Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘rational

(Almost) Live From IBM Innovate 2012

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I wasn’t able to make it down to Orlando for the IBM Innovate event, as I’m preparing to participate in an annual Watson family rite: My father’s annual member-guest golf tournament.  We won the competition two years ago for the first time, and last year, not so much.

So, this year I’m out for …. well, not blood.  Just a much lower golf score.

However, I wasn’t too busy to check in and watch some of the tidings from Innovate 2012 via the Livestream coverage, then chat about it with mi amigo Scott Laningham, who is holding down the broadcasting fort quite nicely.

If you’re a frequent viewer of our podcasts (or even if you’re not), you ought to get a kick out of my persona: A laptop sitting on the sofa with a picture of me.  We tried to use Skype video to do the back and forth, but the Internet connection on the ground simply wasn’t big enough for my booming persona!

Thanks to Scott and Jesse and the crew on the ground in Orlando for helping me participate. It’s not easy being the virtual me, especially when I cannot decide which pair of shoes to wear!

Written by turbotodd

June 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

IBM Expands Collaborative Software Development Solutions to Cloud, Mobile Technologies

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At IBM Innovate in Orlando earlier today, the company announced a range of new software solutions that will help clients create software applications faster and with higher quality across multiple development environments including cloud, mobile, and complex systems.

The software world’s push toward continuously evolving systems necessitates consistency and collaboration across the entire software lifecycle and supply chain. Often software development teams are struggling to meet business expectations due to a lack of hard facts.

There is a need for shared data and a consistent context across organizational boundaries, exposed through clear and honest metrics.

To address these challenges, IBM is introducing a new version of its integrated software Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution with extended design management capabilities.

CLM is built on IBM’s open development platform, Jazz, and brings together IBM Rational Requirements Composer, IBM Rational Team Concert, and IBM Rational Quality Manager in one easy-to-install and easy-to-use solution. The new CLM software ensures that software design is integrated with the rest of the software application development lifecycle.

Development teams are now able to seamlessly collaborate on the design and development of software with key stakeholders from across the business.

According to preliminary findings of an IBM Institute for Business Value Global Study on software delivery, more than three-fourths of the participating organizations said they are underprepared for major technology trends that will impact their competitiveness.

These trends include the proliferation of mobile devices, the ability to leverage cloud-based resources for flexibility and savings, and the growing percentage of smart products with embedded software. While 50 percent of organizations believe successful software delivery is crucial to their competitive advantage, only 25 percent currently leverage it.

“Today’s business dilemma is how to address both the need for rapid delivery and sufficient control in the software development process,” said Dr. Kristof Kloeckner, general manager, IBM Rational. “We must balance the need for speed and agility with better governance to manage cost and quality, achieve regulatory compliance, ensure security, and have some level of financial predictability.”

Top Bank in China Transforms Core Processes

China Merchants Bank (CMB), headquartered in Shenzhen, China, has over 800 branches, more than 50,000 employees and is cited as one of the world’s top 100 banks. China Merchants Bank environment spans IBM System z and IBM Power platforms.

With geographically dispersed developers responsible for modernizing core banking and credit card processing applications, collaboration became essential. CMB uses IBM Rational CLM software capabilities to create a multiplatform application lifecycle management (ALM) environment to help automate their development processes and breakdown skills silos for effective cross-teaming.

“IBM Rational Developer and ALM tools were brought into our credit card migration and core banking system project,” said Zhanwen Chen, manager of configuration management, China Merchants Bank. “Replacing older tools and coordinating the efforts of our 1,000+ developers improved our quality and performance.”

DevOps in the Cloud

In a typical organization, it may take weeks or months to deliver a development change, due to infrastructure and configuration, testing and manual deployment, and lack of collaboration between development and operations teams.

Continuous software delivery in the cloud allows customers to continuously and automatically deliver changes across the enterprise software delivery lifecycle, spanning development, application testing and operations. With a “DevOps” approach in the cloud, customers can reduce time to market and automate changes in development, test and production.

IBM is supporting cloud delivery, development and operations with new solutions, including:

  • IBM Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise provides an agile cloud computing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) well suited for development and test that is designed to provide rapid access to secure, enterprise-class virtual server environments.
  • The IBM SmartCloud Application Services pilot provides a pay-as-you-go service that coordinates activities across business and system requirements, design, development, build, test and delivery.
  • IBM SmartCloud for Government Development and Test Platform as a service delivers industry-leading Rational tools for government agencies in a highly scalable, elastic computing environment for agencies that want the cost savings of a shared cloud environment combined with Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) security.
  • IBM SmartCloud Continuous Delivery managed beta via a hosted sandbox in the cloud, provides a hands-on-experience of DevOps capabilities enabling accelerated code-to-deploy through automation, standardization of repeatable processes and improved coordination and visibility among development, test and operations teams.
  • IBM SmartCloud Application Performance Management software provides comprehensive monitoring and management capabilities that enable development and operations professionals to reduce costly troubleshooting. It also provides free resources to focus on developing new innovations and services for customers. With this tighter integration, application issues can be found and resolved faster, but also proactively prevented to avoid future service disruption.

