In the enterprise, developers are often working on code for software even as it’s already in production use by IT operations people. But what happens when that code still has bugs? How does operations communicate back to developers, and vice-versa?
The problem of integrating developer tools with operations tools is one that is now being tackled by IBM (NYSE: IBM), with a series of product integrations between its Rational developer tool division and its Tivoli IT operations software.
According to Big Blue, the integration of development and operations has the potential to yield benefits to enterprises in application lifecycle management, enabling code to be analyzed all the way from development to production — and back again.
“The integrations bring together tools and technologies that reside in the Rational portfolio on the one side, and Tivoli on the other, such that we can improve the process efficiencies between the applications development teams and operations teams,” Don O’Toole, director of strategy for Tivoli, told InternetNews.com.
One of the integrations involves Rational ClearQuest — a tool that tracks system changes and the status of problems — and Tivoli Service Request Manage, IBM’s platform for event and trouble ticket management.
O’Toole explained that with the two integrated products, information can be shared from a user and have it sent in near-real-time to the development team to be used for the continuous improvement of applications.
Performance management will also get a boost thanks to the integration of Rational Performance Tester and Tivoli Composite Application Manager. Rational Performance Tester is a pre-deployment tester that knows how to simulate loads, while the Tivoli Composite Application Manager actually sees real production loads and the environment for a given application in use.
“The integration between Rational Performance Tester and Tivoli Composite Application Manager is all about passing information back and forth about the actual environment,” Dave Locke, director of offerings at IBM Rational, told InternetNews.com. “On the post-deployment side, this allows Tivoli operations folks to dig deeper and find the problem that may be inside of application code.”
With the new integrations between the Rational and Tivoli applications, there is a degree of cross-application reporting, though both Locke and O’Toole had little to share on the progress IBM is making in that regard.
Though the current thrust of IBM’s developer-to-operations integrations involves its own portfolio of product, the company said it isn’t trying to lock in its users. Both O’Toole and Locke said both IBM divisions are using standards-based approaches for data, which was the basis for how the integrations came about in the first place.
As a result, Rational tools could potentially be integrated with operations tools from other vendors, while Tivoli application could foreseeably be used with third party developer tools.
“Our approach to other integrations is that we learned a long time ago that creating a proprietary barrier to other vendors’ products is a losing proposition,” O’Toole said. “We don’t have a stated strategy now to go out and develop integrations with any other particular vendor’s products, not on the scale that we’re doing across IBM products, but we certainly don’t rule that out as customers need them.”