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News from JavaOne: OptimalJ gains broader life-cycle coverage

Compuware Corp. this week announced a major upgrade of its OptimalJ development environment. Updates are said to better unite analysis, design and testing processes.

As disclosed at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco, OptimalJ 3.2 expands application life-cycle coverage to include fuller UML support for system analysis, while improving test coverage via model-driven, unit test generation. The enhancements move OptimalJ further from the category of point tool and more toward the category of integrated solution.

By combining elements of different products in OptimalJ 3.2, "we've expanded our life-cycle coverage," said Mike Burba, launch manager at Compuware. "We've also improved collaboration among development team members. OptimalJ can be used all the way from analysis to handing off to quality assurance," he said.

The software has several new hooks that should appeal to a variety of role players in the enterprise software development team. For example, with this release, OptimalJ gains an OptimalJ Developer Edition that includes the IntelliJ Idea IDE from JetBrains for code inspection, analysis and other programmer tasks. For teams seeking to manage source-code assets with IBM Rational ClearCase, the company has added ClearCase support to its existing CVS integration.

OptimalJ, which appeared on the market well after the first rush of Java tools, has long been touted as a model-driven environment that was more in line with enterprise development strategies than its command-line tool competition. This week's moves seem to better enable OptimalJ for use in enterprise shops seeking to automate more of the development process.

This puts the tool in more direct competition with the IBM Rational and Borland Java tool environments. It also places it as a more central part of a trend recently described by Mark Driver, VP and research director at Gartner Group. "In large-scale enterprise development, the pendulum is starting to swing away from integrating point solutions for application analysis, construction and deployment," he noted.

The enhanced toolset improves OptimalJ for use in Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs). "In order to work in SOAs, you have to know what an organization is doing from both business and technical perspectives," said Mike Sawicki, OptimalJ product manager. "OptimalJ and other tools can identify programs and program fragments, and [map this to meta data representations of ] knowledge of how an organization does business.

"That can be formalized in models and patterns that lead to code and deployment," added Sawicki. That is important because applications can typically outlive the tools used to create them, he noted.

About the Author

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

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