IBM Brings ALM to the Cloud

IBM today launched application lifecycle management tools for its public and private cloud-based services.

The company's Rational Software Delivery Services for Cloud Computing consists of ALM tools for developing and testing applications running on IBM Cloud. The offering consists of compute and storage infrastructure services that let developers provision and test applications based on its WebSphere and Information Management platforms.

The new services support development of Java and .NET applications as well as other open-source platforms. IBM said it will also offer services based on its Jazz Framework.

Big Blue is also offering what it calls IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud, which provides compute and storage services, and Rational Software Delivery Services. The tooling is designed to accelerate the development and roll out of applications, IBM said.

"It’s a stealth strategy to get developers to adopt Rational Jazz tools higher up the food chain to manage their development processes, as it is intended to overlay, not replace third party open source tooling that they are likely already using," said Ovum analyst Tony Baer, in an e-mail. "The cloud provides a quicker onramp compared to installing of and paying for Jazz licenses up front."

The tooling is a natural extension of the scale-out architecture that IBM’s latest ALM products are based on, said Forrester Research analyst Jeffrey Hammond. But Hammond said in an e-mail that he has not seen a significant demand for cloud-based development to date. About 10 percent of those surveyed by Forrester have deployed a software project to the cloud, Hammond noted. And of those, most are using infrastructure-as-a-service providers such as Amazon EC2 to deploy complete applications that they’ve developed and tested in house.

"I think it’s going to take some time for organizations to get comfortable shipping their software IP off site into the cloud," Hammond said. "That said, I think developers are certainly willing to understand how IBM’s solutions make cloud based development a safe, cost effective option."

An open beta is available for download.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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