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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2003-05-19 Print this article Print

Mike Devlin, general manager of IBMs Rational unit, in Lexington, Mass., said Rational is now tightly integrated with the IBM-sponsored Eclipse open-source development platform and WebSphere Studio development tools. According to Devlin, IBM is also targeting more integration between Rational and WebSphere Application Server; DB2, for data modeling; Tivoli, for software configuration management; and Lotus, for collaboration software and portal technology.

Increasingly, IBM is mingling features of its tools to support the on-demand strategy and adding autonomic—or self-managing, self-healing technology—to products such as Tivoli systems management solutions, WebSphere Application Server and the DB2 database offering.

"I think of IBM Software Group as pursuing a strategy of world domination of application platforms and infrastructure," said John Rymer, vice president of Giga Research, a unit of Forrester Research Inc., in Santa Clara, Calif. "Some of that is middleware, some of it is application servers, some of it is database servers, some of it is management. Pick a category, and [it] seems to have an entry."

Rymer said much of the credit should go to Senior Vice President and Software Group Executive Steve Mills take-no-prisoners approach to the business. "He is probably the perfect guy for the difficult job of running the group," Rymer said.

Although the formal IBM Software Group did not become so named until 1995, Mills said the division effectively began when he sent Janet Perna, now general manager of IBMs data management business, to develop a version of DB2 for Unix workstations to compete with offerings from Oracle Corp. (See interview with Mills.)

Perna said it wasnt until she moved into an executive position in New York and IBM decided to invest $1 billion on data management that the group really took off. So "by the end of 2000, we had surpassed everybody except Oracle," she said.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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