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IBM's Jazz-Based Dev Collaboration

IBM releases second beta of software dev collaboration tool.

IBM Corp. has released the second beta of its dev collaboration tool and, for the first time, made it broadly available from its Jazz.net site. Rational Team Concert Express aims to make it easier for distributed dev teams to work together writing software and tracking changes. Beta 1, released last June, was accessible only to IBM customers, academians and partners.

Not Open Source
The end product will not be, strictly speaking, an open source play. The final Concert Express product, expected to be available later this year, will be a commercial product, says Scott Hebner, vice president of marketing and strategy for IBM's Rational group.

IBM will offer Concert free to "qualified" open source projects for their use, he adds.

Contributors can "get in there and make changes to the code and add requirements, but the difference between this and Eclipse is this is still IBM intellectual property. There is no open source license for Jazz," Hebner says, although he does not rule out that eventuality. "We want other companies to adopt this, just like Eclipse."

The toolset can tie into IBM's DB2, open source Derby and Oracle Corp. databases. And customers can choose to use Sametime or Jabber instant messaging.

Jazz itself, with roots in IBM Research, Rational and Lotus, is a set of tools and capabilities to help dev team members better communicate and find relevant expertise in real time. As such, it integrates "presence" and chat capabilities to enable a team member in one location with a question about one facet of their work to quickly locate an expert online.

"The target audience is professionals in the software delivery business-project managers, QA people, actual developers, security analysts -- anyone who may be working on a given software project," Hebner says.

IBM is also opening up its Jazz.net site to non-partners. And continuing its embrace of "virtual worlds," it's working on a project to help preserve legacy development knowledge in a venue that suits younger programmers familiar with such venues as Second Life. "Project Bluegrass" offers users a virtual environment for chatting, collaborating and visualizing projects.

For more on Rational Team Concert Express, go here.

About the Author

Barbara Darrow is Industry Editor for Redmond Developer News, Redmond magazine and Redmond Channel Partner. She has covered technology and business issues for 20 years.

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