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New Rational IDEs Boast Evolutionary and Revolutionary Improvements

With the latest release of IBM Rational Software’s integrated development environments (IDEs) have been updated to deliver new features, improved usability and better integration. The version 9.0 lineup includes:

  • Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software
  • Rational Developer for i
  • Rational Developer for AIX and Linux
  • Rational Business Developer
  • Rational Developer for the Enterprise
  • Rational Developer for System z

Developers in Mind

The new IDE enhancements were designed with software and systems developers in mind—as they’re increasingly required to work in an incremental way to take maximum advantage of what they have on hand without sacrificing quality. One common example of this is the need to create mobile applications and tie them to back-end systems. To build those multitier solutions, developers are increasingly hitting and crossing skill gaps to deliver integrated applications. Previously, they might have reinvented the wheel by using their favorite programming languages, tools and platforms—rather than waiting for another team to get around to making necessary changes.

But as business and software innovation begin to overlap more fully, serious risks are introduced when uncoordinated, individual efforts lead to fragmented architectures and “tunnel vision,” where someone can’t see the whole picture (thus failing to account for disaster recovery, regulatory audits or infrastructure maintenance).

IBM Rational seeks to enable teams to truly learn and create together while building on what they already have. Developers spend a great deal of time using IDEs to investigate application code, edit it and then validate those edits. From an upgrade perspective, IBM Rational IDEs deliver two levels of improvements to assist these developers:

1. Evolutionary Improvements

IBM Rational IDEs evolve to match the languages, servers and systems that IBM clients depend on. These include support for Java, HTML, COBOL or the supported versions of IBM WebSphere Application Server, Java Enterprise Edition (JEE), CICS, and the supported versions of Linux and Microsoft Windows. By keeping pace with the environments and requirements developers need to work with, IBM Rational can keep them working in a familiar and productive way. This evolution also involves speeding up the IDEs and helping them work efficiently under various conditions. For example, IDEs feature enhanced, context-sensitive completion suggestions to offer more relevant and concise options.

2. Revolutionary Improvements

IBM Rational offers new use cases for debugging, creating new artifacts and targeting new devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Embedded intelligence in the IDEs helps developers write fast, efficient code and identify the code that isn’t so efficient. For developers using a new language for the first time—perhaps JavaScript, COBOL, Job Control Language (JCL) or RPG—there’s valuable assistance to guide them around the code base and help them write changes that meet pragmatic and stylistic guidelines about how that code should look. It’s a powerful aspect of the IDEs: Every day, developers worldwide connect new ideas to valuable, trusted back-end services. All of this is done within a cohesive environment “built for purpose” to help developers get the job done and increase their personal expertise.

Collaborative Development

IBM Rational IDEs are tailored to enable collaboration between teams and among team members. Whether they want to continuously integrate the work of another development team, send fresh builds to quality assurance teams, or use on-demand, cloud-based development environments that operations teams have made available, developers find help within these IDEs. They’ll enable teams to reach those goals while staying focused on creative development work.

For more on this topic, see IBM developerWorks:

For specifics on what’s new with Rational Developer for i, read the sidebar at the top left.

Stephen Henderson is a former marketing manager with IBM Rational Software.

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