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IBM to Contribute Software Development Blueprints to Open Source Community


Goal Is to Foster Broad Industry Collaboration, Help Organizations Save Time, Money and Errors in Software Projects

ARMONK, NY -- Oct 12, 2005 -- IBM today announced plans to contribute key intellectual assets to the open source community, in an effort to help companies and software practitioners adopt and share best practices for software development.

IBM will contribute a subset of the IBM Rational Unified Process (RUP), a software process platform that has guided some 500,000 developers around the world in projects ranging from small-scale product development to large industrial-strength systems. RUP is a vast collection of methods and best practices for promoting quality and efficiency throughout software development projects. IBM’s donation will also provide a foundation architecture and Web-based tools for the industry to engineer, collaborate on, share and reuse software development best practices.

Today’s software development organizations are increasingly global in nature and operate in a fluid environment where new teams are formed frequently and developers are often shifted among teams as needs dictate. They must deliver quality applications that meet business goals, satisfy customers and adhere to time and budget requirements.

But a lack of standards in core development activities such as requirements setting, analysis and design, testing and project management has increased time and overhead as organizations continually reproduce the myriad processes, plans and compliance documents that are fundamental to software development. Best practices often remain siloed within an individual team or company.

According to industry analysts, nearly half of internally developed software projects run over budget, 90 percent are completed late, and 30 percent are canceled. Fifteen to 20 percent of all software defects reach customers, costing the U.S. economy $60 billion a year, according to the Standish Group.

The donation announced today is designed to advance a collaborative, industry-wide effort to synthesize, share and automate development processes and best practices among independent software vendors, IT organizations building integrated software systems, academia, the research community and individual software professionals on small or large teams.

If widely adopted, this could improve software development practices within organizations and throughout the industry. It also could improve the ability to quickly respond to business and market changes that businesses are achieving through standardization in other areas, such as Web services and Service-Oriented Architecture standards that integrate previously siloed data and applications with customers, partners and suppliers.

IBM is joined in this open source project by a group of software industry leaders, including Capgemini, BearingPoint, Covansys, Number Six Software, Ivar Jacobson International, Armstrong Process Group, Ambysoft, Object Mentor and Bedarra Research Labs, as well as Unisys, NTT Comware, Sogeti, Wind River, Jaczone and Object Management Group.

IBM is proposing the contribution to the Eclipse Foundation, an open source community that provides a free, Java-based platform to more easily produce software. Eclipse was formed with a software donation by IBM in 2001 and is now an independent foundation in which more than 100 companies from across the software industry participate.

IBM experience suggests that nearly half of software development organizations within companies have begun process-related initiatives to improve the governance and predictability of software projects. The donation is meant to provide an architecture and tools to seed an ecosystem in which software practitioners, technology vendors, universities, researchers and others can continually communicate, publish and reuse best practices.

“By contributing intellectual property to establish a common, open industry framework and ecosystem around software development, we hope to foster more innovation by encouraging developers everywhere to reuse assets,” said Daniel Sabbah, General Manager, IBM Rational Software. “IBM is doing for the software development process what Eclipse has done for the integration of software tools, what Apache did for Web application servers and what Linux did for operating systems. Software practitioners at large companies, independent software vendors, systems integrators, and in government and academia will be able to collaborate more easily and drive better-managed and higher quality software projects. By rethinking software development practices to emphasize smarter processes and higher-quality outcomes, companies will reach new levels of innovation while obtaining productivity gains characteristic of an on-demand business.”

Today’s announcement marks another advance in IBM’s commitment to open standards and open source technology. IBM participates in and contributes to more than 150 open source projects -- more than any other company. These include Linux, the Globus Alliance, Apache, Eclipse, Cloudscape, the contribution of accessibility technology to Mozilla to make the Firefox browser easier to use by people with disabilities, and the donation of 500 patents from across IBM’s portfolio into open source.

About Rational software from IBM
Rational software from IBM helps organizations become more responsive, resilient, and focused by improving their software development capability. Rational tools and best practices power the IBM Rational Software Development Platform, the premier platform for teams who build, extend, modernize, integrate, and deploy software in business applications, embedded systems, and software products. This cross-platform solution offers IBM customers and Business Partners an integrated application development environment that is based on open standards, including the universal Eclipse framework. Additional information is available at and, the monthly e-zine for the Rational community.


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