IBM Updates Rational Toolset
These changes increase the focus IBM is placing on the governance of software development and testing. Governance is the design and enforcement of policies and guidelines which help IT processes meet organizational goals. The most common goals include improving cost and speed of development--emphasizing strategies such as service reuse. Another major theme is ensuring that services are compliant with security and interoperability policies, which increases reusability and helps services conform to enterprise and regulatory standards.
To meet these overarching business goals, IBM announced Portfolio Manager 7, which provides tracking ability for resources on IT projects. This tool is integrated with the conventional development tools announced by IBM.
Increasingly, these governance needs span a lifecycle of development, testing, deployment and management. For development IBM Rational ClearQuest 7 incorporates these themes by ensuring that changes are made according to business requirements and best practices during development and design. ClearQuest has been combined with the Build Forge development repository and released today as Rational Build Forge 7. IBM also announced ClearCase 7 the latest version of IBM's complex version control repositoryFor deployment management, ClearQuest works with a new release of the Tivoli Provisioning Manager 7. The integration of these three tools helps span design, run and change time governance requirements.
A set of tools were specifically announced for software testing. These include Functional Tester Plus (cross platform testing, defect and change tool), Purify Plus (runtime analysis and performance tool), RequisitePro 7 (requirements management tool). For test automation, IBM announced Rational Robot.
These announcements support the overall IBM Rational Strategy to enhance the structure the discipline of service oriented software for the largest and most complex projects. Within any tool set of this complexity, there are some design decisions which favor IBM's preferred methodology (Rational Unified Process, or RUP). To learn more, here's a tutorial about SOA and Rational tools.