IBM unveils tool kits to better link software

IBM has announced new software designed to bridge the gap between development and IT operations by more closely tying its Rational testing and development tools with its Tivoli application management software.

The company unveiled two tool kits - which executives said would automatically identify and help repair problems in business applications -at the Rational Software Development Conference in Las Vegas. The software is designed to shorten the time needed by developers to identify and repair problems by linking performance issues in applications to development tools.

The new IBM Problem Resolution Toolkit would allow developers to access information stored by Tivoli about performance or quality issues to quickly isolate the cause and minimise downtime, executives said. The Performance Optimization Toolkit is designed to identify problems in testing and to suggest probable causes and resolutions.

"We're taking the information that is being captured through monitoring and metering [in Tivoli] ... and allowing for instances of that metadata around a particular situation to flow from operations to the development products," general manager of Rational software in IBM's Software Group, Daniel Sabbah, said.

An analyst at IDC, Melissa Webster, said it made sense for IBM to build off the existing investments its customers had made in Tivoli products and tie those directly into the development environment.

"Helping performance teams come together, collaborate and share information can really dramatically shorten the time to problem resolution and time to a fix," she said.

IBM also announced new capabilities in its software quality tools to increase productivity and extend support to applications from Siebel Systems. IBM has added new runtime analysis and reporting capabilities to its Rational Performance Tester to more accurately identify problems during the testing process.

In addition, the performance-testing tool will provide HTML rendering capabilities to allow testers to view Web pages they are testing instead of just viewing code. The new Rational Functional Tester Extension for Siebel Test Automation will allow users deploying Siebel 7.7 to verify that these applications will perform correctly, according to company executives.

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