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GM Devlin outlines Rational plan

The Rational Software unit of IBM will unveil a strategy plan for the coming year during its annual user conference next week in Orlando, Fla.

In an interview with eADT last week, Rational General Manager Mike Devlin said the firm’s “key initiative” calls for boosting its model-driven development efforts. The plan also calls for extending its enterprise change and configuration management technologies into other IBM operations and to create what he called “asset-based development” tools and processes.

Rational’s model-driven development initiative is “more broadly defined than MDA,” the model-driven architecture standard created by the Object Management Group, Devlin said. “We include debugging tools, BPM tools and all life cycle tools that run on all platforms,” he said. The broad Rational MDD offerings will include “a ton of technology from WebSphere and from IBM research.”

Meanwhile, Clearcase and the Clearcase toolsets will be utilized by sister units within IBM’s Software group, including Tivoli Systems and the WebSphere unit, Devlin said.

Finally, the asset-based development effort will include tools to capture corporate assets, capture intellectual property, and then use those assets to quickly build applications, Devlin said.

Rational has also embraced the Eclipse universal tool platform that was created by the Eclipse consortium of companies created about a year ago by IBM and a group of toolmakers and described by Devlin as “a bit of a Holy Grail for those of us that have been in the tool business for 20 years.”

Devlin said he also plans to provide a state of the merger address at the conference, which marks the six-month anniversary of the closing of IBM’s deal to buy Rational, which Devlin co-founded 23 years ago. “At time of the acquisition, the goal was to accelerate the business -- with IBM building in a far more aggressive growth plan than we had as an independent company.” Though Devlin wouldn’t release specifics -- IBM doesn’t break out financial results from separate units -- he did say that Rational is meeting those early IBM goals.

Devlin also told eADT that his firm’s agreement with Microsoft, which some observers predicted would fall apart after the acquisition, is continuing apace. “That did cause skepticism,” he acknowledged. “But the relationship has gone pretty well. We continue to deliver .NET products. Microsoft is a sponsor of the Rational User Group and Rational is a sponsor of TechEd.”

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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