Feeds

IBM, Rational & Telelogic: and now for something completely different

Software gets really complicated

3 Big data security analytics techniques

In the 50 plus acquisitions that IBM has completed over the past five years, none have taken longer to close than the long-awaited Telelogic deal. Nonetheless, the bottom line of the deal is that IBM’s Rational brand will break past the software development lifecycle ghetto into the realm of developing complex products that you can see, touch, and be transported in (think: consumer electronics, automobiles, aircraft).

This flies in the face of conventional wisdom that, if this is the Rational brand, it had to concern application lifecycle management. We originally saw this as an ALM deal that would fill some Rational gaps with enterprise architecture and embedded design, with the superior scalability of Telelogic’s DOORS spelling curtains for RequisitePro, Rational’s counterpart for requirements management. In fact, that’s hardly what drove the deal.

Instead, it’s driven by one fact of life: potential demand for product-lifecycle-management-related solutions far dwarfs that for ALM. And while IBM’s not planning to dive into the bowels of CAD/CAM or electronic design automation, the growth of electronic content in virtually all forms of physical products is making it increasingly difficult to differentiate software or firmware from the “core” product.

While rising commodity prices renews the debate over conventional wisdom that electronic content is becoming more valuable than the raw steel or plastic that comprises products like automobiles, in actuality, you cannot operate, diagnose, or repair a vehicle if the sensors or networks go dead. In other words, that debate is moot.

Car-industry folly

Integrating the product lifecycle has been the Holy Grail since the Japanese demonstrated the competitive benefits of faster product lead times back in the 80s. We recall early, brute force attempts, such as Chrysler’s boast at an early 1990s-era Detroit industrial trade show that it was unifying the design cycle by compelling all of its suppliers to adopt the same CAD/CAM system.

Eventually, perception of the problem morphed as physical design was discovered to be just one part of the problem. What about project management, parts classification, design and test history, version control, product documentation, regulatory compliance, and operating or service history? And what about end-of-life disposal?

Quickly, it grew apparent that this was no longer a strictly engineering problem, or solution. PLM became the ERP for engineering and related organizations - with one clear difference: unlike ERP, where at least you had codified processes for areas like accounting, forecasting, or inventory control, the processes that comprised the product lifecycle were far less defined. PLM was in the eyes of the beholder.

Now add the complication that, as you embed electronics, you are also embedding software. Obviously, engineering-oriented PLM offerings like PTC Windchill, Dassault’s ENOVIA, or Siemens Teamcenter cannot pretend to provide the necessary granularity of control over the software development aspect of product development that more focused ALM offerings could.

That is the gap in the market the IBM Rational/Telelogic is aiming at. Telelogic brings valuable assets like Rhapsody (model-driven development for embedded and real-time software); Tau (model-driven development for highly complex systems); and DOORS (requirements).

Fade to gray

But of course, when software becomes part of the product, where are the actual decisions made on whether to continue or pull the product on a project, or one branch of it? There is potential overlap in areas where IBM and Telelogic already offer product, such as product portfolio management, master data management, and product information management where Telelogic and IBM already have offerings.

IBM has a long history with PLM providers, especially but not exclusively with Dassault (for a long time, Catia was so prevalent on IBM platforms in automotive and aerospace companies that it looked like an IBM product). With closing of the Telelogic deal, there remains plenty of gray area on where process and data handoffs occur between the software aspects of PLM.

Development of Jazz, Rational’s emerging collaborative development platform (and next-generation answer for deploying Web 2.0 successors to ClearCASE, DOORs, or ReqPro) will provide the platform for collaboration with the core PLM world, but not the answer for how collaboration will occur, and who will market which portions of it.

This article originally appeared in onStrategies.

Copyright © 2008, onStrategies.com

Tony Baer is the principal with analyst onStrategies. With 15 years in enterprise systems and manufacturing, Tony specialises in application development, data warehousing and business applications, and is the author of several books on Java and .NET.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.