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New Rational Tools Link Operations to Development

IBM Rational has announced two new tools to bridge the traditional gap between enterprise IT operations and application development by integrating its testing and development tools with its Tivoli application management software.

Unveiled at the IBM Rational Software Development Conference in Las Vegas (5/22-5/26), the Problem Resolution Toolkit for Rational Application Developer and the Performance Optimization Toolkit for Rational Performance Tester "enable a faster, automated and more coherent process for problem identification and resolution in business applications," the company says.

"Basically, we're binging together a company's business stake-holders, development teams and operation teams to address IT lifecycle management challenges," says Roger Oberg, VP of marketing at IBM Rational.

IBM defines the IT lifecycle as a group of distinct but interrelated activities around the delivery of software that is aligned with business priorities and supported by an optimized IT environment. The idea is to reach beyond traditional siloed approaches to application development and deployment.

For the past year, IBM has been pursuing a strategy for addressing the challenges of managing the IT lifecycle, which it calls business-driven development. The new tools are a part of that ongoing strategy, Oberg says.

Both tools draw on IBM's Tivoli systems management software to identify and report failures to developers. The Tivoli software monitors application performance and quality while the application is live, tracing and storing details when it identifies performance or quality issues. The IBM Problem Resolution Toolkit is designed to enable developers to access that stored information and isolate the cause of the problem.

The Performance Optimization Toolkit uses Tivoli’s self-managing autonomic capabilities to suggest probable causes and resolutions. If the probable cause is linked to the application source code, the recorded information can then be shared with the developer for quick resolution.

Because its software development tools are based on the open-source Eclipse framework, IBM Rational was able to integrate these different technologies inside the same work environment, Oberg says.

"We’re leveraging this incredible portfolio the software group has that really addresses much more than the development part of what goes on in IT," Oberg says. "The result is that we're able to help customers address the complete lifecycle of IT challenges--not just development, not just operations. By integrating these two worlds, we're helping them to improve their IT business processes."

IBM is promoting the new toolkits as particularly helpful to companies that are building service-oriented architectures.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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