A 100 year old company is gradually and very steadily navigating
rough economic waters to steer the planet towards a better tomorrow. IBM’s
cutting edge software is at the forefront of revolutionizing business services,
cloud offerings, data and information security, analytics, wireless
technologies, mobile devices, and almost every other area in more ways than
The single most dominant way in which IBM has made a difference since more than
a decade is through its contribution and dedication to open source software. Open
source software has been widely adopted in industries beyond just the software
industry and has had a
greater impact than any proprietary software out there. Eclipse was among the first in a line of many that IBM has
contributed to the world. Today, Eclipse is used not just for writing several
million lines of code, but also for creating new software products from
scratch, for building mobile applications, for controlling NASA exploration
rovers, and many other applications which were unthinkable 10 years ago when
Eclipse was conceived. The flexible and open Eclipse Public License allows
everyone to use Eclipse on their terms in their products. It has completely
changed the era of copyleft licenses such as GPL. Till today, IBM has dedicated
teams that work hard on very critical components such as the platform, runtime,
Java compiler, and SWT to keep Eclipse moving ahead with the times. Eclipse has
never missed a release since last 10 years, because of the efforts of dedicated
contributors around the world. The IBM Eclipse folks have also pioneered new
technologies such as e4, Orion, etc. IBM definitely stands tall as one of the
major contributing companies as Eclipse celebrates 10 years of awesomeness!
IBM has also achieved a major milestone by pioneering the
open source collaboration platform, called Jazz. Jazz is a new technology
platform for collaborative software delivery. Uniquely attuned to global and
distributed teams, Jazz is designed to transform how people work together to
build software, making software delivery more collaborative, productive, and
transparent. You can think of Jazz as an extensible framework that dynamically
integrates and synchronizes people, processes, and assets associated with
software development projects. Jazz products are being built in a completely
transparent manner on jazz.net, which is another first in the software
industry. IBM’s new application lifecycle management solution, called CLM (Collaborative Lifecycle Management) is based on the Jazz platform, and is a
revolutionary ALM offering.
Another major way IBM is changing the game even after 100
years is through its contribution to latest mobile technologies. Not many know
that IBM was among the first contributors to PhoneGap, which is changing the way
the world develops
applications for mobile devices. PhoneGap lets you build a
single application for multiple devices running different platforms – be it
Android, iPhone, Blackberry or Windows, using new age technologies such as
biggest challenges in mobile development today – how to build applications
across platforms without duplication of effort, time and money. IBM is also
making it easier to developmobile applications in enterprise and distributed teams through tools such asRational Application Developer, Rational Team Concert, and Rational Rhapsody.
These tools provide rich features to
help teams collect requirements, design, build, test, deploy and manage native,
hybrid or web based mobile applications. The best part is that tools such as Rational Team Concert, based on the open Jazz platform, come with 10 free
licenses, enabling small businesses to leverage it in their development efforts.
With all these cool things, IBM has given a new meaning to
the phrase “Software everyware”. With its contributions and use of open source
software, IBM is leading the world to a more open, collaborative and agile
approach to software development.
Rational Requirements Composer is also a part of the Rational CLM release and is the first one to come in the software development cycle. Ofcourse, the whole process of software development is futile if the correct requirements are not collected and the correct use cases not understood. Rational requirements composer's new release moves from an Eclipse client to a web based client , making it easier to use from anywhere, on-demand. RRC is also aligned to the 5 principles of ALM and adds a lot of value to a collaborative development. It gives the users flexibility to change the requirements across the development lifecycle seamlessly, irrespective of the development model being followed. Some highlights are
- Create explicit and abstract link relationships (using a link type) to connect related data for navigation, discovery, and reporting.
