IBM used its INNOVATE 2011 software application developers conference today to announce new programmer collaboration software. Somewhat generically dubbed as its "collaborative design management" technology, the new offering allows developers to share data instantaneously from any source in the development process.
The new software's key enabling feature integrates application designs seamlessly with other development tasks and information, such as requirements, code, and quality management assets. IBM says that the benefits of this approach enhance the "traceability of all actions", allowing their impact on the total development process to be analyzed.
Development team members (and other stakeholders) can review, contribute, and change solution designs with transparency to every participant in the project. This is achieved through a central design hub where designs can be stored, maintained, and referenced for future reuse, documentation, and compliance.
The new software offerings are built on Jazz, IBM's open software development platform that the company says supports sharing and interactions among software and systems design and development teams.
"A critical challenge facing businesses is how to innovate while fostering collaboration among teams and a complex array of partners and suppliers," said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager of IBM Rational. "A collaborative software development platform supporting the entire end-to-end software cycle is needed for true innovation. Through new offerings of IBM's Rational Rhapsody Design Manager and Rational Software Architect Design Manager, designs no longer have to exist in isolation on an architect's or developer's desktop. They can now be part of an open ecosystem using a simple, web-based user interface."
This new solution for Rational-centric developers represents a coming together of IBM Rational Requirements Composer, IBM Rational Team Concert, and IBM Rational Quality Manager — within a unified development platform to encourage cross-functional collaboration, helping (in theory) teams improve their time-to-delivery, quality, product value. and predictability.
"New technologies, such as cloud computing, workload optimization, and Agile development are driving the need for development and operations to work more closely than ever before. New integrations between IBM Connections social networking software for business and IBM Rational Team Concert allow software developers to use social networking to find experts within an organization and help collaborate with stakeholders on software development projects," said the company.