August 5, 2009

Segue/Borland/MicroFocus SilkPerformer - Who Owns It?

SilkPerformer is a popular performance and load testing tool. It has a confusing history and has bounced around between companies quite a bit. Here is where it came from and the current state of who owns it.

The history AFAIK:

  • Segue buys a product from some (scandanavian?) company and names it Segue SilkPerformer.
  • Borland buys Segue and names it Borland SilkPerformer.
  • Micro Focus buys Borland and name it Micro Focus SilkPerformer.

Right now it is a little confusing because Borland still lists it as a product. The acquisition of Borland just went through a few days ago and now Micro Focus has it listed on its site also. I would expect the Borland site to eventually disappear.

To make it even more confusing; Micro Focus also bought Compuware which had its own performance/load testing application. So now Micro Focus is marketing QALoad as well as SilkPerformer, which overlap in most functionality.

It will be interesting to see where this goes and what happens to the product lines.


Andrew said...


I used SilkPerformer for performance testing a UK eBank in 2000 and was told that the original company was Austrian. At the time this was where all the development for the product was done and the source of all the interesting information.

According to our local MicroFocus rep they are going to maintain both SilkPerformer and QA load!



Randy said...

Hey Corey,

Why don't you try using CapCal? It's easier to use than the free tools and costs less than the ones you listed. Drop me a line and I'll set you up with a free account and 30 days! We do tests as large as 50,000 virtual users, inside or outside the firewall.


Corey Goldberg said...

Hi Randy.

is it cloud based?
how does it deploy inside my firewall?

Randy said...


It doesn't *have* to be cloud based - you can deploy it on your own machines - but if you take one of our agent machine images and install your VPN on it you can spin up as many as you need and tear them down when you are finished. Have you played around on EC2 yet? It's pretty cool I have to say!


Corey Goldberg said...

ahh got it.
yeah i have played with EC2. it is *very* cool for scaling out load generators.

how is the tool scripted?

Randy said...

Ooops, I just realized I posted this comment to the wrong post - sorry about that!

Keep up the good work-

Randy said...


We capture the raw HTTP/S, filter it, and parameterize the querystrings and post data so that you can supply data files to provide unique sessions. There isn't a scripting language per se and I've rarely needed one. I can give you a 20 minute online demo anytime you want and show you both the cloud and non-cloud implementations.

emden09 said...

Hy Corey,

probably you want to update the "start" of the history, because actually the people who once started "SilkPerformer" are still developing it today. So this is the start of it:

Dr. Reindl and Dr.Ambichl of a company named ARC (where the A is Ambichl and the R is Reindl) in Linz Austria developed a tool which they named SQLBench in the early 1990s.

ARC was then sold to Segue and so on.

But the development team in Linz Austria is still the active development team for the tool which was named SilkPerformer when Segue bought ARC. And Borland bought segue and MicroFocus bought Borlands "Silk"-Tools.

As far as I know Borland even gave the development of the functional Testautomation Tool SilkText and the Testnmanagement Tool SilkCentral Testmanager to the Linz Team.

Also AFAIK the Performance Testmanagement Tool SilkCentral Performancemanager was discontinued and is not sold anymore because of "performance" issues ;-)


Corey Goldberg said...


thanks for the great history update!

Mieke Gevers said...

Hello Michael,

Your information is correct. Just some more details regarding the "Performance Testmanagement Tool SilkCentral Performancemanager" which I feel is a bit confusing. There are 2 products: the first one is SCTM (SilkCentral TestManager) and secondly, SCPM (SilkCentral Performance Manager), both using the same framework or platform (called SilkCentral). Now you might be under the impression that SCPM, the Performance management tool, has been discontinued but in fact it is being sold successfully (as OEM) by BMC and called TM ART, short for "Transaction Management Application Response Time" and based on the technology of SilkPerformer and all the former Segue tools, incl. TM ART are now all being developed and maintained at the Linz Team.