IBM plays Jazz
IBM has unveiled its first products based on Jazz: its industry initiative to create standards-based technology for distributed software development. The announcements, at the annual Rational Users' Conference in Orlando, Florida, come a year after Jazz was introduced. With Jazz IBM says it is attempting to build on its popular Eclipse development framework with tools specifically designed for distributed development. The company wants to establish open standards for technologies such as the exchange of source code via instant messaging.
IBM say the new products include six Jazz-based additions to the Rational application lifecycle family of products, updates to another five Rational tools and the announcement of 11 certified, Jazz-based add-ins from Rational partners. There will be more than 20 Jazz-based products on the market from IBM and its partners by the end of the year. The centrepiece is Rational Team Concert, available from 30 June, which incorporates social networking technologies such as instant messaging and presence awareness into distributed software development lifecycle mangement.
Key features include automated data gathering, designed to cut in half the amount of documentation, meetings and status reports a team requires, and a connector to Microsoft's Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE), which will arrive later this year. Initially IBM will distribute three versions including a freely downloadable edition called Express-C based on open source technologies and aimed at teams with up to 10 or members. Rational Team Concert Express is designed for 10 to 50 users and Rational Team Concert Standard Edition is aimed at larger teams. Standard Edition adds features such as customisable process management, real-time project health monitoring and greater scalability and extensibility.
IBM is planning a Rational Team Concert Enterprise Edition for next year, which will focus on enterprise-wide application development and will be more configurable. According to IBM, this edition will include other Rational tools such as ClearCase, ClearQuest and Build Forge. The company also released beta-test versions of two forthcoming products: Rational Quality Manager and Rational Requirements Composer, a tool that manages team consensus on project design using storyboards, sketches, scenarios and models.