Today, the IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC) “Jazz” team released version, an update to the major 2.0 release last June. The update contains a ton of bug fixes and feature enhancements, which is always nice. However, the big changes are in the licensing department. Most notably, the free Express-C edition is now equipped with 10 developer licenses (instead of 3), and can now run on all supported database platforms (DB2, Oracle, MS SQL Server) for increased performance. More details on the release are available here and here.

This means another compelling free option for small teams. RTC is a state of the art version control, work item management, planning and build management tool, with overall process guidance, history, chat and a web dashboard, very nicely integrated into one suite. It basically runs everywhere and provides first-class support for both Eclipse and Visual Studio .NET based tooling. RTC is developed by one of the best teams of IBM, with an aggressive release cycle of 3 releases a year, innovating very rapidly. And, if you can live with no support and 10 developer limits, it doesn’t cost you anything. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

So, what’s all this talk about “developer” users? Because is not very explicit on this, I’ll try to explain. Basically, RTC has several different categories of users, some of which require licenses and/or are limited based on the server edition:

  • Users (no license): have read-only access to project data such as dashboards, work items, etc.
  • Admins (no license): can perform technical tasks, such as configuring the server, adding users and licenses, etc.
  • Build (included with server): can perform version control operations needed for builds.
  • Contributor (license needed): full access to work items, planning,
    dashboards and reports. No access to version control and build
  • Developer (license needed, some included with server, max per server/edition): can use everything of RTC.

So, 10 developers does not mean just 10 users. You may have some flexibility if some users do not need all the features. So, go download the latest version here. The Express-C edition is very easy to install, just unzip-and-go. Try it out, if you don’t like it, just throw away the directory when you’re done.