IBM Consolidates Rational Team Concert Products, Simplifies Licensing
November 16, 2010 Alex Woodie
IBM has merged all of its Rational Team Concert products, including individual packages for IBM i and z/OS environments, into a single package with Rational Team Concert 3.0, which becomes generally available next week. The new version of Team Concert also features improvements in the core areas of lifecycle management, changes to the licensing schemes, a new green-screen interface, and integration to Rational DOORS.
Rational Team Concert (RTC) is a collaborative lifecycle management tool designed to allow teams of developers to work together efficiently, without stepping on each other’s toes. Among the software’s functions are: source code tracking for RPG, COBOL, Java, and other languages; build management functionality; workflow tracking and project management; and other collaboration functions.
IBM first started supporting its IBM i platform with RTC nearly two years ago with a product, called Rational Team Concert for i, which eventually morphed into Rational Team Concert for Power Systems.
When RTC 3.0 becomes generally available on November 23, IBM is doing away with sub-products, and is supporting all server platforms, including its proprietary IBM i and z/OS environments, with a single RTC product. There are, however, still different RTC components that users can select with 3.0.
The most basic Stakeholder component gives RTC customers access to basic functions, such as working with items and viewing project status. Moving up to the Contributor component adds support for more advanced development methodologies, such as agile, formal, or hybrid methodologies, as well as the capability to customize reports. A license for the Developer for Workgroups component adds support for continuous integration and advanced source control. The full Developer component adds support for distributed change management functionality.
IBM i and z/OS customers will need to license the most advanced (and undoubtedly most expensive) option in the RTC scheme: the Developer for IBM Enterprise Platforms. A license to this component will enable users to take advantage of all of the change management and collaboration functions available through the other licenses, while supporting the unique development characteristics of the Power Systems and System z platforms.
RTC customers have several new licensing schemes to choose from. In addition to the pre-existing perpetual license, IBM is offering an on-demand licensing scheme that allows customers to “rent” the software for a year. IBM also introduced a new “token” license that gives users access to all of the different components listed above, except for Developer for Workgroups, which also has a limit of 50 users per server.
The more lenient licensing is also reflected in IBM allowing customers to install their Jazz-based RTC server components on any platform and for any purpose. This means IBM i shops can run an RTC server on a Linux server for test or training purposes, and another server component on an IBM i box for disaster recovery purposes. What’s more, IBM will no longer charge any fees for moving the servers among different platforms.
RTC 3.0 also brings new build dependency and impact analysis for z/OS and IBM i development. IBM says this information is extracted automatically through scanners, and is then used to perform dependency-based builds, where only those programs affected by a change are recompiled. The developer also has access to this information to understand what programs will be affected by the change, IBM says.
Some IBM i and z/OS customers will also be thrilled to hear there’s a new green-screen interface to RTC. They no longer will be held back by the productivity-killing confines of a GUI.
This release also opens up integration with Rational DOORS, a separate requirements management application that supports the Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) specification. Other new features include: support for formal, agile, or formal development methodologies; better support for Microsoft Visual Studio; a redesigned “scrum” board; and new Gantt charts, among other features.