Are you new to Rational?

Get acquainted with IBM Rational collaborative and integrated solutions for software and systems delivery

Are you an engineer? A systems designer or manager? A portfolio planner or an architect?

If so, you've come to the right place. Perhaps you're developing a new system that includes mechanical, electrical, and software components. Or maybe you're focused on the design and delivery of a software system to automate a business process. Today's engineering teams -- whether they specialize in electrical, chemical, mechanical, software, or other technical fields -- need, more than ever, to manage requirements, changes, versions, testing, and many other tasks in the project lifecycle. You need the best products that you can find for automating these management tasks and for delivering results that put you ahead of your competition.

These pages are designed to put you on the fast track to efficient project management, improved return on assets and investments, and successful project delivery. Your success is the primary focus of IBM Rational software.

About IBM Rational

As one of the five brands within IBM Software Group, Rational provides products, services, and guidance for software and systems development and delivery. Covering the entire project lifecycle from design to deployment, IBM Rational offerings concentrate decades of experience and know-how to help teams collaborate more effectively. Over the years, we have worked to create a complete and fully integrated set of products that increase productivity, decrease time to market, reduce costs and risk, and drive innovation that improves your competitive advantage.

IBM Rational provides a rich set of capabilities delivered as part of a collaborative and integrated range of products. Rational software is powered by Jazz technology and supported by proven best practice processes and an entire ecosystem of IBM and partner capabilities. Our integrated tools allow practitioners to operate more efficiently to deliver innovative products and services that differentiate business performance in both good times and bad.

By controlling the process of software and systems development in an open, flexible, proven and yet modular manner, software and systems development teams can:

Regardless of your engineering environment or application type - Jazz, Eclipse, Java™, Microsoft®.NET, Linux®, or embedded and pervasive systems - Rational takes you from start to finish.

IBM Rational software and systems delivery practices help you define, automate, and integrate the key aspects of software and systems delivery across roles, from the analyst to the architect, developer, tester, and project manager. IBM Rational solutions are proven, complete, open, and modular.

To learn how Rational contributes to a service-oriented architecture (SOA) environment, see Rational and SOA.

To see how Rational relates to other IBM software see New to IBM software.


What Rational can do for you and your company

Most vendors who offer development solutions fail to address the entire software delivery lifecycle. Instead, they focus only on those areas where they have expertise. But with businesses under pressure to transform their investments for greater business value and use their investments as cost-effective enablers of innovation and success, every area of the lifecycle represents an opportunity for improving your team's effectiveness, predictability, and productivity.

The IBM Rational business-driven development approach addresses each phase in the software and systems delivery lifecycle. This results-oriented focus helps teams manage value, develop flexibly, and control risk and change. With the IBM Rational Software Delivery Platform, as well as a host of products specifically built for systems design and development, you get tools and best practices that help your team be successful. Key roles in the software and systems delivery lifecycle gain these substantial benefits:

As the diagram that follows shows, Rational capabilities address the needs of system engineers and software engineers alike, whether they're working to transform their company's IT organization or building a smarter product that will outshine the competition.

Figure 1. IBM and business partner ecosystem
chart showing IBM and business partner ecosystem

Rational offers modular, solution-focused products and services, as well as integrated product suites across the entire project lifecycle. Both products and services help teams address a wide array of today's challenges, including globally distributed organizations, regulatory compliance mandates, and the adoption of service-oriented development approaches.



Rational software ranks #1 among developers

In June 2009, IBM Rational tools were ranked #1 in Evans Data Corporation's 2009 User's Choice survey of developers' satisfaction. In their report, Evans Data said:

"This is no set of disparate tools thrown together in an attempt to bridge the problems of developers as they move from design to coding to deployment. Rather, the Rational tools suite, integrated together in the Jazz platform, takes software development into a new realm which blends together requirements, asset management, architecture, development, QA, deployment, and further to touch on operations and maintenance."

You can read the press release, headlines "IBM Rational Tools Take Top Spot in Worldwide User Satisfaction Survey," download the full report, free (registration required for the download).


Rational solutions and capabilities

Architecture Management

IBM architecture management solutions are provided in two categories: Enterprise Architecture Management and Architecture, Design, and Construction.

