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Microsoft, IBM Expand Dev Tools

Microsoft and IBM are readying expansions of their developer-tools lines, with Microsoft adding a version of Visual Studio Team Edition customized for database developers, and IBM refreshing its Rational portfolio.


IBM's update coincides with its annual Rational Software Development conference, being held this week in Orlando, Fla. IBM plans to release incremental updates to 12 products in the Rational line, bumping them all to version 7.

The overhaul features workflow improvements and deeper support for languages including Spanish, Japanese and Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

Joining the portfolio is the new IBM Rational BuildForge 7, based on technology IBM obtained through its acquisition of ISV partner BuildForge last month.

IBM has deepened the build management software's integration with the rest of its Rational portfolio so that build information flows automatically between Rational tools, said Roger Oberg, vice president of Rational marketing and strategy.

Meanwhile, Microsoft plans to release next week the first preview version of Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals. This is Microsoft's latest extension of the Visual Studio Team Edition line, joining the first three role-based versions initially launched with the line last year.

Microsoft partner Quest Software said the new software will fill a much-needed gap: "It's always been an issue how the database developer is left out of the software development life cycle," said Douglas Chrystall, Quest's chief architect. Quest is both an ISV partner and a user of Microsoft's Visual Studio Team Edition software. Complexity is the product's sticking point, Chrystall said.

"It was a slow start initially," Chrystall said. "But once the teams [came to] grips with the complexity of the product, we had big productivity gains."

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