Enterprise Mobile Development

IBM Rational CLM has also been extended to the IBM Mobile Foundation platform for centralized code sharing and distributed mobile application development.

Currently, fragmentation of mobile devices, tools, and platforms complicates delivery of mobile applications that typically have faster time-to-market and more frequent releases.

The IBM Enterprise Mobile Development solution helps teams apply an end-to-end lifecycle management process to design, develop, test and deploy mobile applications while enabling seamless integration with enterprise back-end systems and cloud services through mobile-optimized middleware. The Enterprise Mobile Development solution brings together several offerings that optimize the recent Worklight acquisition as well as IBM enterprise development environments, including:

Green Hat Technology in New IBM Test Automation Solutions

Today’s applications and manufactured products put additional pressures on development teams to find innovative ways to attain agility and increase the rate that software updates are delivered for testing.

IBM has integrated the recently acquired Green Hat technology with IBM Rational CLM to help address the challenges of testing highly integrated and complex systems and simplify the creation of virtual test environments.

New IBM test automation solutions use virtualized test environments and can reduce costs associated with the setup, maintenance and tear down of infrastructure associated with traditional testing or cloud based implementations.

Over a Decade of IBM Software Development Leadership

For the eleventh consecutive year, IBM has been named the number one shareholder in the worldwide application development software market according to Gartner with 25 percent of the market.

Gartner reported that IBM continues to lead in key and growing segments includingDistributed Software Change & Configuration Management, Requirements Elicitation and Management, Design and Java Platform AD Tools, and realized 25 percent growth in the Security Testing (DAST & SAST) market.

Additionally, according to Evans Data Corporation’s Users’ Choice: 2012 Software Development Platforms, for the overall platform rankings, IBM’s Rational continues its reign as the most highly rated overall offering, an honor they have obtained 6 in the last 7 years in this Evans Data survey of 1,200 developers globally.

Urgent, Urgent, Urgent…

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Excuse me while I just sing out loud to myself for a second:

You’re not shy, you get around

You wanna fly, don’t want your feet on the ground

You stay up, you won’t come down

You wanna live, you wanna move to the sound

You say it’s urgent (urgent, urgent…)

Okay, we’re gonna play human Shazam.

Name that tune!

Need a hint?  Lou Graham?  Singers of “Cold As Ice?” “Hot Blooded?” “Juke Box Hero?”

Of course, I’m talking about Foreigner.  And I’m talking about them not only because they were a band instrumental to my youth, but because they’ll be playing at the IBM Innovate event next week in Orlando.

I won’t be in attendance, but my partner-in-crime, Scott Laningham, will be there and covering the event, and I’m entirely jealous all my colleagues and our customers are going to see Foreigner and I’m not.

You can still register, and if you do, you can expect to select from over 400 technical sessions, some extended technical training with hands-on workshops, great keynotes, a comprehensive exhibit hall, and the opportunity to network with over 4,000 of your peers.

What else do you want?

We’re going to have mountaineers and string theorists among our external keynote speakers, not to mention one of my favorite IBM execs, Rational’s vice president of marketing, Gina Poole.

Here’s just a few of the key tracks you can look to follow while in Orlando: Application lifecycle management. Design, development, test and deployment. Embedded systems and software. Security. Smarter computing with enterprise modernization.

A little something for every developer in all of us.

If, like me, you can’t be there in the flesh, there’s going to be more than ample opportunity to follow the stream from beyond. First and foremost, use the #ibminnovate hash tag to keep track on Twitter.

You can also watch some of the great video content Scott and team will be producing at www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware.

Scott tells me I might even be making a guest remote appearance.

But whether I make it or not, if you’re in the software development realm, I don’t know why you would be anywhere else next week.

Just don’t tell me how great Foreigner was when you get back.

Written by turbotodd

June 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm

IBM To Acquire Cloud Software Testing Firm Green Hat

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IBM today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Green Hat, a leader in software quality and testing solutions for the cloud and other environments.

IBM today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Green Hat, a leader in software quality and testing solutions for the cloud and other environments. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1996, Green Hat is jointly headquartered in London, England and Wilmington, Delaware.

Green Hat helps customers improve the quality of software applications by enabling developers to leverage cloud computing technologies to conduct testing on a software application prior to its delivery.

Historically, to run simulation testing on a software program, a development team must construct an actual testing lab made up of both hardware and software.

This time consuming and labor intensive process has become even more compounded with the short development cycle needed to compete in rapidly expanding markets such as those for smart phones and tablets.

