IBM links software tools to Visual Studio, Tivoli

IBM Rational plans to enhance its application testing tools with support for Visual Studio 2005, Tivoli, and SAP.

Offerings announced Tuesday are to be built on the open source Eclipse tools platform. "What we're doing is continuing to invest in our automated software quality solutions," said Jeff Schuster, product manager at IBM software quality products.

IBM Rational Functional Tester, which has provided functional and regression testing for Java and Web applications, will offer functional testing of applications built with the new Visual Studio 2005 toolset from Microsoft. Version 6.1.1 of the IBM tool will use Visual Basic .Net as its scripting language and is hosted in Visual Studio 2005 shell. The improvement lets testers choose between Eclipse and .Net as their test script development environment.

"What we're announcing is that Rational Functional Tester is now supporting executions in that shell," Schuster said.

The planned 6.1.2 Version of IBM Rational Performance Tester, meanwhile, features integration with planned Tivoli composite application management and monitoring products to provide load- and performance-testing.

"Tivoli is coming out with a new set of technologies around composite application management and what we're announcing here is we're integrating support so that Rational Performance Tester is directly tied to those data collectors," Schuster said.

Integration between Tivoli and Rational product lines is overdue, according to analyst Carey Schwaber, of Forrester Research.

"It's important because what IBM has is a chance to integrate operations with development by bringing [together] the Rational and Tivoli brands," Schwaber said.

The unification can help break down organizational barriers between development and operations teams, she said. Tivoli systems can detect problems with production systems and send these to developers for resolution.

"I think [IBM officials have] moved as fast as they could [with the integration], but customers have asked for this for a couple years," Schwaber said.

Also featured as part of IBM's testing rollout is IBM Rational Performance Tester Extension for SAP Solutions, which reduces risk and errors when implementing or upgrading existing SAP applications, IBM said. Built for both novice and professional testers, the extension to Rational Performance Tester offers performance testing and capacity planning and measures the performance of SAP systems before deployment. Â

Also being announced is IBM Rational Functional Tester Extension for Terminal-based Applications, which extend Rational Functional Tester to test VT100-based terminal applications. Demand for VT100 applications remains strong in IBM's mainframe market space, Schuster said.

The new tools are due to ship within 60 days. IBM did not provide pricing details.

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