Rational tool combines design, development

Rational Software Corp. on Tuesday announced Rational XDE Professional 2002, a tool built to eliminate the gap between application design and development for WebSphere and Visual Studio.Net environments.

Rational XDE Professional allows developers to code and design directly in Visual Studio.Net, IBM Corp.'s WebSphere Studio Application Developer, or the IBM Eclipse IDEs (integrated development environments).

Rational is calling XDE an eXtended Development Environment that blends the capabilities of Rational's design and modeling technology into the Microsoft Corp. or IBM tools. Rational's software also includes customizable design patterns and template-based code generation.

Lexington, Mass.-based Rational said that by marrying design and development, Rational XDE can be used to increase developer productivity. The tool includes a number of features designed with that goal in mind, such as a customizable pattern engine and Instant UML (Unified Modeling Language), which provides programmers with UML visualization support for forward and reverse engineering, as well as giving them the option of automated or on-demand engineering synchronization, according to a company statement.

Furthermore, users of XDE gain access to Rational's developer network with resources targeted at XDE users, Rational Development Accelerators, and Rational Unified Process configurations.

The Rational Development Accelerators are designed to provide assets that include reference applications, as well as tool automation, examples, and guidance. The company also made available two Rational Unified Process configurations, one each for .Net and IBM WebSphere, both of which offer a set of best practices.

Rational XDE will also be integrated with other Rational tools, such as RequisitePro, AnalystStudio, DevelopmentStudio, and ClearCase.

Specifically, programmers using C# and Java can use Rational XDE with the Rational Suite, while developers using other Java IDEs or languages within Visual Studio.Net can use either Rational Suite or Rational Rose.