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From CAWorld: Taking life-cycle tack

As part of its kick-off at CAWorld 2004 in Las Vegas, Computer Associates (CA) officials will describe a renewed effort to promote an application life-cycle software strategy with a wider collection of products now placed under the AllFusion umbrella. Like competitor IBM, the company expects life-cycle approaches to gain traction as ''on-demand'' computing grows.

CA's John Meyer, the firm's vice president of business strategy, said the firm will embrace standards to improve tools integration. CA intends to use IBM-originated Eclipse standards to integrate its life-cycle management offerings. Application life cycle approaches, said Meyer, will be based around well-connected analysis, modeling, construction change, configuration and meta data management, and testing tools.

As longtime observers point out, Computer Associates has obtained many diverse software suites over the years. Connecting them using industry standards could therefore be a big plus. The strategy aimed at connecting some of those products has taken time to coalesce, and there is further work ahead.

We asked Meyer how things have changed in development tool strategies over the years, pointing to the considerable effort CA has gathered around the Jasmine object environment several years ago. He said customers today want to be able to swap in tools as needed, and that standards such as Eclipse can support this.

''Jasmine was a conglomeration of products with one name. It was a Holy Grail environment, one environment. Now we say 'open source is important.' Now we will integrate with Eclipse. Previously, around Jasmine, it was a bet on CA -- all or nothing,'' said Meyer.

''Now you can get to it if you want it. Where there are standards, we are going to support them,'' he added.

To begin with, CA is using Eclipse for integration for its change management tool suites. ''We are starting with change management and building upon that,'' Meyer explained.

Looking out 12 to 18 months, according to the company, business portfolio planning, business modeling and requirements management software will be enhanced and integrated.

At CAWorld, company representatives outlined a host of open-source-related efforts. Ingres Enterprise Relational Database for Linux will be open sourced in 90 days under a CA Trusted Open Source License. CA will work with JBoss Inc. to forge links between the JBoss app server and Ingres DB. The company is also embracing Zope Python-based open-source software for content management and other tasks. CA officials said Ingres will also be the initial database underlying Zope RDBMS Persistence Engine.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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