IBM Rational Debuts New Programs, Communities

By Alison Diana  |  Print this article Print

Looking to extend software integration beyond the computer and embedded applications, IBM Rational has unveiled new programs and tools designed to further leverage efforts by business partners and higher educational institutions into both embedded computing and agile software development.

Looking to further extend software integration well beyond the computer and into all aspects of life—from cars and medicine, to manufacturing and communications—IBM Rational on Monday unveiled new programs and tools designed to further leverage efforts by business partners and higher educational institutions into both embedded computing and agile software development.

Speaking during Innovate 2011 in Orlando, a steady stream of Rational executives, partners, and blue-ribbon customers such as General Motors and Danske Bank discussed the economic benefits of agile development, the wide-ranging future of the software industry, and the value of reuse for boosting time-to-market and improving competitive advantage.

IBM Rational’s new software is built on Jazz, an open software development platform, designed to allow developers to quickly work together, across geographies and teams, said Gina Poole, vice president of marketing at IBM Rational.

The company’s new Collaboration Design Management incorporates one centralized hub for storage and reference of designs. This enables design teams to reference past designs for future reuse and compliance, Poole said. By giving developers centralized access to this data, software development teams can dramatically reduce costs and time associated with future iterations, she said. In addition, developers can use Collaboration Design Management to analyze the results of past actions, using this information to determine the results new design changes could have on their organization, said Poole.

In fact, a costly 40 percent of software development consists of scrapping and reworking, said Walker Royce, vice president and Chief Software Economist, at Rational, in Monday’s keynote session.

"A 10 percent reduction in complexity is more valuable than a 10 percent improvement in agility," said Royce.

To further its agile-development initiatives, Rational unveiled its Collaborative Development and Operations solution, which features integration between many IBM software offerings. The solution, developed in conjunction with Tivoli, integrates the worlds of development and operations which often run separately yet concurrently—but which should, optimally, be unified for the organization’s ultimate financial health and competitive benefit.

After all, two-thirds of global organizations manage software development teams that work in multiple locations, according to the IBM CEO Study, which surveyed more than 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries.

"Additionally, the study found there is a growing unpredictability in getting software through development and into its full application within an organization. More than 62 percent of development projects fail to meet the intended schedule and 30 percent of project costs are due to rework and poor execution of requirements," the report said.

To help partners address specific vertical markets, the developer enhanced its Systems and Software Engineering solution in an initiative designed to accelerate adoption of integrated, collaborative processes, and to unify the systems lifecycle with built-in industry best practice support based on specific markets’ best practices, said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager at IBM Rational.

Recognizing that organizations use not only IBM technologies, Rational now provides new support for SAP, allowing partners to enable customers to manage both SAP and non-SAP projects in a unified, time-saving and cost-effective manner, he said.

In order to empower partners, customers and developers to share ideas, best practices and questions, Rational forged a new community on developerWorks, said Poole, who was responsible for overseeing developerWorks’ growth to an 8-million member community before her move to Rational.

"It really takes design from being an isolated part of the design lifecycle," she said. "When something changes later down in the lifecycle, that collaboration can happen."

To support the next generation of Rational developers, the company debuted JazzHub beta, an educational online forum for universities. Within minutes, higher educational institutions can initiate Jazz-based projects and run them, said Poole.

"We believe this is just the beginning of a cooperative effort to drive education in software and systems life cycle management, and we are committed to growing and evolving the JazzHub in the education community," she said.

Those organizations already embracing agile development are reaping the rewards, Innovation 2011 attendees said.

"The Volt has the more complex software set that GM has ever put into production—yet it was developed on time, with quality," said Bill Bolander, GM Technical Fellow – Controls Process Engineering at GM, product development, in the keynote. 

Using Rational software, GM has seen an 80 percent reduction in post-deployment costs over the past 10 years, he said.