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IBM offers new integrated tools for J2EE development teams

As promised, a week after releasing a new version of WebSphere, IBM announced a new integrated toolset that draws heavily on its Rational technology.

'It’s about transforming and simplifying Java development,' Roger Oberg, vice president of marketing at IBM, tells JDT.

Taking a teamwork approach, the new IBM Software Development Platform provides products with 'IBM Rational' branding for different groups involved in the development lifecycle, including architects, project managers, testers, and, of course, developers.

The tool suite takes into consideration the fact that, in reality, a developer may need tools that fit several of those job descriptions.

Oberg says the tools are designed 'for those who wear many hats. This is something you see in many organizations where a developer will develop and they will also do some functional testing or performance testing.'

The new IBM Rational tools also continue the quest for a gentler Java to make J2EE-based development easier, Oberg says.

'For the Java developer, we’re trying to make Java development less complicated,' he explains. 'Things like support for service data objects, Java Server Faces, the kind of point-and-click development user experience that we’re providing in Rational Application Developer for WebSphere are good examples of how we take J2EE development and simplify it.

Emphasizing a commitment to both the Java and open-source developer communities, he points out that the IBM Rational tools are based on the Eclipse integrated developer environment.

The tools, which are scheduled to be ready for development teams to start using by the end of December, include:

* IBM Rational Portfolio Manager, for prioritizing, planning, managing, and measuring IT projects.

* IBM Rational Software Architect, for specifying, validating and maintaining software application architecture throughout the development lifecycle.

* IBM Rational Software Modeler using Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.0, to provide a visual modeling and design tool for architects, system analysts, and designers to document and communicate their specifications.

* IBM Rational Manual Tester, based on the Eclipse platform, which provides manual test authoring that can be distributed among team members working on quality assurance.

While IBM does offer some tools without charge, these tools have price tags in the U.S. ranging from $1,000 to $5,500 per user.

More information on the new IBM Rational tools is available at http://www.ibm.com/software/rational/announce/oct-2004/.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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