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3/17/2009
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Mainsoft Enables Collaboration Via SharePoint, Lotus Quickr

Document Collaboration for Rational Jazz integrates with Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Lotus Quickr, closing the gap between software developers and nondevelopers.

Mainsoft on Tuesday released software that will integrate Rational Team Concert with either Microsoft SharePoint or IBM Lotus Quickr, hoping to bridge an all-too-common rift between software developers and business managers looking to fill a business need for new software.

Technologies for collaborative software development are nothing new, as IBM Rational Team Concert and Microsoft Visual Studio Team System can attest. Those technologies, however, leave a gap between developers and business employees and managers, often causing software development to proceed slower than desired or results that don't meet business demands.

Mainsoft's Document Collaboration for Rational Jazz will be sold in an Express Edition for small development shops and a Standard Edition that includes workflow integration for larger development groups. It allows developers to create and edit documents and save them in SharePoint or Quickr from directly within the Eclipse software development client.

Document Collaboration puts a sidebar in Rational Jazz that lists documents stored in SharePoint or Quickr. Also, project pages in Jazz now contain not only software builds, but also related documents.

On the other side of the developer-business manager relationship, business stakeholders who use SharePoint or Quickr will have documents related to software development such as licensing documents or design specs at their fingertips, complete with features such as version control.

"In order to let these guys communicate and make sure the software that is delivered meets business needs, you need to make sure developers and business stakeholders collaborate, even though they are not using the same stack," Mainsoft CEO Yaacov Cohen said in an interview.

Developers can also search documents, add them as favorites, and subscribe to RSS feeds that will send the developers notice of document changes. Business users can receive notices about document changes and requests for document approvals via e-mail.

Those types of features are key because they reinforce strong project governance. Instead of sending documents via e-mail and having to deal with related inefficiencies such as lack of version control, people in the software development pipeline can now use integrated collaboration features via SharePoint and Quickr plug-ins to collaborate more easily than if it had to be done over e-mail. Nondevelopers, meanwhile, have a bit more visibility into the software development process.

Mainsoft also integrates with Lotus Sametime to enable presence awareness and click-to-chat in Rational Jazz. For example, a developer can right-click on the name of the person who last edited a document, see if that person is at his desk, and send him an instant message.

IBM will be reselling Mainsoft's Document Collaboration in two editions, Express Edition and Standard Edition. Express Edition costs $4,150, while Standard Edition costs $25,000 and scales from 50 to 250 developers and includes workflow integration.


InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of the challenges around setting business priorities for next-gen Web applications. Download the report here (registration required).

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