Eclipse gains ground as open-source test platform

IBM Rational announced on Monday that it plans to standardize its suite of automated software quality (ASQ) tools around the Hyades open-source platform. Hyades is a subgroup of the Eclipse open-source project focused on providing infrastructure for test tool interoperability as well as data traceability. Supporters of Hyades include IBM, Scapa Technologies, Compuware, SAP, Intel and others.

Geoffrey Bessin, marketing manager at IBM Rational, said that Rational's work with the Hyades Project goes back before Rational's purchase by IBM. 'There is a general consensus that the state of software quality is in disarray, and that what is needed is help for each person of the IT team, from the business analyst and developer to the IT operations [people]. We need an infrastructure that supports customized tools that can be integrated,' he said.

In this quest, said Bessin, 'Hyades is an enabler.' Moreover, 'Eclipse-Hyades-savvy' tools will permit the flow of information between different development team collaborators, he indicated.

Serge Lucio, senior product manager at IBM Rational, said the Hyades open-source software solution that IBM Rational is pursuing will not require developers to standardize on any particular test script language.

Hyades goal is to provide interoperability between tools, he noted. 'First, we created some data models so that assets can be interchanged between tools. There is also a layer for remote execution and data collection. Finally, we standardized [the front end] around the Eclipse user interface metaphor.'

The IBM Rational solution uses the Eclipse modeling framework and XMI for data interchange, said Lucio, who noted that IBM envisions Hyades for use in tracing and monitoring, not just for software quality testing.

The software could represent a marked change in test software, where proprietary formats have continued to flourish. Even within IBM, there is wariness of such lock-in, said Bessin. With Hyades, he maintained, 'there is no lock-in.'

Over time, moves like this should better enable third-party testing tool vendors and IT organizations to support the IBM Rational ASQ suite. Expect more on Hyades and Eclipse at the IBM Rational User Conference set for Grapevine, Texas, July 18-23.

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About the Author

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

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