20 August 2002 Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool vendor Rational Software is to include support for Microsoft’s .Net infrastructure in a free update to existing users in the next month.
The company will also begin providing its tools for Red Hat and SuSE Linux and has developed a plug-in to support “extreme programming” methods in cooperation with Bob Martin, one of the originators of the RAD system.
Rational XDE Professional will integrate with Visual Studio .Net by appearing as a part of the Microsoft programming tool’s development environment, synchronising Microsoft C#, Visual Basic and Java code with models created using Rational’s Unified Modelling Language (UML) — changes will appear in both representations whenever one is updated.
The software will also include UML “stereotypes” for Microsoft ASP.Net web applications and web services, and the ability to “reverse engineer” existing ASP.Net projects into UML models.
Rational’s model-based approach to programming lets developers map out business processes and program design using UML, the software then can then generate application code from these models more quickly than developing by hand, Rational claims.
“The economic environment is worse than it was 2-3 years ago,” says Rational CEO and co-founder Mike Devlin. “But we think that’s an opportunity for Rational to take the lead and increase market share. We’ve made a big investment in team and products and increased our R&D to 25% of our outgoings when it’s normally 16%.”
The company is also to make available a plug-in for its tools that will enable developers to use extreme programming (XP) methods in conjunction with Rational software.
Developed in conjunction with Object Mentor, founded by XP co-creator Bob Martin, the plug-in provides advice within the system during development on how to modify current working styles and approaches to fit the XP system, which includes “buddy programming” in which programmers work side by side writing code together, iterative development and continual bug testing, rather than end-of-lifecycle testing.
Both XP plug-in and XDE upgrade will be available within 30 days. The plug-in will be a free download for Rational Unified Process owners from the Object Mentor web site (www.objectmentor.com), while Rational XDE Professional v2002 release 2.1 will be sent to users of Rational Rose Enterprise, Rational Suite Development Studio and Rational Suite Enterprise, provided they have an active support contract.