IBM has detailed new Rational software products - the first since it acquired the company earlier this year - aimed at simplifying development for less-skilled Java developers.
IBM Rational Rapid Developer provides an automated, model-driven development approach.
The IBM Rational Extended Development Experience (XDE) product family is being tightly integrated into IBM WebSphere Studio and Eclipse, plus Microsoft Visual Studio .Net integrated development environments (IDEs).
"There are already some 1.5 to 1.8 million Java developers worldwide, but the majority of the next wave will not be deeply skilled Java engineers," said Eric Schuur, vice president of marketing for Rational software products, speaking at IBM's Software Symposium in Munich.
"So they will need assistance in creating Java 2 Enterprise Edition [J2EE] applications. [The improved tools] insulate developers from the detail of the J2EE platform."
The new IBM Rational XDE Tester, based on Eclipse, will run inside WebSphere Studio 5.0 and Eclipse 2.0, providing functional testing of Java client- and web-based applications.
Schuur said developers preferred to work inside an IDE without ever leaving it, and that the XDE tools were integrated and invisible to the user.
IBM has also enhanced the Rational Unified Process (RUP) software development to provide better content, easier customisation and configurability. It also added a facility to personalise the RUP view.
Rational XDE Developer Plus, formerly Rational XDE Professional Plus, has new visual trace debugging that lets users see application runtime errors and create universal modelling language models.
IBM said the Rational products were also integrated with Rational PurifyPlus, which allows developers to work in Java, Visual C# and VisualBasic .Net.
"WebSphere Studio and Rational products blend together. But the value proposition includes openness, so they also work with other vendor IDEs," said Schuur.
European pricing is not yet available. But US pricing for Rapid Developer is $5,995 (£3,666), XDE Tester 2,995 and XDE Developer Plus $4,195 per user licence. IBM Rational Suite starts at $3,995 per node-locked licence.
The products will begin shipping next month.
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