IBM’s BuildForge buy will boost compliance

Looking for a better way to help corporate software developers meet compliance demands, IBM Corp. said Tuesday that it has acquired BuildForge Inc.

IBM didn’t reveal financial details about the purchase of BuildForge, a privately held specialist in application-development management software located in Austin, Texas.

BuildForge’s FullControl software framework lets development teams integrate existing tools and automate, track, audit and analyze application development. As well as helping to boost collaboration and productivity, FullControl can help ensure that a corporation documents audit trails for the creation of new software.

IBM will integrate BuildForge into its Rational application-development tools business.

Already, over 80 percent of BuildForge’s customers use IBM’s Rational tools in their software development. BuildForge has over 65 customers in North America, including Visa International Inc. and technology players such as Adobe Systems Inc., Avaya Inc., Google Inc. and Symantec Corp.

IBM acquired Rational three years ago for US$2.1 billion and positions Tuesday’s purchase of BuildForge as proof of its ongoing investment and support of its middleware tools business. Rational is one of IBM’s five key software brands — the others are Lotus, Tivoli, WebSphere and DB2.

In February, IBM announced plans to update its Rational tools later this year and into 2007 to improve their Web capabilities. At present, some of the Rational offerings still lack Web interfaces.