IBM supports Open CM initiative in tools

David Rubinstein
August 25, 2009 —  (Page 1 of 2)
IBM’s Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration effort has resulted in specifications for change management that the company has applied to four of its Rational products.

The OSLC was created in June 2008 at the IBM Rational Software Development Conference, with the idea of describing application life-cycle resources and data, as well as common Web-based interfaces for sharing them, according to Scott Bosworth, OSLC program director at IBM. The first workgroup, tasked with change management, was formed in the November/December timeframe, and the OSLC CM 1.0 specification was finished in June 2009.

“We wanted to make life better for software delivery teams. The teams we work with have a range of tools they employ, and they struggle to make those tools work together,” Bosworth said. “Tools have their own way of storing and representing data, and the integrations have been one-off and proprietary.”

The Eclipse Mylyn project, for example, has more than 30 integrations using proprietary APIs of third-party toolmakers. By creating a system where necessary resources are represented with a URL, tools can use basic HTTP and RESTful services to access those resources, Bosworth explained.

“This will reduce cost and complexity for tool providers,” he said. “Point-to-point integrations can be quite costly to do over and over and over again.”

OSLC CM 1.0 defines service-provider implementations for how to integrate with change management systems in general, Bosworth said. A common use case, he said, is integrating quality management (test) tools with a change management system.

“The tester runs his test case, and then wants to create a defect in the change management system. [OSLC implementations] let tools interact in a simple way for creating defects, retrieving them, searching for them [and] linking to them,” he explained. “We’re trying to build on the shoulders of the Web.”

Thus, Mylyn won’t have to create individual integrations for task-based interfacing; instead, Mylyn would become a consumer of HTTP services to access the loosely coupled resources required for a particular project, Bosworth said.

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