IBM Says Enterprise Mobile Applications Need DevOps Approaches

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IBM announced new software, training and resources to help organizations create, test and deliver mobile and cloud applications aimed at enabling organizations' DevOps capabilities. The new initiatives expand the development capabilities of IBM’s SmartCloud and IBM MobileFirst offerings.

DevOps is an integrated approach to software delivery that integrates the development side of the house with the staff charged with running the software on a day-to-day basis. It spans the entire lifecycle, from business planning and creation to delivery and feedback. “We are getting a very clear message from our clients. The business and technical pressures they are facing to innovate, stay ahead of their competition and deliver better quality products to their clients is immense,” Eric Naiburg, program director for ALM, DevOps and Agile Solutions, IBM, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "At the same time, they want to leverage technologies like mobile, cloud, big data, and social business. We believe DevOps is the key to helping businesses unlock the potential of these technologies to drive growth and innovation. Through DevOps, developers can look at the end-to-end software delivery lifecycle. DevOps gives developers a complete view of the lifecycle instead of being segmented into specific development stages which stunts collaboration.”

Addressing the Full Lifecycle

IBM’s DevOps portfolio is intended to help businesses address the full lifecycle of software delivery with a common approach regardless of the type of application being developed. The new offerings include IBM SmartCloud Analytics, which consists of the addition of significant analytics capabilities to its cloud portfolio. Newest of these, Log Analysis, gives developers the ability to gain insights from the terabytes of unstructured data that is produced by infrastructure and applications. By bringing the power of automated analysis to IT asset logs, organizations can now gain the actionable insights a human expert might deliver given unlimited time-faster and more consistently.

Another new tool, IBM SmartCloud Monitoring Application Insight, is designed to help businesses monitor the real-time performance and availability of applications hosted on a cloud. The ability to embed monitoring capabilities during the development process, makes it easier for companies to understand how an application is being used once it has been deployed.

Expanded Capability in Rational Test Workbench

An expanded capability within IBM Rational Test Workbench enables developers and testers to record, modify, playback and evaluate testing scenarios to automate the numerous tests that each model of a mobile device must go through. They can now also virtualize parts of the application that are not completed yet, in order to test earlier in the process.

IBM's move to expand support within Rational Test Workbench to mobile testing is important because it “ensures high-quality applications, as the systems of engagement and systems of record must be tested together.  If teams are using different tools to do the same tests on different parts of the applications, then they are duplicating efforts, removing the ability for reuse, increasing cost and time, while putting quality at risk.”

IBM's Mobile Strategy

Earlier this year, IBM launched IBM MobileFirst, a mobile strategy intended to help companies streamline and accelerate their adoption of mobile. Among the new offerings is the IBM Rational Test Workbench, in which developers and testers have the ability to record, modify, playback and evaluate testing scenarios to automate the hundreds, even thousands of tests that each model of a mobile device must go through. They can now also virtualize parts of the application that are not completed yet, in order to test earlier in the process. The ability to automate this testing will significantly reduce the length of the testing phase of the development process.  In addition to saving time, businesses can also save costs with deeper integration to back-end services for testing without requiring those systems to be in place.

“Mobile developers are getting involved more and more as enterprise organizations now understand the importance of mobile application development and the unique requirements needed to develop innovative mobile apps,” says Naiburg. “Mobile applications are becoming more known as systems of engagement, and are interacting with systems of record. It's critical for organizations to integrate the development of the applications and work jointly or they will become disconnected and lack the support required.”

As part of ongoing efforts to support the global development community, IBM today also unveiled an expansion of developerWorks. New sites within the developerWorks network include mobile, cloud, big data, WebSphere application development and the new developerWorks Labs.  developerWorks Labs provides developers early access to the latest emerging technologies, products and open standards for mobile and cloud development.

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