IBM to Resell ARCAD’s IBM i Tools as Rational Power Pack
April 16, 2013 Alex Woodie
IBM last week announced that it is now distributing several of ARCAD Software‘s IBM i change management tools along with its Rational Team Concert product. IBM’s announcement of the ARCAD–Rational Power Pack is a tremendous win for ARCAD, and a validation of a decision it made years ago to pursue a Rational-centric strategy.
ARCAD made a decision two years ago to stop competing against IBM and its Rational Team Concert (RTC) product, which IBM launched in late 2008 to provide source control, change management, and build management capabilities.
While other change management software vendors continued to compete with IBM and RTC, ARCAD decided to pursue a strategy to surround RTC with additional tools. The big change that came out of this is ARCAD gave up its requirement to house the core source code repository–a move that couldn’t have been easy for any company that prides itself on control–and to cede this critical function to RTC. Instead, ARCAD sought to sell add-ons to RTC to provide functionality in the areas of build management, deployment and release management, cross-referencing, and impact analysis.
With IBM’s announcement last week that it will sell several ARCAD products in the new ARCAD-Rational Power Pack, the folks at ARCAD have to feel that their strategy has been validated, that it has been vindicated of any lingering questions about giving up control of the source code repository.
The ARCAD–Rational Power Pack (ARPP) is available now through Passport Advantage. The software is composed of four ARCAD products, including:
Several of these products have been certified to work with RTC in the past. ARCAD’s products also hook into Rational Developer for Power (RDP), the Eclipse-based development environment that modern coders use to write and maintain RPG applications on the IBM i server.
Undoubtedly, the fact that ARCAD was already closely integrated with RTC, RDP, and Eclipse factored into IBM’s decision to enter into a reseller agreement with ARCAD and sell ARPP as part of the RTC brand. In particular, IBM seemed eager to offer more powerful impact analysis and release management capabilities for the IBM i platform, including features like traceability and roll-backs.
ARCAD CEO Philippe Magne says he hopes the reseller deal will help to establish a standard for change management in the IBM i marketplace. “This announcement is a major step forward for our company and also for IBM,” he says via email. “RTC is a real strong standard in software configuration management, but has up until now been struggling to become one in the IBM i world because of the lack of consideration of both technical and methodological specificities.”
Likewise, the reseller deal will be a boon to ARCAD in the areas of sales and marketing, which Magne says has taken a back seat to research and development. “This partnership is the opportunity to impose a real standard in the IBM i market,” he says. “This combined offer is the guarantee for the IBM i customers to adopt a long life technology that covers both their existing and future needs. Even for those who are not ready yet to adopt RTC [especially the ones that continue to use the 5250 development tools], they have the guarantee they will be able to adopt it in the future without any disruption.”
One early beneficiary of the integration between ARCAD and IBM is Kenco Group, a Tennessee-based third-party logistics (3PL) provider with more than 100 facilities and 28 million square feet of warehouse space in 25 states and Canada.
“The integration of the ARCAD solution with Rational Team Concert has moved ALM for the IBM i series to the next level,” states Scott Lancaster, director of IT application development at Kenco, in an ARPP flyer from IBM. “The integration has enabled us to create a standard automated build-and-deploy process for our applications. The automation will save us hundreds of hours in deployments while increasing the quality of those deployments.”
For more information, see IBM United States Software Announcement 213-179.