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IBM Building Software-Quality Tools On Hyades Framework

It says the move demonstrates its continued effort to use open source as the foundation of its developer tools.
IBM plans to standardize its Rational suite of software quality-assurance, -monitoring, and -testing tools on the open-source Hyades framework.

IBM said last week that the move demonstrates its continued support to leverage open source as the foundation for its portfolio of developer tools. News of IBM Rational's plan to support Hyades in its testing and monitoring suite surfaced in March.

Overseen by the Eclipse Foundation, Hyades offers a standard framework for data models, data collection and execution, and user-interface components employed in a testing and monitoring environment, says Serge Lucio, senior product manager of automated software quality for IBM Rational.

The Hyades project began two years ago and is supported not only by IBM, but also Compuware, Intel, and SAP, Lucio says. SAP also has committed to adopting Hyades as the base infrastructure for some of the software-quality components of its NetWeaver tool, says Geoffrey Bessin, market manager of software quality at IBM Rational.

By encouraging the tools community to support Hyades as the standard for QA testing and monitoring tools, it will be easier for IBM Rational to integrate its tools with other vendor software and vice versa, Bessin says. "Hyades is the wheel everybody reinvents when they build software-quality tools," he said. "If [other tools vendors] adopt Hyades, we will get integration with their software-quality [components] for free with our commercial software offering."

However, one software maker says IBM's efforts to support open source as the basis for its tools seem to be aimed at leaving one crucial player out of that equation: Microsoft.

"I am increasingly observing a polarization of development communities into two groups, each of which has a mind-set that most highly values different objectives," says Richard Warren, president of Shenandoah Technologies.

"The Eclipse-based open-source group seems to most highly value community, collaboration, and collegiality, while the [Microsoft] Visual Studio-based group seems to most highly value speed, ease of use, and convenience. Both IBM and Microsoft are playing to those strengths as they rev their products while adding functionality at the margins that will speak to the other group's interests," Warren says.

Future versions of IBM Rational's software quality, testing, and monitoring tools--which include Rational Robot, Rational Functional Tester, and Rational Test Realtime--are being re-engineered on Hyades. Bessin didn't say when those would be released, but he says the next major update of the tools will support Hyades.

IBM already leverages Hyades in its WebSphere Studio Application Developer, a tool for developing Java apps on its WebSphere J2EE application server, Bessin says. Developers can use the Hyades functionality in tools for application profiling as well as memory-leak detection, Lucio says.

The Eclipse Foundation arose from a project by IBM to build an open-source integrated development environment into which developers could plug multiple tools. The project, which IBM spun off in February to become the Eclipse Foundation, has become a popular base on which myriad vendors are building their developer software products.

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