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IBM Expands Rational For Global Development Teams

IBM this week will lay out a new roadmap for its Rational development platform at the IBM Rational Software Development Conference in Orlando, Florida this week. The roadmap includes new development methodologies and services for service oriented architecture (SOA) .

Because software development teams are more often spread around the globe rather than just the same office building, IBM  is introducing a new Web-centric development platform for Rational.

Also, the company opened a new developer community called Jazz.net for partners, customers and the global software development community. Jazz.net will allow customers to collaborate with IBM and other community members on their development efforts, keep up with changes, report bugs and offer mutual assistance.

The first product built on the Jazz platform will be Rational Team Concert, a collaborative portal designed to improve software delivery team productivity using Agile development methodologies.

Agile is a faster method of software development with shorter time between releases and is often used by physically distributed teams. "In today's market, that whole teaming notion is exponentially more difficult. In yesteryear I could work with a teammate in the next cube. Now with outsourcing to India and China how do we devise a global model?" Dave Locke, director of offerings marketing at IBM Rational told internetnews.com.

IBM recently released Rational Portfolio Manager 7.1 with a new AJAX-based Web interface that allows team members to manage their work or submit time and expense reports.

The company plans to release Rational Asset Manager on June 29, 2007, a new software tool that serves as a registry of design, development and deployment related assets, such as codes, patterns and tests. It can be accessed by a distributed team and has all of the usual code management features, like asset-tracing and utilization monitoring.

IBM is also introducing an updated version of Rational ClearCase, a source code management tool, with emphasis on helping clients with global projects monitor these spread out efforts.

Locke called Jazz "Eclipse phase 2. It's about driving forward the connectivity of teams for more effective sharing and real time connectivity toward each other."

Liz Barnett, principal analyst with EZ Insight, agreed. "The reason Eclipse is such a good environment for developers is it assumes you will change, and Jazz is built on Eclipse. It's at least a very practical way to work. It's a big step forward for IBM in the Agile market," she told internetnews.com.

The IBM Rational Software Development Conference 2007 runs through Thursday. More information on Jazz and the new Rational products can be found on the IBM Rational home page.