Flashline, Collabnet Zero in on Developer Collaboration

New tools and strategies rolled out last week by Flashline Inc. and CollabNet Inc. are designed to ease collaboration among software developers.

New tools and strategies rolled out last week by Flashline Inc. and CollabNet Inc. are designed to ease collaboration among software developers.

To address a growing trend in enterprise application development, Flashline announced a new version of its software reuse platform that provides collaboration and integration capabilities, said Cathy Lippert, Flashlines vice president of product management.

The Cleveland-based companys Flashline CMEE (Component Manager Enterprise Edition) 3.2 supports collaboration among software developers and enables them to integrate new and reusable software assets—such as components and code libraries—with existing frameworks and systems, Lippert said.

New features include discussion forums for developers to chat about their reusable software components, enhanced integration with SCM (software configuration management) systems for better version control, and the ability to upload and import reusable software components.

Flashline said CMEE 3.2 integrates with SCM tools such as Rational Software Corp.s ClearCase and Merant plc.s PVCS Dimensions. It features an automatic import capability and automatically notifies the repository manager when a new component or software asset is added to the repository.

CMEE 3.2 will make it easier for organizations to benefit from reusing software assets by the nature of its repository and through the new collaborative features, Lippert said.

"The bigger issue for development is that weve spent too many years in silo development mode, where you need a different [integrated development environment] for each part of the development life cycle," from development to testing to presentation and layout to establishing business rules, said Rikki Kirzner, an analyst with International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass.

"Its too cost-prohibitive, so theres a movement by many organizations to do more to allow all developers to work as a team," Kirzner said. "We have to find a way to do things differently. And anything that allows the team to work better is a big step forward."

CMEE 3.2 will be available later this quarter, the company said.

Meanwhile, CollabNet, of Brisbane, Calif., is expanding a deal with Oracle Corp. to have CollabNets SourceCast collaborative development environment support the Oracle9i database and Oracle9i JDeveloper. JDeveloper is Oracles development tool set for building Java, XML and SQL applications.

Using SourceCast, Oracle developers will be able to collaborate with team members in disparate locations while working in the familiar Oracle database and tools environment, CollabNet officials said.

"Collaboration has had its knocks over the years, partly due to excess hype, like nearly every other concept. Its not magic pixie dust that improves every situation," said Brian Behlendorf, chief technology officer and founder of CollabNet. "Businesses will increase their levels of collaboration internally and externally as they get comfortable with both its strengths and limitations."