Using Rational Robot, developers can simulate the number of users on an application and see how the network will react as a way to prevent and anticipate network failures before an application is deployed, said Eric Naiburg, market manager of desktop products at IBM Rational. IBM also plans more integration between Rational Tools and Tivoli going forward, as it does between components of all of its software brands, including WebSphere and DB2.
Similarly, at its Professional Developers Conference last October, Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., demonstrated a new modeling tool that will map an application model to network topology to help ensure the application will run properly once deployed, bringing testing and monitoring to play as part of the development process, not as an afterthought. The new tool, code-named Whitehorse, is slated to be a part of the next version of Visual Studio .Net, code-named Whidbey, which Microsoft said will be available later this year.
CA is working on similar product engineering with its AllFusion suite, sources told CRN. The AllFusion brand includes seven products, including a leading data-modeling tool, the ERwin Data Modeler. Other AllFusion products are Model Manager, Process Modeler, Component Modeler, Model Navigator, Data Model Validator and Saphir Option for ERP.
Together, these products are as strong as any application life-cycle management package out there, said Rikki Kirzner, a research director at IDC. However, aside from the ERwin product, the AllFusion products are not as well-known as they should be, mainly due to poor marketing by CA, she said. "[The AllFusion] suite is mature, solid and well-integrated, but [CA] has not done a good job of marketing it or bundling it," Kirzner said. "It's not real clear to the outsider [as to] what I'm supposed to do to buy this."
Careful marketing, however, could make the tools, along with CA's network management software, a serious threat to IBM's strategy to integrate components across its various software brands, solution providers said.