By using Green Hat’s solutions, a virtual test environment can be set up in a matter of minutes versus weeks, and for a fraction of the cost.

According to recent industry reports, software testing represents more than 50 percent of overall development costs, and testing teams often spend upwards of 30 percent of their time managing the complexity of the test environment.

Green Hat creates a virtual environment that simulates a wide range of IT infrastructure elements, without the constraints of hardware or software services. This continuous test environment enables developers and quality professionals to test software earlier and more frequently throughout the software development lifecycle.

Upon the acquisition close, Green Hat will join IBM’s Rational Software business. When combined with the IBM Rational Solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management, developers and testers can achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency, effectiveness, and collaboration while delivering quality software to their business.

IBM and Green Hat will help customers maximize continuous integration of an application, including creating virtual protocols, message formats, services, customization and engagement with third-party software.

Development teams can avoid scrap and rework and dramatically reduce costly delays while achieving greater business agility and accelerating the delivery of software applications.

The Green Hat software testing solutions also will be offered through IBM Global Business Services’ Application Management Services (AMS). IBM AMS provides strategy, design, implementation, testing and managed services for application virtualization to accelerate customer results.

Green Hat is an automated testing technology leader, operating worldwide with a Global 2000 customer base. Green Hat makes automated testing simple for complex systems relying on Cloud, Web Services, messaging, SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), BPM (Business Process Management), CEP (Complex Event Processing), SAP and other distributed technologies. Their diverse range of customers includes prestigious representation in financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, transportation and the energy industry.

IBM Promotes Collaboration, Reduces Complexity Using Jazz

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The IBM Innovate 2011 event kicks into its third day down in Orlando, and the announcements have already started streaming out of the event, as has the Livestream coverage for those of you who couldn’t make it to Orlando.

Today, IBM announced new software that helps organizations collaborate more efficiently throughout the entire software and systems development process.  It allows developer teams to quickly access resources and work across global boundaries through an open, collaborative development environment.

This was a theme we heard consistently in yesterday’s keynote session, the need to be more agile, more collaborative, and increasingly across spatial and temporal boundaries.

Improving the Economics of Software Development

To reiterate the point, just glance through the topline of the latest IBM CEO Study which covered 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide.  Two-thirds of global organizations manage software development teams working in multiple locations.

The study also found there is a growing unpredictability in getting software through development and into is full application within an organization.  More than 62% of development projects fail to meet the intended schedule and 30% of project costs are due to rework and poor execution of requirements.

The new software helps organizations align their software investments with business process and operations across an entire organization, creating stronger linkages between planning and execution.  It’s now possible to tap into talent wherever it is located, quickly accessing resources and include appropriate decision makers throughout the entire business cycles.

Built on Jazz

The new software offerings are built on Jazz, IBM’s open software development platform that supports sharing and interactions among software and systems design and development teams.

New features allow developers to interact quickly; share data instantaneously from any source in the development process and connect teams and development communities in new ways.

  • Collaborative Design Management: Enables teams to integrate designs seamlessly with other development tasks and information, such as requirements, code, and quality management assets. The benefits of this approach enhance the traceability of all actions, allowing their impact on the process to be analyzed.  Team members and other stakeholders can review, contribute and change solution designs with complete transparency to every participant in the project.
  • Collaborative Lifecycle Management: The IBM Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management helps software development teams improve their productivity by offering an integrated application lifecycle management (ALM) solution to avoid the pitfalls of working in silos with broken communication, which results in project delays, low quality or budget overruns.
  • Collaborative Development and Operations:  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. IBM has created new integrations between many of its leading software offerings that can significantly assist in bridging the cultural divide between development and operation teams.

Visit IBM Rational to learn more about these new offerings.

And don’t forget to tune in for tomorrow’s (Wednesday, June 8th) opening session at Innovate 2011 at 8 AM EST, whereupon Grady Booch will discuss the IBM Watson technology.

UPDATE: developerWorks’ guru (and my good buddy) Scott Laningham has been very busy talking to folks on the show floor at Innovate.  You can check out his excellent interviews here.





Written by turbotodd

June 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Innovate 2011: Smarter Software, Better Economics

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Here’s my observation about the kickoff session at this morning’s Innovate 2011 event in Orlando, Florida, the IBM conference focused on smarter software and systems:

The best software in the world is everywhere around you — it helps power your car, your refrigerator, your computer, your travel reservation systems, the list goes on.  And yet, at the same time, when it’s working at its best the best software in the world is hardly even noticeable!

However, its benefits and economic impact should be noticeable and even quantifiable, and therein emerged the theme for this morning’s kickoff keynote session, one we’ve become increasingly accustomed to in these austere times: Getting more value from less resources.