- Visualize your end-to-end requirement traceability built into RRC
- On-ramp existing requirements managed in Microsoft Word or spreadsheets
- Reuse existing requirements/use case artifacts
- Automatically track change history for your requirements and use cases
- Use out-of-the-box and custom reports based on project lifecycle information
- Complete web-based requirements solution
- Role based licensing with built in read access across RTC, RRC and RQM
- Common user administration across RTC, RRC, and RQM
https://jazz.net/library/presentation/644 lists the new features in RRC's new release. See more at the solutions centers at Innovate India 2011, Bangalore
The session by Pradeep Balachandran focuses on the motivation behind the CLM workbench, based on the common challenges faced across the product lifecycle and client feedbacks from earlier releases. Rational now has three products - Rational Requirements Composer, Rational team Concert and Rational Quality Manager in a single CLM solution. - https://jazz.net/projects/clm
This overcomes various challenges that have been traditionally faced in linking each area in the lifecycle with the others. Eg, how to manage the different user accounts and how to link them, how to link requirements to work items, and how to make sure that a task or a requirement is correctly developed and tested without the distinctions of the tool coming in the way.
Pradeep talked about Lifecycle projects as a concept, implying a project that spans all the different aspects of a project. Lifecycle projects are basically project areas with associations between different artifact containers and a consolidated set of members and their roles. Lifecycle project admininstration thus consists of managing lifecycle projects and their templates, manage members and their roles, and validate role assignment rules. With LPA, almost all challenges in a typical CLM environment have been addressed. Ensuring matching license agreements is still a challange that needs to be addressed.
An LPA can be setup in the Jazz server and gives a common look and feel across all products that make up the CLM. It is also easy to see all the users and the roles in the LPA administration. The linkages are automatically done between the artifact containers. Pradeep showed the various templates of implementing different kinds of LPAs depending on what roles need to be performed. For example, only analyst roles will need RM container and CCM container.
Innovate is just around the corner and the software community is eagerly waiting to see what's in store in the 2011 edition of the premier software conference. Not just because I'm a Rational guy, but also because I'm a software developer. As the planet gets smarter, the software and systems involved in even trivial day to day activities such as banking, automobile, traffic management, pollution control, etc. are becoming increasingly complex in both, size and logic. Add to that privacy concerns and scalability issues, and the software developers seem to have their hands full. In this scenario, it becomes increasingly important to have smart tools that make the whole development experience simpler, coherent, and that make intra-team processes easy. Rational tools have matured over the years and some new ones have grown out of incubation phases. All of them aspire to solve the many problems that plague software developers today. At Innovate, we get to see how, and that too, straight from the knowledge experts involved in the making of the product.
The 2010 Innovate was a great educational experience in terms of not just what's brewing at Rational, but also what the software industry and clients out there are looking for. It was also great to hear about how clients have successfully deployed/used Rational solutions to give their business a fillip and fill the gaps in good software tooling. Since the past couple of years, Rational products have taken a fresh direction with the launch of the Jazz platform
and the flagship offering - Rational Team Concert
. With this, Rational products such as Rational Quality Manager, Rational Requirements Composer and RTC itself are coming together to constitute a comprehensive solution for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), called Collaboration application Lifecycle Management
(CLM). The first release of this solution was out this year and its immensely interesting to know how this applies to different industry scenarios and watch live demos of the same. The conversations that were started around this in the Innovate 2010 are thus going to reach a critical mass at Innovate this year. With applications across multiple industrial sectors, this year's Innovate seems to be poised to give a lot of weight to the CLM solution. Even products such as Rational Rhapsody, Rational Application Developer are venturing into new uncharted waters, pioneering solutions for relatively newer industries such as the mobile software industry. Ofcourse, it is at conferences such as these that one clearly gets to see how software tools make an impact from the keyboard to the world. The IBM Smarter Planet strategy fits logically in that sense. All this makes me look positively forward to the conference.
The Rational India blog
gives a neat roundup of motivating reasons if you're unsure about attending Innovate. Or if you're already convinced, you can register on the Innovate website
Harish Grama in his keynote on Day 2 at Innovate India 2011 gave an interesting roundup of how integration and collaboration have become the buzzwords in the industry. Rational tools are now designed in a way that they integrate seamlessly not only with one another but also with other tools built using open platforms such as Jazz, OSLC (Open services for Lifecycle Collaboration), and REST. He showed how Rational is pioneering open and transparent development with the Jazz and JazzHub platforms. OSLC is now an eclipse project called Project LYO ( http://eclipse.org/proposals/technology.lyo/
) , and consists of contributors from IBM and several other companies, and this is the way forward to promoting integration in the industry.
