ARCAD Integrates Source Code Management in RTC
May 20, 2014 Dan Burger
IBM Rational Team Concert, the collaborative change management software, has added an IBM i component to its capabilities that should gain the attention of IBM i shops that previously were displeased with how the IBM i development environment was not treated equally within RTC. The change comes in the form of integration with ARCAD Skipper software, which brings source code management under the RTC umbrella.
“Except for some very large IBM i customers, the IBM i customer base has not embraced Rational Team Concert (RTC),” says ARCAD CEO Philippe Magne. “That was because IBM i source code management was not integrated. Now it is. With the ARCAD module, IBM i source code will be in its own integrated repository and the module will be in charge of the source code management.”
Without the integration, IBM i shops using RTC to manage multiple developments had to switch back and forth between the 5250 and other source codes from other environments during collaborative efforts. It was an awkward out-of-product experience. Rational realized it when IBM i customers began complaining.
Rational products were always designed with distributed computing environments in mind, so it is understandable that they needed IBM i integration to become more appealing to IBM i shops.
“When it comes to IBM i integration, IBM Rational looked at it and decided to choose a partner already in the change management business instead of writing its own code,” says IBM i product offering manager Alison Butterill. “There is mutual benefit. Rational looked at various vendors and chose ARCAD. Sometimes it’s much faster and a better fit to use a partner that’s in the environment and understands it.”
RTC had the base change management. It needed the capability to manage source code and use ARCAD’s builder tool, which has been part of the Rational tool set since 2013, so companies could build and deploy to native IBM i, Butterill says.
“For smaller IBM i customers–where RPG, COBOL, and CL development is dominant–they don’t care about having multiple source repositories. If they do have them, they are managing them fine,” Magne says. But they are interested in a good IBM i source code management tool. They want something they are comfortable with in terms of terminology and that maps over an environment they understand. RTC was consolidating all the repositories.”
RTC provides source code management, and has an excellent reputation for managing multiple source code management modules. The more source code modules a company needs to manage, the more valuable RTC becomes. Its main benefit is providing the clear view of what’s going. The management of various source code repositories without RTC is a juggler’s nightmare.
There is also value when development is being done in geographically diverse locations, not just diverse development environments. It’s common to have developers working from home and other locations, as opposed to having all development in one location. RTC is an advantage in these situations because management is what it does best.
Since 2006, ARCAD has its own product that allows change management in multiple IBM i development environments, including Java and PHP along with RPG, COBOL, and CL.
“Other non-IBM i developers didn’t like that IBM i reputation,” Magne says. “We were seen by young developers as a dinosaur.” The integration with Rational, a big name in distributed computing environments, has helped ARCAD. “We have seen that Rational is the leader in this multi-environment development and we anticipate bringing more ARCAD technology into the RTC portfolio.”
He calls RTC the “backbone” for multiple development collaboration. “We have to be respectful of each and every culture,” Magne says.
For now, it is clear the market is not yet ready to have all source code managed within one environment. There are too many “tribes” for that to take place. Each development group is most comfortable in its own environment and that is not a shared environment. So the key to source code management is the integration of source code within multiple environments.