Though many may have become weary of beating that drum, from a software and systems perspective, however, it seems as though there’s still plenty of additional value to be derived in developing complex applications and systems, if only we would change the way we behave and develop them.

IBM executives Gina Poole, Dr. Kristif Kloeckner, Robert LeBlanc, and Walker Royce all highlighted and introduced several during the morning’s keynote to provide demonstrable proof of how large, complex organizations are realizing that value via three foundational practices: Integration, Collaboration, and Optimization.

General Motors Powers The Volt With Massive Software Reuse

Bill Bolander, a technical fellow for General Motors, took the stage to bring the renowned automaker’s case study to life.  GM delivered the electric-powered Volt in only 29 months, a car which has some 10 million lines of code.

General Motors' Bill Bolander explains the benefits GM has realized through more agile software development.

Bolander explained to the Orlando audience that there’s “not a better time to be a systems or software engineer” even in these austere times. GM has 16 development application centers across the globe, responsible for everything from code development for the powertrain to the chassie to HVAC and beyond.

This team  creates a global software product line for use across the GM vehicle portfolio, and those assets now get applied across various vehicle programs.  Because of their integrated, collaborative approach to development GM has seen substantial returns in both time to market and efficiency, without sacrificing quality.

As Bolander quipped, “When you hit the brakes, they need to work.”

That’s certainly how I prefer my car to operate!

As a specific example of the efficiencies, 90% of the software developed for conventional gas cars was reused on the Volt, 80% from their hybrid electric.

The General Motors study was a powerful one in terms of economic value to the organization that practices smarter software and systems development.  But it wasn’t the only one.

Danke Bank: Multilingual, Multicurrency, Unified Development

Danke Bank is the second largest bank in Scandinavi and operates in 15 countries throughout Europe, and according to Peter Rasmussen, the bank’s philosophy for banking and information technology is simple: One platform for all.

They have five million customers, 2.4M of which bank via the Internet, with some 670 branches in 15 countries.

But, in terms of simplification, they use one IT platform for their entire organization.  Though they still spend some $375M on software development every year, Rasmussen explained their their philosophy was “creating more value for less resource.”

To do so, his team adopted the Rational approach to smarter development, evolving their focus from documents and assets to outcome and results, and moving quicker in the market while addressing the big uncertainties earlier in the development process where they could be more readily (and less expensively!) addressed.

What did they learn? Well, as an example, those projects which had an experienced project manager saw a 50% bottom line impact.

They also improved collaboration among the bank’s key stakeholders, identifying honest measures that would help them focus on the right improvements that would matter most to Danke Bank.

Software Development At IBM Software

So, the question might be asked, do the shoemaker’s children go barefoot?  Apparently not when it comes to software development at IBM.

IBM started its own agile transformation in the mid 2000s, where it had 26K developments in more than 70 locations just in its software business.  Starting in 2006, Dr. Kloeckner explained, his team started measuring achievement against development goals and incented them to collaborate and share.

He also empowered them with software lifecycle tools, to help make changes stick and pervasive.  “Tools, not rules” Kloeckner explained.

Revenue per headcount saw a net gain of 15% (how IBM measures productivity), and reduced scrap and rework by 4.5%.  The company also avoided $300M in maintenance costs, and asset reuse shot up dramatically, with the code repository accessed some 70K times per week!

Walker Royce explained the ultimate moral of this story.  Better software economics is a result of measured improvement for improved predictability, and agility for improved operational efficiency.

Thsose organizations who better measure and manage their development process better manage uncertainty, and in turn, drive costs down through more accelerated integration testing and measurement of cost of change trends.

As Royce summarized, “Your ability to respond quickly is a key differentiator.”

Written by turbotodd

June 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Watson’s Webby

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“Thank you for the honor.”

That’s all the words IBM’s Watson will be able to convey were it to be able to stand up on the stage and accept its Webby Award.

Watson was just named person of the year by the Webbys, which is an interesting way of categorizing the IBM supercomputer that outplayed Jeopardy! world champions back in February.

What’s all this, you say?  Well, the fact is, Webby award speeches have historically been limited to five (and typically, very carefully chosen) words.

Although with all that brain power, I’m sure Watson could come up with something better and much more clever than the five I selected.  I just wanted to make sure it didn’t seem like Watson was ungrateful.

Congratulations, Watson.  You earned every word.

If you’re interested in watching, the 15th annual Webby Awards ceremony will be held June 13 and hosted by Lisa Kudrow. The show will stream live on numerous outlets, including via Facebook and the Huffington Post.

Back in Orlando, Florida, Innovate 2011 is preparing to get going over the weekend.  I mentioned in a previous post that software guru Grady Booch will actually be speaking about Watson at the conference.

Of course, we’re giving Grady more than just five words, as he has quite a bit to say about the software methods behind Watson’s madness.

Written by turbotodd

June 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm


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