IBM Takes Its Collaborative Development Software to the Cloud, Mobile Spaces

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-06-04

IBM Takes Its Collaborative Development Software to the Cloud, Mobile Spaces

ORLANDO, Fla. €” Taking  a page from its Jazz playbook, IBM (NYSE: IBM) has announced a range of new software solutions that will help customers create software applications faster and with higher quality across multiple development environments including cloud, mobile and complex systems.

IBM said the software world€™s push toward continuously evolving systems necessitates consistency and collaboration across the entire software lifecycle and supply chain. Often software development teams are struggling to meet business expectations due to a lack of hard facts€”shared data and a consistent context across organizational boundaries, exposed through clear metrics. 

To address these challenges, IBM is introducing a new version of its integrated software Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution with extended design management capabilities, said Charles Chu, director of product management and strategy at IBM. CLM is built on IBM€™s open, collaborative development platform, Jazz, and brings together IBM Rational Requirements Composer, IBM Rational Team Concert and IBM Rational Quality Manager in one easy-to-install and easy-to-use solution. The new CLM software ensures that software design is integrated with the rest of the software application development lifecycle. Development teams are then able to seamlessly collaborate on the design and development of software with key stakeholders from across the business. IBM announced the new CLM solution and much more at the IBM Innovate 2012 conference here on June 4.

According to preliminary findings of an IBM Institute for Business Value Global Study on software delivery, more than three-fourths of the participating organizations said they are underprepared for major technology trends that will impact their competitiveness. These trends include the proliferation of mobile devices, the ability to leverage cloud-based resources for flexibility and savings, and the growing percentage of smart products with embedded software. While 50 percent of the organizations in the study said they believe successful software delivery is crucial to their competitive advantage, only 25 percent currently leverage it.

€œToday€™s business dilemma is how to address both the need for rapid delivery and required control in the software development process,€ said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager, IBM Rational, in a statement. €œWe must balance the need for speed and agility with better governance to manage cost and quality, achieve regulatory compliance, ensure security, and have some level of financial predictability.€

Software Should Address Rapid Delivery, Required Control


Meanwhile, in a typical organization, it may take weeks or months to deliver a development change, due to infrastructure and configuration, testing and manual deployment, and lack of collaboration between development and operations teams, IBM said. Continuous software delivery in the cloud allows customers to continuously and automatically deliver changes across the enterprise software delivery lifecycle, spanning development, application testing and operations. With a €œDevOps€ approach in the cloud, customers can reduce time to market and automate changes in development, test and production. IBM is supporting cloud delivery, development and operations with new solutions, including:

  • IBM Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise provides an agile cloud computing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) well-suited for development and test that is designed to provide rapid access to secure, enterprise-class virtual server environments.
  • The IBM SmartCloud Application Services pilot provides a pay-as-you-go service that coordinates activities across business and system requirements, design, development, build, test and delivery.
  • IBM SmartCloud for Government development and test platform as a service delivers industry-leading Rational tools for government agencies in a highly scalable, elastic computing environment for agencies that want the cost savings of a shared cloud environment combined with Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) security.
  • IBM SmartCloud Continuous Delivery managed beta via a hosted sandbox in the cloud, provides a hands-on experience of DevOps capabilities enabling accelerated code-to-deploy through automation, standardization repeatable processes and improved coordination and visibility among dev, test and Ops teams.
  • IBM SmartCloud Application Performance Management software provides comprehensive monitoring and management capabilities that enable development and operations professionals to reduce costly troubleshooting and free resources to focus on developing new innovations and services for customers. With this tighter integration, application issues can be found and resolved faster, but also proactively prevented to avoid future service disruption.

€œThis is a beta that allows our customers to try out our direct integration from development through deployment,€ Chu said.

China Merchants Bank (CMB), headquartered in Shenzhen, China, has more than 800 branches, more than 50,000 employees and is cited as one of the world€™s top 100 banks. China Merchant€™s Bank environment spans IBM System z and IBM Power platforms. With geographically dispersed developers responsible for modernizing core banking and credit card processing applications, collaboration became essential. CMB used IBM Rational CLM software capabilities to create a multiplatform application lifecycle management (ALM) environment to help automate their development processes and break down skills silos for effective cross-teaming.

€œIBM Rational Developer and ALM tools were brought into our credit card migration and core banking system project,€ Zhanwen Chen, manager of configuration management at China Merchants Bank, said in a statement. €œReplacing older tools and coordinating the efforts of our 1,000-plus developers improved our quality and performance.€

IBM Rational CLM has also been extended to the IBM Mobile Foundation platform for centralized code sharing and distributed mobile application development. Currently, fragmentation of mobile devices, tools and platforms complicate delivery of mobile applications that typically have faster time-to-market and more frequent releases. The IBM Enterprise Mobile Development solution helps teams apply an end-to-end lifecycle management process to design, develop, test and deploy mobile applications while enabling seamless integration with enterprise back-end systems and cloud services through mobile-optimized middleware. The Enterprise Mobile Development solution brings together several offerings that optimize the recent Worklight acquisition as well as IBM enterprise development environments, including:

  • Rational Solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management
  • IBM Worklight Studio 5.0 and IBM Worklight Server 5.0
  • Rational Application Developer v8.5
  • Rational Developer for System z v8.5
  • Rational Developer for Power Systems v8.5
  • IBM Application Center 5.0
  • Android SDK and Emulator

€œThe IBM Enterprise Mobile Development solution is integrated with Worklight Studio and Worklight Server,€ Chu said. €œWe abstract away the need to rewrite an app multiple times.€

IBM€™s integration of its recently acquired Green Hat technology comes into play here. Today's applications and manufactured products put additional pressures on development teams to find innovative ways to attain agility and increase the rate that software updates are delivered for testing. IBM has integrated the recently acquired Green Hat technology with IBM Rational CLM to help address the challenges of testing highly integrated and complex systems and simplify the creation of virtual test environments. New IBM test automation solutions use virtualized test environments and can reduce costs associated with the setup, maintenance and teardown of infrastructure associated with traditional testing or cloud-based implementations. 

For the 11th consecutive year, IBM has been named the No. 1 shareholder in the worldwide application development software market, according to Gartner, with 25 percent of the market. Gartner reported that IBM continues to lead in key and growing segments, including the Distributed Software Change & Configuration Management, Requirements Elicitation and Management, Design and Java Platform AD Tools, and realized 25 percent growth in the Security Testing (DAST & SAST) market.

Moreover, according to Evans Data's "Users' Choice: 2012 Software Development Platforms," IBM's Rational continues its reign as the most highly rated overall platform offering. IBM obtained  this honor in six of the last seven years, according to Evans Data, whose ranking is based on a  survey of 1,200 developers globally.

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