The ALM or Application Lifecycle Management Track is a hot one to look forward to in the 2011 edition of the premier software conference - IBM Rational Innovate. The Innovate website
Lifecycle Management (ALM) manages the flow of people, process and
information across the software lifecycle. IBM tools, best practices
and services are designed to help customers leverage a collaborative,
whole-team approach to Application Lifecycle Management. ALM that can
help reduces communication inefficiencies, improve delivery time and
enhance overall quality. The Rational ALM solution integrates
requirements definition and management; modeling, architecture and
construction; quality management; change and configuration
management; and automation, build and asset management. This stream
will showcase a broad variety of ALM disciplines and solutions that
are advancing the state-of-the-art of software delivery.
IBM in the past couple of years has spent a considerable amount of time to try and reinvent ALM in ways so that products constituting an ALM solution can interact with each other more seamlessly, without being tied down by each other's limitations or expectations, and can integrate even if they are from different parties. With Open Services for Lifecycle Management (OSLC) and tools built on an open, extensible Jazz-based architecture, Rational has successfully managed to create a neat ALM solution which we call Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM), because it focuses on collaborative development in a team. Rational products - IBM Rational Team Concert, IBM Rational Quality Manager, IBM Rational Asset Manager, IBM Rational Requirements Composer, Rational Insight, Rational Build Forge now all use a jazz based architecture and OSLC services to communicate with the Jazz server. So, not only can all these tools be used seamlessly in a ALM (or CLM as we call it) workbench, but also integrate with other OSLC based tools.
There are several really good talks and demos at IBM Innovate 2011.
On Day 1, we have Shivank Arya talking about
Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management Solution in ACTION using an implementation example - "Money that Matters"
On Day 2, Pradeep Balachandran talks about
Project Management for IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle
Management that talks about new
administration features for creating and managing lifecycle projects
Also on Day2, you can catch me and Markus Keller from Zurich demoing the Agile development capabilities of Rational Team Concert at the solutions center.
There are many more cool sessions to catch up on. So hurry up and register for Innovate 2011.
With the Rational's CLM release this year, Rational ClearCase and Clearquest are now essential products in the CLM solution and integrate seamlessly with other Rational tools such as Rational Team Concert and Rational Quality Manager (eg https://jazz.net/library/video/597).
The session illustrated the new features in the 2 products as they make it into the CLM release. Its interesting to see how these CCM systems have evolved over time and now provide much greater flexibility with the open services integration of the Jazz platform. Jazz.net/library has really good articles about the new features. Also read https://jazz.net/library/article/550 for more info.
Rajesh Thakkar presented an interesting talk on Rational's CLM solution at work. He started off with the motivation for a CLM solution, elucidating with the help its need in different team topologies (vertical, divided by function, outsourced). He talked about how Rational itself has revolutionalised its own development story using CLM solution i.e. self hosting CLM on CLM! He showed how Rational's different groups - product delivery, development and quality management - use the CLM.
Rajesh described how continuous adoption helps in efficient delivery. This can be achieved by customizing the process, timelines, roles, work items, dashboards, reports, etc. He talked about how development project linking is facilitated by the CLM solution and how one can track a requirement across the lifecycle, across team, and across tools. With CLM, one can track dependencies between component and feature teams. He also showed a preview of the Rational's CLM plan. He showed how using CLM makes sure any failure in a build or in a test gets instantly picked up by the developer in charge of a given component and gets fixed and re-tested. He also showed the testing practices and the role of different teams such as the Systems verification testing team, functional testing team, etc. All the dev. projects for each component are linked to corresponding test projects (traceability links between dev. work items and tests). In the end, he showed how Product Management works at IBM, starting from conception to the launch and lifecycle management.
As our planet gets smarter, our phones get smarter too. And as phones
get smarter, we need smarter tools to develop applications for them.
Several platforms, thousands of tools, where do I start? IBM Rational
now offers a comprehensive solution. Most IBM Rational tools today are
built on top of Eclipse. This allows the products to work out of the box
for all the capabilities that Eclipse itself has to offer. This not
just has advantages in the overall user experience and extensibility of a
product but also makes it possible for these products to adopt new
technologies that keep coming in for Eclipse as well. One area, for
example, is the Mobile Application development, where Rational offers a
complete suite of tools that can be leveraged in a geographically
distributed team, working on different components, platforms, etc to
develop mobile applications in an Agile way. So be it Android, Windows
Mobile, or iPhone, IBM Rational tools such as Rational Team Concert,
Rational Rhapsody, Rational Application Developer and others offer
different capabilities that can go a long way in making the development
process streamlined and manageable.
