ORLANDO, Fla.—IBMs Rational division, holding its annual user conference here this week, gave an update on its integration into IBM as well as some new directions.
One such new direction is a standard Rational is contributing to the development community, known as the Reusable Asset Specification (RAS).
Mike Devlin, general manager of IBM Rational, discussed the OMG (Object Management Group) standard in his opening day keynote at the conference Monday. Although led by Rational, the standard is backed by a group of companies that make up the RAS Consortium, including Microsoft Corp., ComponentSource, Flashline Inc. and Merrill Lynch. RAS defines standards for the specification, cataloging and reuse of software assets—not limited to code, according to IBM Rational officials.
In an interview with eWEEK, Grady Booch, an IBM fellow and Rationals chief scientist, who gave the Tuesday keynote address, said, “Weve been pioneering a thing called the Reusable Asset Specification, which will also become an OMG standard—under the idea that there are many assets beyond just code things that can be expressed in UML [Unified Modeling Language] that are reusable. So if you tie together your developer platform with a modeling tool, the next thing thats cool to do is to start injecting those patterns in an automated way—to apply some degree of tooling to the problem of identifying patterns and pushing those patterns into your system.”
In an interview with eWEEK, Devlin gave a report card on what he called the “six-month anniversary” of Rational being an entity under IBMs corporate umbrella. He said the acquisition has been going well, even exceeding expectations in some areas. For instance, “our attrition rate is not any different than it was when we were an independent company,” he said.
Rational has already begun to integrate its products and contribute to IBMs bottom line, as well as work with IBMs Global Services unit and research divisions, he said.
The company continues its asset-based development strategy and delivered the IBM Rational Suite 2003 in June.
Meanwhile, Rational is coming to a common architecture based on the IBM-sponsored Eclipse open-source application development framework. “This will be a major focus of our engineering team for the next 18 to 24 months,” Devlin said.
IBMs Rational Makes Integration Inroads – Page 2
In addition, Devlin said Rational has continued its efforts to support Microsofts .Net platform as well as the Java-based Eclipse platform.
Rational is also working on delivering enhanced testing tools and completing integration of its tooling technology with WebSphere and WebSphere Business Integration, Devlin said. “With Tivoli and DB2 were still in the process of identifying use cases” for the integration of the technology, he said.
“In addition to moving ourselves closer to the IBM platform, and also .Net, we have done a lot with IGS [IBM Global Services],” Booch said. “What we do here plays across all the platforms.”
Booch said Rational has integrated elements of its Rose and XDE tools into Eclipse and into WebSphere Application Studio.
“In the current incarnation of what we have in our tooling with WebSphere we have a patterns engine that allows us to take those patterns—a number of stock patterns as well as patterns you might create yourself—and then push those into your system,” Booch said. “There was some work in UML 2.x to improve the semantics of patterns so we could capture more interesting patterns and push them into our system.”
Booch said Rationals focus is to not just feature modeling in the integrated development environment (IDE), but also to tie it together with the whole spectrum of tools in the development space.
“So were talking about configuration management and not just configuration management of code but also of all the reusable bits that can be expressed in the UML,” Booch said.
In summary of Rationals future modeling focus, Booch said: “So in effect having us with IBM now means that we can weave together what weve done with modeling to the whole developer experience to the level of detail that we couldnt have done as an independent company.”