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IBM Rational focuses on software quality

IBM Rational focuses on software quality

IBM Rational will announce plans to standardize its suite of automated software quality tools on the Hyades open source platform and is unveiling concurrently a software quality campaign dubbed "Continuously Ensure Quality," or CEQ.

By basing its software quality tools on Hyades, IBM Rational is making tests and data collected through its tools accessible to other vendors through use of the Hyades data model. The focus on Hyades is intended to provide for team development of software to ensure quality in the development process, said Geoffrey Bessin, marketing manager for software quality at IBM Rational. "You can't test in quality," Bessin said. "You have to build it in."

Hyades allows the company to build tools for the different roles in the software development process, according to Bessin.

The Hyades Project was formed in late 2002 and is a subgroup of the Eclipse open source project. It is intended to provide infrastructure for tool interoperability and data traceability to unify software quality efforts across the application development and deployment cycle.

IBM Rational is seeking industrywide adoption of Hyades as a platform for building standards-based software quality tools. Intel, SAP, and Compuware currently support Hyades, IBM Rational officials said. When asked if the company was seeking support from other tools vendors such as Sun Microsystems, Borland Software, and Microsoft, officials at IBM Rational said they could not be specific about any discussions pertaining to other vendors at this juncture.

"It's obvious we need to get a critical mass of companies adopting Hyades to get to its full volume," said Serge Lucio, senior product manager for Automated Software Quality at IBM Rational

Hyades features a set of data models to enable understanding among different tools; a facility to collect information about a system being tested and a set of interfaces providing a single user metaphor to interact with testing and monitoring tools, Lucio said.

Standardizing on an open source infrastructure enables avoidance of vendor lock-in and allows partners to customize tools, Lucio said.

The move to standardize on Hyades coincides with the unveiling of IBM Rational's CEQ initiative. This effort is intended to address the problem of poorly constructed software, a problem that costs companies billions annually.

CEQ provides a framework for improvements. With CEQ, IBM Rational will focus on each phase, role, process, and artifact, and build tools and capabilities for proactive quality assurance. Aspects of development will be covered ranging from business process modeling to IT management and monitoring.

The effort is intended to instill a commitment to embrace quality as a guiding principle in software development and deployment, IBM Rational said. Key in the effort is the notion that quality should be built in and not treated as an afterthought.

"Hyades enables us to execute on the CEQ initiative," Bessin said.

Previews of technologies leveraging the CEQ initiative are to be featured at the Rational Software Users Conference in the US, which begins on July 18, according to IBM Rational executives.

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