IBM is using developers in China, India, Latvia and Belarus to cut costs and speed the development of Java-based application templates, targeted specifically at intranet use.
The project is being positioned as complementary to Big Blue?s San Francisco programme, which is focusing on developing Java frameworks for general ledger, financial and logistics applications.
This scheme, however, is aimed at developing Java Beans-based templates or 'Visual Age Part Packs', which corporate developers or systems integrators can use to build their own human resources, marketing management or project management packages.
Mark Pilger, IBM?s director of software development for emerging markets, said: "With applications in the Internet space, speed to market is a major factor in acceptance because three months is the same as a year in traditional development terms. Each centre will work on a different set of Java component suites, but they will all conform to a common specification and methodology."
The centres are based at ASDC, a joint venture company between IBM and Tsinghua University in Beijing, at IBM?s joint venture with the Tata Information System in Bangalore, India, at the Institute of Computer Science in Minsk, Belarus and the privately-held SWH Group in Riga, Latvia. Each development team consists of 31 programmers.
But they will be co-ordinated by a team of 24 in Seattle, which defines the type of application frameworks required, turns them into detailed specifications and then undertakes quality assurance work at the end of the development process.
The first framework will be targeted at human resources and staff management and will form the basis of the rest of the offerings. It is due to go into beta in the middle of the year, for shipment by the third quarter. The rest will follow at a later date.
* IBM is also working on Java extensions to its MQSeries messaging software and CICS transaction processing monitor at Hursley in the UK to make Java more suitable for developing Internet transaction-based applications. Support is planned for the third quarter of this year.
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