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IBM Extends Rational For SOA Deployment

IBM is extending its Eclipse-based Rational line and offering new standalone support for Eclipse users.

Rational Software Delivery Platform 7.0 includes more than a dozen individual Rational products, with the unifying theme being the enablement, use, discovery and creation of SOA , according to Dave Locke, director of offerings marketing for IBM Rational.

Locke said that IBM's new platform integrates more of the lifecycle than just the development phase. "It used to be just a software development platform and now it's a software delivery platform and that really changes the game for our users," Locke told internetnews.com.

One of the new offerings is IBM Rational Elite Support for Eclipse, which was first announced in September. Until now there was not any degree of formal commercial support for the open source Eclipse IDE.

The only way users could get some support from IBM would have been to purchase an IBM-licensed, Eclipse-based Rational product. With IBM Rational Elite Support for Eclipse, developers can now get support just for Eclipse instead of having to first be running a Rational product.

Other products within the Rational Software Delivery Platform 7.0 include IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software, IBM Rational Software Architect, IBM Rational Software Modeler, IBM Rational Systems Developer, IBM Rational Functional Tester, IBM Rational Manual Tester, IBM Rational ClearQuest and Functional Testing and Rational Data Architect and IBM Rational Software Modeler 7.0.

The new tools expand Rational's integration more upstream into lines of business aspects such as business modeling, Locke said. "We can track and govern and ensure with more accuracy that we're building stuff in line with what the line of business people want to do."

The Rational Software Delivery Platform 7.0 rollout is the second major product release cycle for IBM Rational in the last six months.

At Rational's Software Development Conference in June, IBM announced a dozen new team tools also geared toward software delivery. They differ from those included in the Rational Software Delivery Platform 7.0 rollout in that they are optimized for an entire IT development team, including testers, developers and architects, as opposed to being merely role-optimized products.