Saturday, July 12, 2008

Team Concert on the Jazz Technology Platform

Rational Team Concert 1.0 was just out on one month ago. It is the first collaborative development tool based uppon the Jazz technology platform initiated by IBM to improve collaborative agile development. An edition named Express-C is available for free.

The platform is a mix of tools as Eclipse plugins and web 2.0 pages, and offers all the basic features - as described by IBM- to:
  • Support seamless integration of tasks across the software lifecycle.
  • Facilitate team collaboration and coordination throughout the software lifecycle.
  • Provide an extensible platform.
  • Help teams build software more effectively.
  • Support globally distributed development teams.
  • Provide solutions scalable from small teams up through large enterprises.
  • Maintain audit trails and automate bookkeeping so that teams are accountable.
  • Support UI integrations (IDE, web browser, etc.) that fit the needs of customers.
  • Foster a broad ecosystem of tool providers, including independent software vendors (ISVs).
  • Make software development more enjoyable.

The Jazz Platform's principal role is to provide tool writers with mechanisms to use, and rules to follow, that lead to seamlessly-integrated lifecycle tools. These mechanisms are exposed via well-defined APIs. The Jazz Platform also provides useful building blocks and frameworks that facilitate developing new tools.

A diagram is often the best means to quickly understand an architecture :

Jazz is itself developped in an agile way by using the EclipseWay development scheme (which is expressed itself by the ECPF tool). It is called Open Commercial Software Development.

I tested Jazz as early adopter one year ago, and I thought then it was a very promising platform built uppon a solid conceptual model and prooved tools. I've not yet tested the first occurence of Team Concert, but I'll do it quite soon. My opinion is that the platform aims relative big projects with many developpers working together in a collaborative way, i.e. under a customizable agile approach. The result is a relative consequent tool which needs to be administered and planned in the company organization as we have to administer SCM tools in big organizations. It is obviously not a drawback, but you have to take this data into account.

No comments: