IBM rolls out first Rational products

IBM is unveiling its first Rational software development products today (Tuesday), its first since officially acquiring the...

IBM is unveiling its first Rational software development products today (Tuesday), its first since officially acquiring the company in February.

Products to be announced under the IBM Rational nameplate include Rapid Developer, a rapid application development environment for building J2EE applications, and XDE Tester for testing in the WebSphere Studio 5.0 and Eclipse 2.0 environments.

Also part of the announcement is an enhanced XDE Developer product, formerly known as XDE Professional. All products will ship by 30 June.

IBM has also enhanced the Rational Unified Process for software development to make it more configurable for a broader audience.

Rapid Developer is tailored to companies that want to build Java applications but lack Java-based technical resources, said Eric Schurr, vice president of marketing for IBM Rational. "It allows [development of] n-tier applications by people who are not J2EE experts.

"The importance of that is that lots of people want to build on the J2EE platform but they don't have the resources to do it," he added.

IBM said the product also simplifies legacy integration. and functions with other Rational products such as ClearCase and Rose.

XDE Developer is a modelling tool which features a debugging capability for tracking runtime errors and developing associated UML (unified modeling language) models. It also includes Rational PurifyPlus, for debugging and diagnostics.

XDE Developer also extends reusability through asset-based development, and it works with both Java and Microsoft .net development and can be run inside of the Eclipse toolset or Microsoft Visual Studio .net.

"We want people to understand that we're continuing our support for .net," Schurr said.

XDE Tester is an automated testing tool that tests Java and web applications, with Java as the tool's scripting language.

IBM has also added new content to the Rational Unified Process, which is a set of base practices and guidance on how to run a software product. There is also more information about data modelling, business modelling and developer testing.

Developers also can modify core content more easily to devise their own set of best practices and configure it at a project level.

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