IBM has added new functionality to its Rational software portfolio to allow developers to collaborate more efficiently.
A new Collaborative Development Environment will allow developers to store and maintain designs for software project engineering in a central hub, which can be accessed by the rest of the development team for their contributions.
Big Blue made the announcement at the start of its five-day Innovate 2011 conference in Orlando, which offers business leaders ideas on how to align software investments with business priorities.
"Instead of the design being an isolated part of the engineering lifecycle, it can now be integrated with all stakeholders," said Gina Poole, IBM Rational marketing vice president.
"So this means that when something in the project is changed by someone further down the line, the architect will be alerted to that change."
Poole explained that the added collaborative capabilities mean that developers will be able to reuse project designs far more easily than before.
IBM also announced an update to Collaborative Lifecycle Management 3.0, letting customers evolve plans "on the fly" and instantly view the impact of updates on project schedules and work queues.
Meanwhile, the IBM Rational Team Concert environment, which allows software developers to collaborate on plans, tasks and reports, has been updated with social networking capabilities so that developers can find and connect with the right experts in an organisation.
Finally, IBM has added support for SAP that will help Rational customers using its System Architect tool to visualise, analyse and plan SAP investments.
"With the interconnectedness of systems comes risk and complexity in building the systems and maintaining and changing them," said Kristof Kloeckner, general manager of IBM Rational Software.
"Developers need to change the way they work. Collaboration, integration and optimisation is the mantra of today."
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