IBM Rational's New Tools Enhance Integration, Collaboration for Developers

At its Innovate 2011 developer conference, IBM Rational launches a series of new tools to help developers build, applications for the modern enterprise, including leveraging DevOps capabilities.

ORLANDO-At its Innovate 2011 conference here, IBM has announced new software that helps organizations collaborate more efficiently, including the collaboration between developers and operations staff.

The new software allows developer teams to quickly access resources and work more efficiently across global boundaries through an open, collaborative development environment, IBM said.

The new software offerings are built on Jazz, IBM's open-software development platform that supports sharing and interactions among software and systems design and development teams. New features allow developers to interact quickly, sharing data instantaneously from any source in the development process and connect teams and development communities in new ways, said Harish Grama, vice president of product development at IBM Rational.

IBM's new Collaborative Design Management technology enables teams to integrate designs seamlessly with other development tasks and information, such as requirements, code, and quality management assets. The benefits of this approach enhance the traceability of all actions and allows their impact on the process to be analyzed, Grama said. Team members and other stakeholders can review, contribute and change solution designs with complete transparency to every participant in the project. This is achieved through a central design hub where designs can be stored, maintained, and referenced for future reuse, documentation and compliance.

With the Collaborative Design Management capability, delivered through new offerings of IBM's Rational Rhapsody Design Manager and Rational Software Architect Design Manager, designs no longer have to exist in isolation on an architect's or developer's desktop, Grama said. They can now be part of an open ecosystem using a simple Web-based user interface that allows extended team members and stakeholders to build earlier consensus, prevent costly project misdirection, and improve the software and systems delivery from start to finish.

The new Collaborative Lifecycle Management capability helps software development teams improve their productivity by offering an integrated application lifecycle management (ALM) solution to avoid the pitfalls of working in silos with broken communication, which results in project delays, low quality or budget overrun.

The new Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management brings together IBM Rational Requirements Composer, IBM Rational Team Concert and IBM Rational Quality Manager in a unified development platform to encourage cross-functional collaboration, helping teams improve their time-to-delivery, quality, product value and predictability, IBM officials said

New features for the IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud and private clouds empower with new virtual desktop solutions, providing the enhanced features of Rational Application Developer and Rational Software Architect developers, Grama said. And new integrations between IBM Connections social networking software for business and IBM Rational Team Concert will allow software developers to use social networking to find experts within an organization to help collaborate and connect on software development projects.

Meanwhile, the new Collaborative Development and Operations could be the most significant new pieces of the Rational solution. New technologies, such as cloud computing, hardware workload optimization and Agile development are driving need for development and operations to work more closely than ever before. IBM has created new integrations between many of its leading software offerings that can significantly assist in bridging the cultural divide between development and operation teams, Grama said

A new Deployment Planning & Automation solution enable clients to reduce reworking projects through a standardized processes and automation for deploying software. Existing development assets can be reused, regardless of whether they reside on the cloud or on-site servers. And to improve the identification and remediation of potential problems and issues, IBM has developed an OSLC-based integration between the IT operations ticketing system, Tivoli Service Request Manager, and the development team solution, Rational Team Concert, allowing IT operations staff to enter defect and enhancement requests directly into the software development tracking system.

"A critical challenge facing businesses is how to innovate while fostering collaboration among teams and a complex array of partners and suppliers," said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager of IBM Rational, in a statement. "A collaborative software development platform supporting the entire end-to-end software cycle is needed for true innovation."