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IBM Rational Delivers Desktop Tools for 7.0 Dev Platform

IBM's Rational division is releasing tools and technologies to round out its Rational Software Delivery Platform. In June, the company launched version 7.0 of the platform's team-based products. Today's release is comprised of desktop products aimed at individual developers, architects, and testers.

The desktop products are Eclipse-based tools designed to help Rational customers govern the process of software and systems delivery, and to tighten the relationship between IT and line of business, says Scott Hebner, vice president of strategy for IBM Rational.

IBM's Rational division has evolved over the years from its traditional emphasis on software development to focus more on helping its customers do a better job of delivering software against their business objectives, he says. Increasingly, Rational is touting its process expertise—its know-how in the areas of designing, implementing, and managing the key business processes associated with delivering software.

"Customers are asking us to help them with software delivery," Hebner explains. "They may be dealing with reusable services. They may be outsourcing elements of development. They may be working with packaged applications, such as SAP or Oracle. Or they may be developing their own code. But emphasis is on delivery."

    The products in this phase include:

  • IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software is an IDE designed to enable Eclipse-based rapid application development for SOA, Java, J2EE, and portal applications.
  • IBM Rational Software Architect, which provides model-driven development for software architects and developers creating SOA, J2EE and portal applications.
  • IBM Rational Software Modeler, a UML2.1-based visual modeling and design tool for architects, systems analysts, and designers.
  • IBM Rational Systems Developer is an Eclipse-based systems design and development tool. It's supported by a partner ecosystem that includes plug-ins designed to enable systems and software architects and model-driven developers to create well-architected C/C++, Java, J2SE and CORBA-based applications. It leverages UML 2, analysis, and development capabilities. It also allows customers to build and manage Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) views and work products.
  • IBM Rational Functional Tester, an advanced, automated functional and regression testing tool for testers and GUI developers testing Java, VS.NET, Web-based, and packaged applications.
  • IBM Rational Functional Tester Plus, a functional and regression testing solution bundle designed to allow teams to test a wide variety of software applications, including Java, Web, Web services, .NET, and thick-client-technology-based applications.
  • IBM Rational Manual Tester, a manual test authoring and execution tool that promotes test step reuse to reduce the impact of software change on testers and business analysts.
  • IBM Rational ClearQuest and Functional Testing, a quality and change management bundle that offers testing teams an integrated solution for test management, defect management, and automated and manual functional testing.

This product release has special relevance for customers involved in service-oriented architectures, Hebner says, because the new capabilities are designed to help them to take a sound architectural approach to automating the delivery of software and services, and to improve their quality—particularly in a geographically distributed environment.

"We're talking about empowering the 'A' in SOA," Hebner says. "As customers mature their approach to modular software, that sound architectural approach becomes increasingly important."

The IBM Rational Software Delivery Platform 7.0 is based on the Eclipse 3.2 release. "We're using Eclipse to make this set of products more consumable," Hebner says. "We've taken advantage of Eclipse to make it possible for developers to plug-and-play the different functions they need. You could almost think of the platform as a portal for developers to these capabilities."

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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