After a year, we’re back in Orlando, home of Mickey Mouse, roller coasters, hamburgers and Coca Cola, and of course the IBM Rational Software Conference 2009. The conference is already well under way, it started last Sunday, but with an ever increasing count of sessions and events, my schedule does not permit a lot of blogging. The themes of the conference are Real, Smart and Green. Basically, Real is about practical, concrete value, Smart is about innovation and new areas of sofware usage, and Green is not wasting paper at the conference. The green part seems a bit funny when you hear it at the keynote: big plasma screens everywhere, airconditioning that requires wearing a sweater, even though outside it is 40 degrees celcius, and then a big show about how paper is saved and plastic bottles are banished.
Several new announcements were made. IBM is coming with a new cloud initiative, which should support hosting all kinds of customer applications, as well as the Rational Jazz based tools. This means new opportunities for management, monitoring and metering, as well as hosting and licensing models. The announcement is still very fresh, but it is an interesting model that will be interesting for lots of people, including smaller companies that don’t want the hassle of managing infrastructure, or really big organizations that would like additional metering and governance for internal billing of server usage.
Also, IBM is expanding the portfolio with even more tools. The Tivoli systems management tools will now connect more and more with Rational, bridging the gap between software development and the production support organization. And Rational Insight will provide “executive dashboards” for management to bring together metrics from all kinds of tools and data warehouses, with analysis built in to assess the health of projects at a broad level.
Of course, lots of content on the development of existing products as well. Team Concert 2.0 has some exiting new features, and the work on the Jazz foundation means that the tooling integration will push to new levels in the upcoming Quality Manager and Requirements Composer releases. The Open Services Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) specification was just finalized at 1.0 last week. RTC 2.0 will comply with it, and there is a OSLC adapter for ClearQuest available as well. Interestingly, the Mylyn guys added support for OSLC to the Mylyn Eclipse plug-in. This means that everyone that supports OSLC will directly work with Mylyn. For Mylyn and the adopters, this could be a real winner, because right now, there are about 29 different adapters for Mylyn to support all kinds of task repositories.
Several other interesting things going on as well in the “agile” mentoring and guidance space. Adopting some of the agile ideas can be very hard to do, and there are several experienced speakers here with great ideas about moving agile forward, without being too naieve about it. All in all, a great conference so far, back to my busy schedule for the next sessions!