IBM Gentrifies Rational Toolset With UrbanCode

IBM’s addition of UrbanCode gussies up its old Rational toolset with new software delivery and DevOps solutions to help developers keep apace of demand for more and more apps.

IBM’s acquisition of UrbanCode gives Big Blue an end-to-end story for software developers to take software production from the idea stage all the way through to delivered code.

IBM on April 22 announced its acquisition of UrbanCode. Based in Cleveland, UrbanCode automates the delivery of software, helping businesses quickly release and update mobile, social, big data, cloud applications.

The name UrbanCode brings to mind some sort of gentrification project. And adding the company to IBM does just that–it gentrifies IBM’s Rational tool suite, putting additional software delivery and DevOps capabilities into the mix. IBM added Telelogic to its dev tools fold five years ago to enhance its ability to support customers building software for complex systems such as an aircraft’s radar system or a car’s anti-lock braking system. Now Big Blue adds UrbanCode for its software delivery and DevOps capabilities.

UrbanCode’s software is a natural extension of IBM’s DevOps strategy, designed to simplify and speed the entire software development and delivery process for businesses, said Peter Spung, IBM's strategy director for Rational Software. The new capabilities also enhance IBM SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst initiatives by making it easier and faster for clients to deliver software through those channels. For example, by combining UrbanCode software with the IBM Worklight technology, businesses can now author and deploy an application for any mobile device in hours, versus a previous multi-day timeline. The UrbanCode solution also works with traditional applications including middleware, databases and business intelligence.

“The fundamental driving force here is that developers want to reduce the friction and the false boundaries between development and deployment and UrbanCode is at the forefront of the DevOps evolution,” said Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC. “IBM is clearly constantly injecting new technologies in its stack. UrbanCode is a great fit because it provides a lot of deployment technologies that IBM can integrate into its broad portfolio of development and deployment technologies. UrbanCode dovetails with what IBM is doing in enterprise mobility and builds on other acquisitions they have made in that space, such as Worklight.”

Mobile, social, big data and cloud technologies are driving demand for new, faster and more frequent approaches to software delivery, Spung said. Waiting days or even months to get an update to clients is no longer acceptable. With UrbanCode’s technology, businesses can reduce the cycle time it takes to get updates or new applications into market, from months to minutes. This approach is designed to help reduce cost and risk, while helping address changing client needs by enabling a company to rapidly incorporate feedback into and improve the overall quality of their applications and services.

“When customers want to create an advantage in the marketplace, they’re using software more and more,” Spung said. “The more successful companies are the ones that have a solid software development strategy. With the addition of UrbanCode, we’re telling customers we have a very complete set of capabilities. We have an end-to-end solution to help you speed up development time and automate much of the process.”

Indeed, a recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value showed that almost 70 percent of companies using software development for competitive advantage outperform their peers in profitability. As innovation in software becomes more and more critical to success, businesses need a collaborative, intuitive and continual approach to development, testing and delivery. That study, entitled “The software edge: How effective software development and delivery drives competitive advantage,” can be found here.

“Companies that master effective software development and delivery in rapidly changing environments such as cloud, mobile and social will have a significant competitive advantage,” said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager of IBM Rational Software, in a statement. “With the acquisition of UrbanCode, IBM is uniquely positioned to help businesses from every industry accelerate delivery of their products and services to better meet client demands.”

“Together UrbanCode and IBM technology will be unmatched in the industry, providing businesses a continuous process for developing, testing, and delivering new and updated software," said Maciej Zawadzki, CEO of UrbanCode, in a statement. "By removing the bottlenecks that traditionally exist between development teams and production systems, businesses can drive rapid innovation."