The scope of IBM's annual convention circuit now appears to accommodate for a major event almost every month. Given this breadth and regularity, it is perhaps comforting to see that the developer-centric focus (formerly known as Rational) of IBM Innovate is still a solid part of the firm's outreach program.
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This year's Orlando-based symposium included announcements encompassing new software, training, and resources plus a few key realignments and adjustments in areas impacting desktop, mobile, and cloud applications.
Falling under the IBM SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst banners, the firm insists that its new and enhanced product sets share a devoted observance to the needs of the DevOps function. The firm considers DevOps to be an integrated (although competing) approach to software delivery that integrates an organization's culture, processes, and tools. As IBM sees it, the goal of DevOps is to enable continuous software delivery.
First to the table among the new and refreshed offerings is an IBM SmartCloud Analytics group product known as Log Analysis. This cloud portfolio analytics tool is designed to give programmers insights into "terabytes of unstructured data" produced by both infrastructure and applications themselves. The product produces automated analysis delivered into IT asset logs.
The IBM SmartCloud Monitoring Application Insight launch now joins this group for real-time performance and availability analysis of applications hosted on a cloud. The ability to embed monitoring capabilities during the development process makes it easier for developers to understand how an application is being used once it has been deployed.
Kristof Kloeckner, general manager for IBM Rational Software, explained the new expanded IBM SmartCloud Application Services. "Now, developers can use SmartCloud Application services to deploy and manage applications written in the PHP language using Zend Server 6. PHP is a popular general-scripting language that is designed for web development. Support for this new language provides organizations with greater choice and flexibility in development options and makes it easier for developers to create cloud-native applications."
Other new offerings have been released to help save time and money during the development and testing phases of the DevOps lifecycle including IBM Rational Test Workbench.
According to IBM, developers and testers now have the ability to record, modify, playback, and evaluate testing scenarios to automate the hundreds (or thousands even) of tests that each model of a mobile device must go through. They can now also virtualize parts of the application that are not completed yet, in order to test earlier in the process.
NOTE: IBM today also unveiled an expansion of developerWorks so that new sites within the network include mobile, cloud, big data, WebSphere application development, and the new developerWorks Labs. What used to be known as alphaWorks (the developer prototyping division) now falls under the developerWorks umbrella.
Also announced at this event is IBM Worklight & IBM SmartCloud Application Services, a new no-cost trial for developers to build applications and deploy into IBM SmartCloud using IBM Worklight technology. Programming teams will be able to build mobile applications while avoiding capital purchases — once the application has been developed, delivery through the IBM SmartCloud has also been simplified.