IBM Sets Course for Rational Atlantic Suite

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-07-19

IBM Sets Course for Rational Atlantic Suite

GRAPEVINE, Texas–IBM Corp. laid out its vision for the next version of its Rational development tools suite that the company has code-named "Atlantic."

During a keynote address at the Rational Software Development User Conference here, Mike Devlin, general manager of IBMs Rational division, said Atlantic represents the next generation of all of Rationals tools, including its desktop tools, modeling design and testing. The Atlantic tool set will be available by the end of the year, he said.

Click here to read eWEEKs interview with Devlin.

In addition, IBM announced several new tools to round out its IBM Software Development Platform, including tools for its Workplace family of products.

Buell Duncan, general manager of ISV and developer relations, said the new tools help to broaden the ecosystem IBM has generated around its toolset.

Duncan said the ecosystem is in full effect, with more than four million developers belonging to the IBM developerWorks network of developers, and more than 900 companies having joined IBMs ISV partner program.

Devlin said much of the technology that will become available in the IBM Software Development Platform by the end of the year will be based on the Eclipse 3.0 open-source application development platform.

Sridhar Iyengar, an IBM distinguished engineer and chief technical strategist for IBM Rational, said the new initiatives represent deeper integration between IBMs Rational and WebSphere product lines as a base concept.

Click here to read more about IBMs efforts to provide a high degree of integration between the Rational development tools and WebSphere.

Meanwhile, IBM is improving its design and development capabilities with new technology such as JavaServer Faces, Service Data Objects, Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.0 for automated modeling support, visual refactoring and integration with the Eclipse-based Hyades test, trace and monitoring environment.

Next Page: Building on open-source platforms.

Building on Open Source

"The Eclipse framework is setting the agenda here," Iyengar said. In his keynote, Devlin said IBMs development model involves building on open-source platforms and open systems, building on shared models, integrating the user experience, bringing practitioners together and integrating deeply with the development team. Atlantic provides all of these capabilities, he said.

In fact, during a demonstration of the technology, Lee Nackman, the chief technology officer at Rational, showed how within the context of the Atlantic platform, he could use Web services, modeling, testing, defect management, requirements management, Web application development, and Web services development—all in one integrated development environment—and not write one line of code. Nackman showed new capabilities based on JavaServer faces and UML 2.0.

Devlin said the Atlantic technology takes Rationals XDE, formerly known as the Extended Development Environment, technology "and better integrates it with Eclipse and adds UML 2.0."

IBM is a strict adherent to the UML specification, including engineers within Rational and Grady Booch, the divisions chief scientist.

But Microsoft Corp., which recently announced its own application life cycle development toolset, named Visual Studio Team System, has chosen not to strictly adhere to UML as the basis for its modeling technology. Microsoft officials said, however, that the company will support UML for customers who need it.

"Visual Studio Team System is about [Microsofts] team environment, which has been known for a long time to focus on small teams," Iyengar said.

"Microsoft is doing some good things" in this space, he said. "They have to, as their goals shift more toward the enterprise." But by not following UML, Microsoft is taking a route that could leave it on its own in the modeling community, Iyengar said.

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