IBM readies 'Atlantic' tools and promises more open source

IBM plans to upgrade its Rational and IBM tools portfolio, called “Atlantic,” and will also make some of its products available...

IBM plans to upgrade its Rational and IBM tools portfolio, called “Atlantic,” and will also make some of its products available under an open source format.

Due later this year, Atlantic will be the next major release of the IBM Software Development Platform, which features IBM’s and Rational’s tools. Atlantic focuses on facilities for modeling and testing as well as remote clients, said Mike Devlin, general manager of Rational software in the IBM software group.

Included as part of Atlantic will be a new ClearCase client that enables isolated users better participation in team-based application development, Devlin said. Currently, remote teams can participate in a development project but a lone developer in a remote location has difficulty joining in. 

While freely touting its Atlantic release, IBM officials at the Rational Software Development User Conference in Texas would not discuss which products would be made available through an open source format, as part of upcoming announcements labelled “significant” by Buell Duncan, general manager of developer relations in the IBM software group.

The company has been pushing for the Java programming language to be available under an open source format, something that Java inventor Sun Microsystems has been reluctant to do. Sun officials have countered that IBM ought to be willing to make its own products available through open source.

Atlantic will feature technologies in the Eclipse 3.0 platform for sharing development artifacts. The Eclipse Hyades integrated test and monitoring environment is also featured.

Atlantic will offer support of technologies such as JavaServer Faces, for building interactive web pages; Service Data Objects, for linking applications to databases; UML 2.0 modeling, for automating model-driven architecture efforts; and real-time deployment to WebSphere.

Also part of Atlantic is WebSphere Studio Device Developer 5.7, and three other tools: WebSphere API Toolkit, Workplace builder, and Workplace designer.

A software bundle released on Monday, available via the IBM alphaWorks website, features Interoperability Tool for Eclipse and .net WinForms, enabling migration to Eclipse while using existing investments in .net WinForms. Also included is IBM Reflexive User Interface builder, for testing the basic layout and functionality of a GUI or for use as a library within a Java application for building GUIs.

Rational was acquired by IBM last year. While acknowledging that integrating IBM and Rational assets was painful, the company nonetheless is confident it has increased market share in tools.

“The integration is history from my [vantage] point,” Devlin said “What we’re now focused on is delivering the whole ‘on demand’ mission” and software, he added. On Demand is IBM’s strategy for flexible IT architectures.

IBM also introduced IBM Rational Functional Tester Extension for Terminal-based Applications. The tool allows project teams to test IBM zSeries mainframe applications and iSeries terminal-based applications with the same tool used to test their Java/J2EE and web-based client-server applications. The tool costs £670 per authorised user and £1,280 for a floating user licence.

Also at the Rational conference, Zero G Software introduced SolutionArchitect, a software package for installation and configuration for building software packages using the new Solution Installation packaging technology proposed by IBM. It is seeking to have Solution Installation become an industry standard.

Paul Krill writes for Infoworld

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