Thursday, June 24, 2004

IBM - Rational - RUP

IBM is gradually bringing the software development platform together under the Rational brand. This now includes some bits of Websphere and Eclipse. We can also expect further integration between software management (ClearCase) and system management (Tivoli, Grid).

However, although most of the modelling tools are now included under the Rational brand, the Websphere BI tool (formerly Holosofx) are a notable exception. The Rational part of IBM remains committed to UML, and this will undoubtedly cause problems for groups within IBM that are closer to other modelling notations – especially BPMN.

IBM is working towards a new release of RUP. The work includes integrating some development methods used within Global Services, including the Summit method brought in with the PWC acquisition. We should therefore expect the RUP enhancements to cover some of the procurement issues to which System Integrators pay considerable attention.

The focus (at least in the short term) remains on software development and support for IT architects. This justifies the exclusion of the Websphere BI tools (and associated method), which are aimed more towards business process architects.

There is a declared interest in distributing the software development workflow. Software development increasingly represents a collaboration between different teams (e.g. architects here collaborating with developers elsewhere), sharing development knowledge and artefacts. Within IBM, the obvious place for collaboration and knowledge-sharing tools is under the Lotus brand. However, no detailed plans have yet been announced for synergies between Lotus and Rational.

RUP is therefore moving from a one-size-fits-all approach towards a framework approach. A framework approach should allow for methods and tools to be implemented in chunks, with interoperability between old and new. I shall also be keen to see interoperability between UML and non-UML, and between IBM and other vendors (especially Microsoft).

[based on briefing with IBM Rational, May 2004]

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