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IBM's Rational Takes One For The 'Team'

Working together is something IBM wants to see happen with its Rational application development tools.

To make it happen, the company is kicking off its Rational Software Development Conference this week by announcing upgrades to a dozen of its tools.

ClearQuest 7, IBM Rational ClearCase 7, IBM Rational Functional Tester Plus, IBM Rational Portfolio Manager 7, IBM Rational Purify Plus, IBM Rational RequisitePro 7, IBM Rational Robot, IBM Rational Rose, IBM Rational Rose Real-Time, IBM Rational Team Unifying Platform, IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager and IBM Rational Build Forge 7 will all show their new faces.

Roger Oberg, vice president of marketing and strategy for IBM Rational, said there are three main improvements with this product upgrade.

IBM is automating the build environment into a closed-loop build management environment; it is building out test extensions and enhancing globalization extensions.

"The concern today is how to get things to work together to accelerate global software delivery," Oberg told internetnews.com.

BuildForge, which IBM acquired last month, is a key component of that delivery system.

Oberg explained that when users integrate BuildForge with IBM Rational ClearQuest and IBM Rational Provisioning Manager, they can overcome the organizational silos between development, testing, build and production teams.

The integrated offer will enable users to take source code, build it, manage it in an automated way in BuildForge then test it and deploy it using Tivoli Provisioning Manager all in an integrated way.

"We call that closed-loop software delivery management," Oberg said.

IBM is also adding test management capability to IBM Rational ClearQuest. Oberg said this will provide a single point of view of all assets across development lifecycle.

Oberg is not concerned that releasing 12 products at the same time will be a problem for IBM's customers.

"We've seen our customers ask for everything that we're doing here," Oberg said.

"I don't think that anyone of our customers is going to adopt all 12 products, and that's the advantage of them being products and not just some kind of monolithic packaged application. They will adopt them incrementally in a modular way."

The 12 products updated in this current release set are products that Oberg referred to as "team products" since every member of a software development team (testers, developers, architects) may benefit from them.

IBM Rational's role-optimized products, such as IBM Rational System Developer, are not part of this update release cycle.

Oberg expects that the IBM Rational's role-optimized products will be updated in the fall.