Requirements Definition and Management

IBM Rational offers best practices in requirements definition and management proven to save time and money by helping you:

IBM requirements definition and management solutions include these products:

Change and Release Management

IBM Rational offers comprehensive, integrated change and release management products for successful software delivery. These solutions help software and systems development teams improve productivity and team collaboration, gain better visibility into projects, automate processes, improve quality, manage distributed teams, and provide traceability across the software development lifecycle. IBM change and release management solutions include:

Process and Portfolio Management

IBM Rational product, project, and portfolio management solutions transform the way organizations define and deliver value. By enabling teams to align software and product investments to business objectives and to improve predictability of project success through best practice guidance and measurement, these solutions help companies achieve predictable and consistent business value from their software and systems delivery investments. They are open, integrated, and role-based, spanning the complete application lifecycle. IBM product, project and portfolio management solutions include:

Quality Management

IBM Rational software testing and quality management solutions transform the way that teams work together to deliver enduring quality. Offering a full set of software delivery process guidance, best practices, and integrated tools, these solutions support a broad range of heterogeneous applications to help testers and software quality teams achieve improvements in cost efficiency, quality metrics, and time-to-value for business-critical projects.

Our solutions accelerate discovery and diagnosis, ensuring clean communication between the business, development, quality assurance, and IT operations. These offerings are optimized to provide actionable development asset traceability, accelerated problem determination, and early detection of post-deployment availability risks.

Web Site Security and Compliance

IBM® Rational® AppScan® and Rational Policy Tester are Web site security and compliance solutions that automate application and content analysis. These tools help organizations identify vulnerabilities, assess compliance requirements, and improve the accuracy and reliability of online systems.

  • Web application security
    Rational AppScan provides Web application security vulnerability scanning, testing, and reporting.
  • Web site compliance
    Rational Policy Tester provides content scanning analysis for privacy, quality, and accessibility compliance testing and reporting.

For information on other Rational solutions, follow these links:

Learn about Jazz technology: IBM Rational's new technology platform for collaborative software delivery.

Enterprise modernization: Increase ROI and reduce risk by leveraging proven code on IBM® System i®, IBM® System z® and distributed platforms.

SOA lifecycle management: Streamline the delivery and management of your SOA.

SOA governance: Realize the full benefit of your service-oriented architecture.

Rational Software Platform for Systems: Discover integrated solutions for systems engineering and embedded software development.

Regulatory compliance: Support mandates and standards better.


Tell your boss

As a professional in the software industry, you know that productivity, creativity, and precision teamwork are the keys to your company's success. Rational can help you with these needs. But do you need help explaining Rational's proven software development and delivery concepts to your upper management? Here are a few resources that can help business managers understand how Rational delivers innovation, a strong return on investment, and competitive differentiation:

Did you know you're in the software business? lBM Rational software helps you innovate and differentiate your products.

Are you doing the right things?

Cut costs and risk by ensuring initiatives are on time and within scope

Maximize ROI by selecting the right initiatives aligned to business strategy

Make the right strategic decisions to implement business transformation

Rational software for small and mid-sized businesses


How you can learn more about Rational

Bookmark and visit the IBM®developerWorks® Rational site to learn more about the Rational Software Delivery Platform, whether you are a new user of Rational products or an expert. It is updated weekly with the latest Rational-related events, product announcements, and additions to the extensive collection of technical materials, such as how-to articles.

Try these links in the left navigation pane of the developerWorks Rational site:

  • Products: Links to resource pages for the major products.
  • Downloads: Provides free trial copies of many of the Rational products, along with evaluation resources and links to information on how to buy the product. Support downloads and IBM partner Ready for Rational plug-ins are also available.
  • Technical library: Includes an ever-growing collection of technical articles, samples, tutorials, and other materials developed by internal and external Rational experts.
  • Training and certification: Includes Rational classroom courses, online education, and self-study materials. Also, check the course catalog of Rational computer-based, Web-based, and instructor-led online courses.
  • Support: Provides links to documentation and ways to get answers to technical questions.
  • Consulting services: Leads you to experts who can help you design, implement, and monitor software applications.
  • Forums and community: Helps you locate and interact with other Rational product users through discussion forums, blogs, and more.

You'll find these resources useful, too:

  • The Rational Edge - An extensive archive of articles and papers for the Rational community, with technical information on the concepts behind effective software development.
  • developerWorks Rational newsletter - Keep up with developerWorks Rational content. Every other week, you'll receive updates on the latest technical resources and best practices for Rational software.
  • Rational Software Global User Group Community - Rational User Groups are independent, user-run organizations that provide open forums to promote information exchange between customers and Rational staff.

To get product information, such as how to buy a Rational product, or to see a business case study, explore the Rational Software Information Center.

Business partners can also check out the wealth of Rational resources available at IBM® PartnerWorld®.