IBM’s Rational division yesterday announced new features that will appear in its next generation toolset, code-named Atlantic.

IBM Rational — a division formed from the acquisition of Rational Software by Big Blue in 2003 — has finished the initial integration of its tools with the IBM software family and announced new features to appear in its next portfolio of tools, due out by the end of the year.

“Last year was a bit painful for our team,” admitted Mike Devlin, general manager, IBM Rational at a press conference at the IBM Rational Software Develoment User Conference, referring to the lack of new features to the Rational products and the heavy focus on integration of Rational products with the existing IBM software stack.

However, Devlin now says that “integration is history,” and the development team was now focused on new features and support in the upcoming suite of products, dubbed Atlantic including:

  • UML 2.0 Modeling support, the latest version of the Unified Modeling Language
  • JavaServer Faces (JSF) integration that allows developers to simplify user interface design for Web applications.
  • Service Data Objects (SDO) support that allows application developers to access data from various data sources, including databases, XML data sources, and Web services.
  • Tighter integration with IBM’s WebSphere application server.
  • Visual refactoring to allow architectural changes across a platform to automatically propagate
  • Eclipse-based development platform for C/C++ applications

Linux developers will also see for the first time the whole stack of products from IBM Rational run on Linux.

“Parts of Rational tools already work on Linux…but the Atlantic release will all run on Linux,” IBM’s Linux strategy manager Adam Jollans told Builder AU.

While IBM are openly and heavily concentrating efforts on Java, Linux and open standards compatibility, executives from IBM Rational are keen to show their continued support for .NET developers with their modelling tools.

“We will continue to focus on our customers..customers will choose to use our product,” said Devlin when asked about upcoming releases of Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2005 and its own new modelling tools built into the integrated design environment, code-named Whitehorse.

Eric Nailburg, marketing manager, IBM Rational, added that customers will use a variety of platforms and environments and developers are better testing and modelling in one toolset rather than one for each platform.

“The reality is that in many cases there is a mixed environment of .NET and J2EE,” he said.

Brendon Chase travelled to Texas courtesy of IBM Rational