Rational Team Concert(RTC) is Rational's jazz-based offering that
"integrates, work item management, source control management, continuous
builds, iteration planning and highly configurable process support to
adapt to the way you want to work, enabling developers, architects,
project managers, and project owners to work together effectively". It
can be used as a Collaborative Lifecycle Management tool for Android,
iPhone or Windows Mobile apps, or even cross-platform apps since it
comes with an Eclipse as well as a .NET client. For Android, the Android
Development Tools plugin for Eclipse works out of the box with RTC and
enables the RTC Eclipse client to be used for Android development. This
is a big plus for teams working on Android apps, because ordinarily they
would have to rely on third party plugins on Eclipse, which often do
not integrate well with each other. My article on jazz.net -
http://jazz.net/library/article/505/, explains in further detail about
what features RTC offers to make the life of an Android developer easy.
Rational Rhapsody integrates with Rational Team Concert to offer
modeling capabilities for Android applications and the visual
representation of the Android framework API that developers can
reference from within Rational Rhapsody. The references are then
generated into Java code to automate the manual coding task.
Additionally, Rational Rhapsody can read the AndroidManifest.xml file to
visualize activities, services, broadcast receivers, main activity and
content provides specified for better understanding of the application.
The Rational Rhapsody Debugger also enables runtime animation of the
class diagrams created for an Android application.
Rational Application Developer offers capabilities for developing rich
web applications. Customers that are moving to enable mobile channels
for their B2E and B2C applications face a big skills challenge today.
The popular smartphone platforms (iOS, Android and BlackBerry) require
different programming languages and APIs. In addition, many found the
app-store based delivery model as cumbersome and slow. As a result, the
open web model becomes attractive both as a programming model
offers a new set of tools that address the development and testing needs
of this group of customers, including a brand-new Rich Page editor that
uses browsers as rendering engines, a visual editing experience with
drag-and-drop and direct page manipulation, and a browser-based test
client which enables mobile browser based testing without requiring the
install of native emulators. RAD also integrates well with daVinci's
WYSIWYG visual editing capabilities and allows the web designers and the
web developers to collaborate on a dojo based web application in an
Using these tools, one can achieve a lot of common tasks involved in a
typical mobile development scenario, irrespective of where they are
located, how many different things or platforms they work on, etc.
The Whats new in Rational team Concert in the CCM track at Innovate India was choc-a-bloc and saw many interesting queries. The session touched upon the new enhancements in RTC 3.0, most of which are aligned with the CLM release. Jazz.net is the best resource to read up on the new features. A presentation is avaliable on https://jazz.net/library/presentation/645
In a nutshell, RTC has enhancements in work item management, traditional + agile planning, out of the box reporting, build management. etc. https://jazz.net/library/article/590 is a good read on RTC 3.0's planning capabilities.
The ALM track kick started with an overview of IBM Rational's CLM (Collaborative Lifycycle Management) release. The speaker pointed out the 5 imperatives of ALM - Real time plans, lifecycle traceability,incontext collaboration,development intelligence,continuous improvement with CLM and showed how the CLM solution adds value in all of these areas. There's a lot of focus on end to end lifecycle management in a way which is not just transparent and traceable but also tied to a central plan and a process that all team members adhere to. The CLM solution's excellent reporting capabilities give an edge to the project management in terms of not just who's doing what, load balancing, resource management, etc but also in continually improving the process across milestones, releases, etc.
The speaker illustrated how using the CLM solution, Rational products have reduced the turnaround or the boardroom to market time for products, making sure that a technology/soltuion does not get out of date or lose out vis-a-vis competitors by the team it is released. The number of defects towards the end of the lifecycle can also be effectively tracked using CLM, thus improving the overall quality of the product and driving client satisfaction.
The Kickoff surely laid a solid ground and created some good interest for the sessions to come in the ALM track. Watch this space for more. Visit jazz.net for more on CLM.