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Big Blue Tuesday drew the curtain on its first software products from its purchase of Rational Software -- two new toolsgeared to help development teams write business applications and systems together.
Both tools are geared for software automation, an increasingly important ingredient to helping enterprises meet their software needs on-demand, a business model IBM is betting its existence on.
Armonk, N.Y.'s IBM moved to purchase Rational Software last December and has been quietly integrating its extensive product suites into its repertoire ever since. Before it was acquired, Rational was one of the last few major independent software vendors left and competed with Borland Software.Analysts scrutinizedthe deal, speculating what effects the purchase would have on the software market, particularly with regard to Microsoft and the opposing Java supporters, such as IBM and Sun Microsystems.
Tuesday's news gives the software world a peek at what IBM has been up to with Rational: IBM Rational Rapid Developer, an architected application development (ARAD) environment that makes it easier for software developers to build Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) business applications and IBM Rational XDE Tester, with enhancements to IBM Rational XDE Developer.
The former tool offers Java developers a visual modeling development environment that automates code development, making J2EE application building easier and more efficient. Visualization modeling, according to many analysts, is becoming more and more important as software development gets more challenging and complex. IBM said these will make it easier to build "standards-based applications that can scale to help meet the needs of the organization."
The latter tool, Rational XDE Tester, is test automation software that makes sure Java clients and Web-based applications are running smoothly. It is based on the Eclipseproject and runs inside IBM WebSphere Studio 5.0 and Eclipse 2.0.
Also, IBM Rational XDE Developer Plus, formerly Rational XDE Professional Plus, now has a debugging capability called "visual trace" that displays application runtime errors and creates associated unified modeling language (UML) models. This integrates with Rational PurifyPlus and allows developers to work in supported versions of Java, Visual C# and Visual Basic .NET.
IBM's work with Rational XDE is part of a broader endeavor to fuse the IBM Rational XDE product family into IBM WebSphere Studio, Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. The goal is to bring design and testing closer together to encourage developers to model, develop and test applications in the same independent development environment to minimize errors and find bugs.
U.S. pricing for the new products, widely available in June, is as follows: IBM Rational Rapid Developer v2003 is $5,995 per user license, IBM Rational XDE Tester v2003 is $2,995 per user license, IBM Rational XDE Developer v2003 is $2,995 per user license, IBM Rational XDE Developer Plus is $4,195 per user license and versions of IBM Rational Suite v2003 start at $3,995 per node-locked license.
Prices for countries other than the United States will vary due to shipping and delivery costs, custom clearance costs, translations, and other factors.