto standard modelling language.
Other enhancements focus around reporting. While Together keeps its existing reporting utility, in this version it is also adding support for BIRT, a reporting tool that has been developed as part of the Eclipse project. And it adds new wizards for its QVT (query/view/transformation) facility that is used for transforming models to text or to support other metamodels, and vice versa.
Model-driven development has been one of the themes that is consistently promoted by the OMG, the group that manages the UML standard. The idea is to manage development as an artifact of software architecture, using a model-driven framework so that code and models are always in sync.
This has always been something of a controversial concept in the developer community, as many developers often feel that MDA is not completely realistic, or that it tends to bind their hands. And when UML initially came out, the idea of generating code from a model was something of a pipedream.
That is the background behind Together, which debuted barely a couple years after UML 1.0 and Java/ J2EE 1.x emerged. As one of the first tools that made model and code development virtually synchronous, the Together tools helped blur the boundary between design and development. Borland acquired the company in 2002, and since then, IBM/Rational and others have replicated Together's feats with model-driven development.
Outside the bundling of .NET support (which you formerly had to obtain separately), Borland Together 2007 is clearly an incremental upgrade.