Even if you're not a big tennis fan, you may be interested in IBM's showcase of technology that runs the Grand Slam events (Australian Open [currently running as I write this], Roland Garros/French Open, Wimbledon and US Open) each year. While the operational story is a good case study in Big Data and Smarter Analytics, two big themes for IBM, application development, as usual, is behind the scenes, "serving up" some really cool stuff: mobile and web apps.......oh yeah, BUILT with Rational (and other components).
Here's the published case study for Rational which highlights some of the key challenges in mobile appdev as defined by the market and brings to the forefront some of IBM's expertise:
- So many platforms, so little time! These native mobile apps were built before portable tools like IBM Worklight (part of the IBM Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution) give the huge benefit of writing one core set of code to run on all platforms giving you a big productivity boost!
- Get 'r' done! In the above item 1, there are different development teams that build the native mobile apps and the website. When you have different teams, possibly in different locations, possibly even outsourced, you absolutely need to coordinate and collaborate (and I'm NOT referring to sending emails and spreadsheets and documents and slides, but rather a more structured, professional way of collaborating and communicating to work at the speed of business). This project chose Rational Team Concert (also part of the IBM Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution).
- Give the user the quality they deserve! If all apps were 5-star quality, there may be no need to gather agile requirements/user stories, design for quality and test (testing doesn't create quality, it simply verifies the quality that you've built so far). In this mobile frontier, mobile app testing is also a new frontier, with few tools as compared to desktop GUI or web-based testing. This means most of us are left to manual testing, which can be a laborious task, not just in the testing itself, but in the design and management of the testing and results (I typically see out-of-date spreadsheets, documents getting emailed around - YUCK). Rational Quality Manager can help (oh yeah, ALSO part of the IBM Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution.
- The mobile app isn't standalone - there's a web service behind that curtain! One of my favorite topics is Good Design is Good Business. This project also uses Rational Software Architect (RSA and the included Rational Application Developer component) to construct the website and services. SOA is still alive and well, and often the back-end of the mobile front-end and Rational and IBM's SOA solutions are second to none. And let us not forget Rational's contributions to UML - this project takes advantage of UML capabilities in RSA to shorten the time it takes to communicate application architecture (more in the story itself).