IBM Rational Tools Zero In On Specific Industries

The latest RealTime download includes benefits for flight avionics and defense software testing as well as software for the automotive industry.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

December 11, 2007

2 Min Read

IBM is offering new Rational tools that include support for specific industries, the company said Tuesday. Its new Rational Test RealTime tool supports flight avionics and defense software testing as well as the MISRA standard for embedded software of the automotive industry.

Rational Test RealTime is a development tool aimed at automating the quality and reliability testing of software embedded in airplane controls, gun and missile guidance systems and other aerospace and defense systems. It supports the DO-178B standard approved as the measure of airplane software reliability by the FAA. It also supports Defense Standard 00-55 on software reliability.

The Motor Industry Software Reliability Association established the MISRA standard for software embedded in automotive engines, auxiliary systems and controls.

"We make sure you can test for the reliability in C code that's required by the auto industry," said Swati Moran, market strategist, IBM's Rational Software unit, in an interview. The new tool also can be used in testing Java2 Standard Edition, C++, and Ada. Rational Test RealTime is available immediately for electronic download. Documentation on the tool will be available Dec. 14. It is priced at $13,600 for both license and 12 months of maintenance on a floating license allowing multiple users.

Moran also said the existing tools, Rational Systems Developer and Rational Software Modeler, support a new Object Management Group standard, Unified Modeling Language Profile for Department of Defense Architecture Framework [DoDAF] and the UK's Ministry of Defense Architecture Framework [MoDAF]. The Object Management Group is an industry consortium that has set standards for integration software such as object brokers.

The framework allows different defense systems to be modeled in common terms and symbols, easing integration issues after being developed separately, Moran said. Defense software developed according to the OMG standard becomes more interoperable, allowing a plane to function in closer coordination with a ship or Army tank that when the systems are developed with no shared architectural framework.

"Defense organizations use these standards to build systems today that they want available tomorrow for use with future systems," she said. By storing the software models, a Northrop system built today can be linked to a future Raytheon system, or vice versa.

Rational Software Modeler is available at a price of $1,850 per named user, including first year maintenance, or $3,210 per floating user. By floating, the licensing model means a user is covered during any given hour, even though the names of the user may vary from hour to hour. In similar terms, Rational Systems Developer is priced at $2,570 per named user or $4,500 per floating user.

Moran said support for additional vertical industry standards will appear in the Rational tool line up in the future. Candidates include insurance and financial services, retail and healthcare.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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