IBM Rational updates software development tools

IBM Rational Monday unveiled enhancements to a slew of tools designed to help companies break down the silos that exist in development organizations and track activities throughout the application development life cycle.

IBM Rational Software Development Platform 7 includes 11 updated products and IBM Rational Build Forge 7, a new tool to automate code development that IBM acquired last month. Rational announced the new version of its tools at the IBM Rational Software Development Conference 2006 in Orlando, which kicked off Sunday.

"We've characterized the development life cycle as a business process ... so it can be more automated, more predictable and more visible, and the programming [can be] more efficient and higher quality," said Roger Oberg, Rational vice president of marketing.

For example, Rational ClearQuest 7 defect-tracking software includes tighter integration with Build Forge 7 and IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager 7 to ensure that all changes in software under development are made by authorized users for valid business reasons, he said. In addition, ClearQuest now includes test management so enterprises "can have an end-to-end view of traceability from the original requirements through the builds that contain them," Oberg said. This becomes even more crucial for companies that have to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by showing auditors that requirements can be traced through to testing.

Other Rational tools, including Rational ClearCase 7, Rational Portfolio 7, Rational RequisitePro 7 and RationalRose 7, have new performance and usability enhancements, IBM said.

Users will receive the new test-management capabilities of IBM Rational ClearQuest 7.0 with no increase in price from the IBM Rational ClearQuest Version 6.0, according to IBM. All other pricing for the tools in Version 7 is the same as for Version 6.

The new tools will be available beginning Tuesday.

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