IBM, Rational deepen development ties

Deepening an alliance forged last summer, IBM Corp. and Rational have announced plans to jointly develop and sell software that allows corporate users to build and manage e-business applications to run on IBM’s Websphere Application Servers.

Under the agreement, the two companies will work to integrate more tightly IBM’s VisualAge development environment with Rational’s ClearCase Software Configuration Management (SCM) software. IBM will forge this tighter tie by incorporating selected technology from VisualAge Team Connection into future versions of ClearCase and ClearQuest.

The agreement also calls for IBM and Rational to market and sell those integrated products jointly under Rational’s ClearCase and ClearQuest monikers.

“This makes sense because we are dealing with the same types of users and the same types of problems. Users want to be e-businesses, but they want to do it in a way that is scalable and deals with enterprise computing. We are finding that if you don’t do that, you don’t have e-business apps that have any legs,” said Joe Damassa, vice-president of marketing execution for transformation and integration at IBM’s Software Group in Somers, N.Y.

“This is evidence that the IBM-Rational relationship is more than a paper relationship. The more we share mutually beneficial technology, the more incentive it is for us to work together. I think this is good for both sets of users,” said Eric Schurr, senior vice-president of marketing and suite products at Rational.

The two companies have agreed to use WebDAV, a platform-independent way of sharing data over the Web, with their respective development and SCM products.

Company officials said they also plan to deliver a version of Rational’s ClearCase for IBM’s OS/390 mainframe platform, believing such a version offers users a central point for controlling changes to software artifacts in both mainframe and distributed environments. Some of those distributed environments include OS/400, Windows, NetWare, Linux, AIX and Solaris.

More information about IBM’s Software Group, based in Somers, N.Y, is available at