IBM Ships New Collaborative Lifecycle Management Suite
June 14, 2011 Alex Woodie
IBM Rational today begins delivery of its new collaborative lifecycle management (CLM) suite, a collection of three existing tools designed to foster greater collaboration in the change management, requirements, and testing phases of the application development lifecycle. With the version 3.0.1 releases of Rational Team Concert, Rational Requirements Composer, and Rational Quality Manager, the products have been linked, and will be sold as the CLM 2011 release. The announcement was made last week at INNOVATE 2011, the annual conference for Rational held in Orlando, Florida.
Of the three products, IBM i shops are probably most familiar with Rational Team Concert (RTC), the change management tool initially released in late 2008 and updated again late last year. For IBM i shops, the software provides basic change management capabilities–including source code tracking, build and release management, workflow tracking, and project management–for teams of developers working in RPG, COBOL, Java, and other languages. Obviously, it supports other platforms too.
With IBM’s decision to meld RTC with Rational Requirements Composer (RRC) and Rational Quality Manager (RQM) in version 3.0.1 and sell the three products as a bundle, IBM i shops may be asking themselves what RRC and RQM can offer them.
RRC, as you might expect, is all about requirements. According to IBM, it helps teams of developers to capture, define, analyze, report, and manage requirements originating from customers, partners, or regulations. The “wiki-like” environment is designed to provide a lighter weight and more inclusive requirements management process than traditional requirements tools, which are focused on technical requirements and used primarily by IT pros, while still providing a centralized database for storing requirements documents in structured and unstructured formats.
RQM, meanwhile, is designed to help automate the entire testing and quality assurance (QA) process. The software includes functionality for planning, executing, and reporting on tests, and managing the entire testing workflow for all stakeholders, including developers, analysts, and testers. Features like risk-based planning help QA teams prioritize which artifacts need the most attention, while dashboards help users interact with the testing process.
All three Rational products that make up the Rational CLM solution support IBM i, including versions 6.1 and 7.1. The version 3.0.1 releases–and hence the Rational CLM solution itself–become available for downloads today. Physical media ships July 1.
Using these three products together will provide large development shops certain benefits, IBM says, including real-time planning, lifecycle traceability, in-context collaboration, development intelligence, and continuous improvement, according to IBM. IBM says the products play a role in a larger IBM vision called “The IBM Rational Jazz Initiative.” Jazz is IBM’s open platform for integrating lifecycle tools.
The CLM 2011 release is more than the sum of its parts, writes Adrian Cho, IBM’s development manager for collaborative lifecycle management, in a blog posting on the Jazz community website.
“The adoption of the ‘3.0.1’ label for all of these products is significant,” Cho writes. “While earlier releases of all three products integrated to form a solution of lifecycle management capabilities, this release not only enhances these capabilities significantly, it delivers them on a new shared architecture that offers increased flexibility and scalability and simplified serviceability.”
Cho says customers buying the three products as a unified suite will benefit from simplified packaging and licensing; simplified installation through a single installation for all three products; more flexible deployment options; unified administration; and a sample application that demonstrates the full set of lifecycle management capabilities.