Simplifying Rationals tool set

By eweek  |  Posted 2004-07-29 Print this article Print

What is Rational doing to simplify its tool set? Well, the essence of the problem is that software development is fundamentally and intrinsically hard, so there is a complexity that we cant cut through. Rational is advancing on two particular dimensions. The first is as we move toward more domain-specific languages, the efforts that we have right now in the area of business rules that I can express in UML and driving those in an implementation. Thats a classic example of where you have non-software types who need to embrace what were doing here. Its also the case that, and this goes back to the heart of what Microsoft and Borland face, getting a common conceptual model for the developer is really, really hard because there are so many moving parts in a system.
And what helps us is that the RUP has given us at least some guidance that we can apply into the tools themselves.
Now we havent been perfect in the bashing together of all of our tools. For example, on the ClearCase side, a lot of whats been driving the current ClearCase activity is that our first architectural assumption of the ClearCase system was people who use it will be all locked in behind the same firewall. The worlds very different. And now we have multiple users that say, "No, we want to use ClearCase in a multisite environment where we have different levels of security for each of them and they may go across protected firewalls." That causes us to have a tremendous rearchitecting of some of the basics of ClearCase itself, and thats whats being driven a lot into our current releases. And you dont know those things until you get into it. So knowing a priori would have been impossible for us until we had demanding customers apply what were doing. So increasingly we look at what our customers are asking for, and we try to simplify. Thats what UCM is about in fact, the Unified Configuration Management. Because ClearCase in its raw form you can do too much with it. So the desire is lets come up with the common best practices for applying it. Thats what we put into the RUP. We provide tool mentors that help you out so you can do all sorts of things, but at least we give you a path for doing the simple things easily. Do you expect to have anything like the Express products that Microsoft announced? You know, Im not the right person to answer that question because I just kind of invent new stuff. I dont worry about that kind of packaging. So I obviously dont know the answer to that question. Lee [Nackman, IBM Rationals CTO] and others would be better to answer that. Next Page: Visual Studio Team System connection.


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