IBM Rational yesterday previewed integration between lifecycle management tools and collaboration between individuals in its next major product release.
Opening Rational’s annual user conference, in Dallas, Texas, the company demonstrated application design, construction and testing that reduced the need to toggle between products in the company’s Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) portfolio.
Codenamed Atlantic, and due by the end of the year, the updated Rational platform sees integration both at the user-interface and the semantics level, with the latter improving links between use cases, requirements and test cases.
Integration will be underpinned by Eclipse, the open source tools framework backed by IBM, which provides a common meta model so that so-called artifacts can be traced and tacked across different tools in the Rational suite.
Atlantic covers Rational’s team infrastructure and desktop tools.
IBM put Atlantic in the broader context of asset-based development – where elements in a software development project, like code for a CICS or Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application, can be used, consumed and managed centrally by all members in a development team.
Mike Devlin, Rational’s general manager, said IBM’s software development platform provides a unifying set of tools letting a team work together as a team. Eclipse allows us to get integration across roles, deep semantic integration on common meta models so there’s real data sharing, Devlin said.
Ovum senior analyst for software development strategies Bola Rotibi, said Rational’s framework is a step in the right direction, in attempting to improve team communication, but doesn’t crack the difficult task of understanding different roles in the development and delivery process, and aligning business needs with technology deliverables.
I think they have a hole there, linking the business to the technology side. They are taking the right steps, but they aren’t there yet, Rotibi said.
Devlin also made great play of Rational’s support for open standards in Atlantic, including Eclipse, Java and Linux. Atlantic will feature Java Server Faces (JSF) for drag-and-drop development ratified by the Java Community Process (JCP), Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.0 from the Object Management Group (OMG) and expanded support of Eclipse 3.0 for creation of C/C++ applications.