IBM Ties Developers To Real-World Results

Toolkits connect development tools and application monitoring
IBM last week introduced two toolkits that could make developers--including those working offshore--more connected and accountable for the real-world results of the software they write.


IBM wants to help distributed teams, said Rational general manager Danny Sabbah.
The toolkits can be downloaded now and are slated to be included in the 2006 release of Rational Application Developer. They're part of the integration of Rational tools that IBM bought in 2002 with its Tivoli transaction-monitoring system. During a demonstration at last week's Rational user group meeting, Rational general manager Danny Sabbah showed how a Problem Resolution Toolkit that works with the Rational Application Developer tool could take data from a Tivoli log file and use it to troubleshoot a problem in a production application.

The toolkit is meant to bridge a gap between software developers and the operations staff responsible for running apps after they've been developed. Application developers typically have thrown their finished wares "over the wall" between themselves and operations staff, with each side pointing at the other if something goes wrong, he said.

The Performance Optimization Toolkit, designed to work with the established Rational Performance Tester tool, also was released last week. It gives developers the data they need to re-create the circumstances surrounding an application slowdown and directs them to the code that's responsible, Sabbah said.

IBM will continue to look for ways to let distributed teams collaborate more effectively, including with offshore developers, Sabbah said,

The effort to bridge the gap between operations and development also is part of Microsoft's Visual Studio 2005, expected later this year. In April, Microsoft created a special license for the beta version of the toolset so that applications could be run in production, a move previously barred by beta licensing since Microsoft doesn't officially support beta release software.