IBM, Sun to extend developer platforms

Paul Krill ist Redakteur unserer US-Schwesterpublikation InfoWorld.

IBM Rational Software and Sun Microsystems Inc. are preparing upgrades to their tools strategies, with IBM to offer testing tools and Sun looking to build a compute grid to serve Java developers.

IBM Rational is readying the followup to its Atlantic tools platform, code-named "Baltic," which will feature test suite tools based on the open source Eclipse platform.

To be released as technology previews at the IBM Rational Software Development Conference 2005 in May, Baltic tools will provide an integrated environment for testing, said Kathy Mandelstein, director for worldwide marketing in IBM"s ISV and developer relations program.

"(Baltic) will give more of a seamless environment for both development and testing," Mandelstein said during an interview at the Evans Data Developer Relations Conference in San Jose, Calif., this week.

There are no firm general release dates yet for Baltic products, Mandelstein said.

The Atlantic line of tools, unveiled late last year, leveraged Eclipse 3.0 and boosted linkage between the business, development, and operation areas of an organization. Software modeling also was featured.

Sun, meanwhile, is preparing a "developer grid," which would furnish compute cycles for developers to build Java-based applications, said Matt Thompson, director of the Technology Outreach & Open Source Programs Office at Sun.

Featured in the grid would be compute cycles for testing as well as resources for application verification. The grid would provide economies of scale across developer communities and be easy to use, according to Thompson, who spoke at the Evans conference.

"The way to think about it is it"s a service-based grid just like you have with your telephone company," Thompson said.

Sun plans to partner with datacenters around the world to provide the compute cycles for use in the grid. The company previously has announced a grid computing service for commercial use by customers but not geared specifically toward developers.

Additionally, Sun plans to loosen restrictions on commercial usage of Java source code, according to another Sun representative, who would not elaborate.

Thompson also provided an update on Sun"s Jini and JXTA technologies. Jini is a networking technology intended to enable service distribution on a wide range of systems, while JXTA is peer-to-peer technology. "(Jini and JXTA), considered almost failures, now have very strong smaller (developer) communities that are now leading to direct sales for Sun," Thompson said.

The U.S. Army, for example, is using Jini, he said.