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Integration Planned for IBM-Rational in '04.

By Gavin Clarke

Cross-pollination between Rational Software's application lifecycle tools and other software in IBM Corp's software portfolio is on the cards for 2004.

Components in IBM's software together with the Eclipse shell will be more tightly integrated with Rational's own products, producing greater consistency of features for developers.

The integration is slated to take place as IBM beds down Rational's position in its software strategy. IBM's acquisition of Rational was announced last Fall but finally closed early this year.

Raising Rational's position in its software strategy, IBM unveiled a re-worked developerWorks site, featuring data on Rational's tools. developerWorks is home to code samples and preview editions of tools for IBM's other software products, including DB2, Lotus, WebSphere and Tivoli.

IBM said it will also integrate the annual developerWorks Live! conference with Rational's user conference next year, in Grapevine, Texas.

Additionally, as reported earlier by ComputerWire, IBM is expected to make evaluation copies of Rational's tools available via the developerWorks Toolbox, launched earlier this year.

Officially announcing Rational's new place on developerWorks, IBM claimed it has expanded support for the so-called Software Development Platform (SDP). By making Rational's tools available through the same location as development tools for other products in its software catalogue, IBM said the SDP provides a single, integrated point of contact for ISVs and C-level executives accessing the company's development tools.

However, it is the integration of components from IBM's other software products with those from Rational that would help realize the strategy of IBM senior vice president and group executive Steve Mills, to leverage software components across the group.

Roger Oberg, Rational director of market management, told ComputerWire integration would be a "huge deal" next year. Oberg said say integration has an economic benefit for IBM, helping cut development costs, while delivering a consistent usage experience for developer teams across IBM's middleware.

"People in an organization might be managing deployed applications today and tomorrow developing applications. Having similar components means greater consistency," Oberg said.

Integration with Eclipse would also provide a standard installation process for tools, he added.

Other objectives for IBM's Rational next year include simplicity in modeling and testing that begins earlier on in the application development cycle. Improved management of artifacts that are less file-based, and use of best practices in project management are also planned.

Oberg did not say when changes would appear or which products would be affected, but noted Rational's history of updating products up to two-times a year. "We will continue to do that," he said.
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Author:Clarke, Gavin
Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 12, 2003
Words:418
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