IBM Opens Jazz Dev Community

IBM announced last week that it would open up its development platform to developers. is an open commercial software development community that helps to create global collaboration solutions based on IBM Rational technology. Jazz was originally open only to IBM staff, academics and customers. Now, any registered Jazz contributor can influence projects using the open standards, Eclipse-based Jazz platform.

IBM also announced IBM Rational Team Concert Express beta 2, the first planned product based on the Jazz technology platform. The product is designed to help small and mid-sized development teams located around the world collaborate on projects in real time. It aids companies with widely distributed workforces or organizations that need to facilitate communication between groups. The solution uses Web 2.0-style dashboards to illustrate the project status information. Users can use IBM's DB2 database or other databases as a repository for project information.

The new solution is referred to as one of "a new family of development servers" that IBM is working on, according to the company's press release. While IBM Rational Team Concert Express has an open source flavor, the aim of the Jazz project is still commercial. The technology supports open standards for middleware, and those open standards are also used by IBM in its WebSphere servers and in the open source Apache Tomcat server, according to IBM's announcement.

The Jazz project simply opens up the development process to include customer feedback, according to Dr. Danny Sabbah, IBM's general manager of Rational Software.

"Open commercial development at is changing the way IBM products are delivered to customers by making the process truly a community effort," Sabbah stated in the announcement.

Most of the IBM Rational portfolio will gradually evolve to include Jazz technology, facilitating the integration of IBM's products with those of its partners, the announcement added.

The beta 2 version of IBM Rational Team Concert Express is currently available at IBM plans to make it available as a product sometime later this year, although qualified open source projects and academic organizations will be able to use it for free.

Another project that is being developed as part of is Project Bluegrass, which aims to create a more visual user interface for collaboration and communication among teammates. It's designed for post-Baby Boomer generations.

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Will Kraft is a Web designer, technical consultant and freelance writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. Also, check out his blog at