Meanwhile, IBM last month announced plans to donate portions of RUP to the open-source community through the Eclipse Foundation.
Essentially, IBM is contributing a portion of RUP, about 15 percent, to the open-source community so that others can take that subset and build on it to deliver an open industry framework and ecosystem around RUP-based software development. The lighter-weight version is known as the Basic Unified Process.
The IBM effort is supported by several companies, including Jacobsons.
"We would be happy to make these ideas widespread," Jacobson said. "With the Microsoft platform we will be in the drivers seat. With IBM we would be only one of the partners and only able to make change in a minor way."
Of the IBM strategy, LaPlante said, "You cant take a process and create a mass market, even if you give parts of it away to open source."
Added Jacobson: "I strongly support the new IBM alternative, since it increases the spreading of our ideas and since there will be a lighter process available. We will help make their Basic Unified Process as close to the Essential Unified Process as possible. However, since we are not in the drivers seat, our impact may just be cosmetic. Still, we will try. With Microsoft, we are in the drivers seat and can make a fresh start."
Moreover, to improve on what was started with RUP, Jacobson said: "We keep the best practices, but we improve them based on more than 10 years of experience. We learn from the agilistas on several ideas such as test-driven development and from the process improvement people on, for example, CMMI [Capability Maturity Model Integration]. We build a fresh new process architecture based on aspect-oriented ideas, and using the MSF and VSTS is a very good platform to instantiate such a process."
Grady Booch, IBM Rationals chief scientist, who co-authored the UML, which can be considered a corollary language in support of RUP, said he and Jim Rumbaugh, another Rational software architect, were tasked with pursuing the development of the UML language, and another IBM software architect, Philippe Kruchten (now a professor of computer science at the University of British Columbia), was tasked with heading up development of the methodology that became RUP.
Meanwhile, Jacobson became the third co-author of UML with Booch and Rumbaugh, although all three, and many others, had input into what is now RUP, Booch said.
LaPlante said that although Microsoft has not planned to support UML directly, it will do so through partners, such Borland Software Corp.
Jacobson agreed that the later versions of UML have become "very difficult to adopt."
Meanwhile, he said he looks forward to making process invisible.
"What were doing today is taking one step to the next era, which is invisible process," Jacobson said. "Process should be like the engine under the hood of a car—ever present, but invisible."