IBM DevOps Efforts Strengthened at IBM Innovate 2013

IBM announced new software and strategies to enhance its DevOps capabilities for IBM SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst.

ORLANDO, Fla.—IBM has announced new software, training and resources to help organizations create, test and deliver mobile and cloud applications.

Announced June 3 at the company's IBM Innovate 2013 conference, also known as The IBM Technical Summit, here, these initiatives expand the development capabilities of IBM's SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst offerings and shore up IBM's foray into the world of DevOps.

In an opening keynote for the event, Kristof Kloeckner, general manager of IBM Rational Software, said mobile and cloud computing are powerful technology trends that have the potential to help businesses drive new revenue and transform the enterprise. Typical software development approaches can take weeks of turnaround time for code changes.

Yet user choice and ease of movement mean that speed and quality are of the essence for businesses. To succeed in this fast-moving market, organizations need to deliver mobile and cloud software faster and more frequently than ever, IBM said.

Key to this transition is DevOps, Kloeckner said. DevOps is an integrated approach to software delivery that integrates an organization's culture, processes and tools. It spans the entire lifecycle, from business planning and creation to delivery and feedback. The goal of DevOps is to enable continuous software delivery allowing businesses to quickly seize market opportunities and better meet client demands.

Given the close connection between mobile and cloud applications, the need for a single, automated DevOps strategy for both technologies is essential. IBM's DevOps portfolio helps businesses address the full lifecycle of software delivery with a common approach regardless of the type of application being developed.

At its TechEd 2013 conference in New Orleans, which runs concurrently with IBM Innovate (June 3 to 6), Microsoft announced the acquisition of the InRelease release management technology as part of an effort to beef up its DevOps story. IBM recently acquired UrbanCode to bolster its DevOps portfolio. Indeed, Kloeckner said several IBM acquisitions—including Worklight, Green Hat, Coremetrics and Tealeaf, as well as UrbanCode—form the basis of IBM's DevOps solution.

IBM also announced enhanced support for continuous integration.

"Continuous integration has become a critical part of the modern application lifecycle, yet most companies are nowhere near the nirvana of continuous delivery," said Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop and creator of Eclipse Mylyn. "Most approaches to date have failed to incorporate the lifecycle as a whole, limiting enterprise adoption.

"It's very promising to see Rational combine their strengths in ALM [application lifecycle management] with the acquisition of UrbanCode, one of the key innovators of DevOps," Kersten said. "This combination could help shape the future of the enterprise DevOps landscape, and further push the need for connecting ALM tools into a lean build-measure-learn loop that spans from idea to deployment."

Meanwhile, earlier this year, IBM launched IBM MobileFirst, a mobile strategy that will enable clients to radically streamline and accelerate their adoption of mobile—giving them a way to monetize this opportunity, transform their business and expand their market in ways never before possible, the company said.

With today's news, IBM is expanding the development capabilities of that strategy with new tools to help a business deliver better applications faster and at a lower cost. User choice and ease of movement mean that speed and quality are of the essence for businesses when developing mobile applications, IBM said.

New offerings to help businesses save time and money during the development and testing phases of the DevOps lifecycle include the IBM Rational Test Workbench, which gives developers and testers the ability to record, modify, play back and evaluate testing scenarios to automate the hundreds, even thousands, of tests that each model of a mobile device must go through.

They can also virtualize parts of the application that are not completed yet in order to test earlier in the process. The ability to automate this testing will reduce the length of the testing phase of the development process. In addition to saving time, businesses can also save costs with deeper integration to back-end services for testing without requiring those systems to be in place.