IBM Fire Sale?

In a recent conversation, a friend pointed out that IBM® has been selling (sorry, “divesting”) some of their products to UNICOM® recently. So I had a quick look and found the following:

OK…The “fire sale” title may be a bit strong, but some of these products were already not getting all the love they deserve from IBM, so this may be a good thing (for IBM, maybe less for the users).

Given the history UNICOM® has with IBM products, many of these should not be a surprise and I hope my Cognos friends are in a better position to move them forward.

I will admit that having worked in Rational, I’m a bit sad about seeing some of the tools change hands. I remember System Architect from the Popkin days (way before I was part of IBM) as one of the first commercial modeling tools I’ve used. I’ve worked a lot with PurifyPlus in the past both prior to and at IBM and, though it is rather old, it was a very good tool.  And as a product manager at IBM, I enjoyed using Focal Point (which came over with the Telelogic acquisition). I do hope that they have found a good home an that the development teams have been well taken care of.

On the other hand, such acquisitions do offer the potential for competition to get in there, as Corso seems to be doing for System Architect. Do check these guys out – Corso is run by really good guys who are undeniable experts in their field! And no, I am not getting a cut…

This also begs the question as to whether other Rational tools could be divested. I can certainly see that the tools directly related to cloud or IOT, such as Rhapsody, are probably safe, being well aligned with the direction IBM seems to be taking. But some of the other modelling tools might be considered if that business worsen, especially given that very decent lower cost and, especially, open source alternatives exist that are backed by industry (OK, I will admit to having an interest in that one…).

And maybe IBM will repeat their Eclipse experiment and contribute some of these tools to open source…

One can only hope, but the future will continue to be interesting.


[2016.01.13] Update: Check out Gartner’s analysis of the Rational System Architect acquisition by UNICOM®!

Your Business May Depend on Your CMO and CIO Working Together

This is a great article that brings up some issues that can prevent the CMO and CIO from working effectively together and aligning their decisions with the enterprise’s business objectives, instead of their own departments.

Your Business May Depend on Your CMO and CIO Working Together.

This is also an area where IBM Rational can help, in facilitating  collaboration between these two, sometimes silo’ed, entities, especially where software and system intensive solutions are at play.

IBM Rational’s tools for product portfolio management can help manage the input from both the CMO and CIO teams to the definition of the products provided by the enterprise. Each division provides its needs, its objectives, and its desired outcomes, and IBM Rational Focal Point can help blend all of this and keep it aligned with the overall division and enterprise business objectives. Each product (or project) can then be evaluated against these business objectives and scheduled accordingly.

Further integration between the product portfolio tools and IBM Rational’s collaborative lifecycle management platform then ensures that the software and system requirements can be traced to the implementation and deployment of the software/systems products.

Yes, this is a simplified view of the whole thing, but it can and has been done in the past!

MDA, MDD, MDE

Jordi Cabot has an interesting Blog on Modeling Languages. In it (an on LinkedIn) there was a discussion recently on the difference or similitudes between MDA, MDD, and MDE. It’s interesting that Wikipedia treats the last two as the same thing – I like Jordi’s description better.

However, as I read Jordi’s blog posting, I found that his explanation certainly makes sense and is probably correct nowadays, in a more modern sense of the terms.

However, “MDD” has been used for quite a long time to describe model-based (as opposed to model-driven) development. That use of the term would not fit within the definitions presented by OMG as part of MDA (e.g., the CIM/PIM/PSM levels of abstractions and transformations). I suspect that this approach may also still be in use today – although probably not the best way of working with models. This may especially be true of some of the model uses seen in “agile” approaches.

So perhaps there is a need, in the diagram shown on that blog, to also have a model-based development (MBD?) circle that would intersect with MDD, but not the others?

All this also can not be discussed without mentioning the standards, processes, and methods (and the effect of tools on these) surrounding these approaches. Models need to have a standard representation to be useful – and the UML (and SysML) is certainly one that is common these days. However, other notations such as BPMN, ERD, etc., should not be discounted as they represent interesting domain specific modeling languages – and not all can be easily expressed using UML . Tools are too often viewed as a panacea to what ails software development – when they can be a hindrance when one does not understand the standards, processes, and methods they support.

Comments on “IBM And Microsoft Have Dueling Visions For Software Modeling”

According to InformationWeek, IBM And Microsoft Have Dueling Visions For Software Modeling. However, the article only compares Rational’s contribution to the modeling space and seems to completely ignore other Software Groups contribution. The Microsoft part talks about proprietary models that drive business execution directly. That is all fine, but there is no mention of WebSphere Business Modeler (WBM). In WBM, the organisation can be modeled and then code (BPEL) can be generated to drive WebSphere Process Server. Granted, there is a “code generation” step, but it is a lot closer to the Microsoft model than the comparison the article makes with the use of UML. IBM has a richness of environment to help our customers with their various needs – and this article seemed to only concentrate on a piece of our offerings.

And of course, the recent IBM announcement was in regards to the Complex Systems space and Olso is apparently geared towards IT. I wonder how Microsoft’s Oslo would fare in the development of complex systems?!?

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