Moving Toward the Mega-IDEs

Tool makers offer their support, but will everyone want them?

September 15, 2004 —  (Page 2 of 3)
But the two strategies are otherwise similar. Team members will use the tools geared to their specific roles, said Naiburg. For instance, an analyst would use WebSphere Business Integration Modeler and Rational RequisitePro, and a tester would use Rational Functional Tester.

Objections aside, the move toward the mega-IDEs appears inevitable. "The question of suite versus best-of-breed has always been there," said Gary Barnett, a research director at Ovum, a London-based consulting firm. "But we are still a crazy distance away from [the mega-IDE] happening." In the meantime, tool makers will continue to integrate their offerings with traditional IDEs, in addition to providing stand-alone versions of their products.

'We'll Be There'Many tool makers said they see Atlantic and Team System not as a new direction from IBM and Microsoft, but as a logical next step-essentially new IDEs (albeit, megasized ones) to support, in much the same way they support other environments their customers are working in.

"Our tools have been testing J2EE and .NET applications all along," said Joe Fernandes, senior product manager at Empirix Inc. The company is readying versions of its e-TEST suite for both environments. "We have always supported IDEs," added MKS' Doyle, noting that his company's software configuration management products are integrated with both Visual Studio and Eclipse.

To succeed, tool makers have to allow customers to work the way they want to, said Richard Riccetti, CEO of Seapine Software Inc. "If you force them out of their environments, you make it harder for them to use your tools," he said. The company's testing and software configuration management offerings are integrated with Eclipse and Visual Studio as well as a variety of other tools, including Macromedia Inc.'s Dreamweaver for Web developers, Riccetti said.

The jury is still out on whether developers will want to work in the mega-IDEs.

"Eclipse and Visual Studio are too big, too complicated, and many developers don't like them," said Adam Kolawa, founder and CEO of test-tools maker Parasoft Corp. "Sometimes you just want to run the testing tools on the server." The company sells stand-alone versions of its products as well as plug-ins for Eclipse and Visual Studio. "We go where there is a market," said Kolawa. "If there is no market, we don't go."

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