IBM Rationalizes App Development

IBM wants a unified application development platform centered on Rational.

IBM is pushing users of its development tools to a unified application development platform that will revolve around the companys Rational Software division.

The Armonk, N.Y., company last week said that it is grouping all its software development technologies under the IBM Software Development Platform banner and that those efforts will be driven from Rational.

Since completing its acquisition of the application development tools vendor in February, IBM has been working to integrate Rationals application development capabilities with its existing application development tools, such as WebSphere Studio, which will be rebranded as a Rational product.

"Were putting together our resources across the entire company into a single development platform that fully embraces open standards," said Buell Duncan, general manager of IBM developer relations, speaking at the IBM Developer Media Day event at Rationals office here. "We want to integrate our different offerings over time."

Much of the IBM effort centers on the Eclipse open-source development environment, which all IBM development tools will be based on. Some customers of existing IBM WebSphere, Tivoli and Lotus development technologies welcome the move to Eclipse because it will minimize the number of tools their developers have to learn.

Lotus Domino developer Dave Taylor said that IBMs effort this year to enable Domino developers to build Eclipse-based applications wasnt a very big change for Domino developers because Eclipses integrated development environment is similar to Dominos.

But Taylor, senior systems analyst at T. Rowe Price Group Inc., said hes frustrated at the lack of respect he perceives for Dominos application development capabilities at IBM.

"There is no emphasis on Domino development any longer at IBM that I can see," said Taylor, in Baltimore. "That, and there is no emphasis on getting the Domino story out there from the IBM sales team. This is often cited by my colleagues as proof that Domino is dead and its time to move to .Net, Java or maybe even WebSphere development."