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RSDC 2008 Summary

After almost a month since RSDC 2008, there is not much more to add to what already has appeared in the press. Mike MacDonagh, from Ivar Jacobson International, has also wrote a great post covering all the 22 20 9+11 product announcements and some specific posts covering in detail RQM and RRC. And Coté, from Redmonk, has published some nice video interviews. So … nothing more to add … except some silly thoughts, some photos of the playful part of the event and some curious facts I discovered just for the record.

Thoughts:

Good news: The Jazz Platform is here! Bad news: The Jazz Platform is here!

Jazz is the next generation platform for Rational products, which goal is to be for collaboration tools what Eclipse is for the desktop. With this platform, there will be a better integration between tools and, most important, a better integration in the application lifecycle. For those of us who started our career using or developing CASE tools, this concept is not new (BTW, I was introduced to this world using Softlab Maestro II). But after the failure of traditional CASE tools, only a few vendors continued to develop integrated solutions for the entire application lifecycle. Now it seems that Rational is changing its strategy and is going to embrace ALM 2.0, and this represents good news for Rational customers.

But I also think that hard times are coming for existing Rational customers. The Jazz Platform will change most of the Rational portfolio, so expect a new wave of product releases based on Jazz in the next few years (I heard something about a 10 years plan, but I can not confirm this). During the conference, I talked with several customers and I appreciate lots of excitement on them but also some worries, mainly because nowadays there are some not answered questions about which will be the future of some products (same issue for Telelogic customers). For some large IT shops with huge investment in Rational products the transition could be traumatic, specially if Rational doesn’t plan very well the roadmap.

About open-sourcing Jazz, now it is clear to me that the Jazz core infrastructure is not going to be released as an open source project, at least in a short-medium term. There have been some inaccuracies in the press, partly fueled by some statements at the RSDC 2006. At this point, I want to thank Dave Thomson, from whom I learned a lot and who kindly discussed with me (without any complaint) about OCD and open source in 3 different occasions. I think I earned the “terrible pain” title.

Instead, they announced the Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration initiative, an integration architecture for tools and software development processes. Quoting directly from the Open Services FAQ: “Our goal is to enable teams to use disparate tools and share lifecycle resources in delivering software, whether the tools are from IBM, other vendors, open source projects, or in-house development. We aim to do so in a way that is open and non-proprietary and that will encourage all industry members to participate“. Ummm, I’m sure I’ve heard this statement in the past, and it is not a Déjà vu. Luckily, Martin Nally, CTO of Rational, clarified this statement telling us that this is not an AD/Cycle resurgence. But I’m not really sure, for me it’s the same concept as AD/Cycle but out of the mainframe, without a central repository / data model and using some modern protocols aimed to break the usual vendor silos. Let’s see if this time the effort will reach the necessary consensus. And talking about Open Services, I also want to thank two really brilliant guys, Pat Mueller and Simon Johnston. They explained me in detail JRS, the embryo for Open Services.

Related to the Jazz development process, Bill Higgins was kindly pleasant to introduce me most of the Jazz team leads, some of them I follow on twitter. What I discovered talking with them is that there is lots of innovation and experimentation in the Jazz development process. BTW, Bill and Erich Gamma also suffered stoically my not so innovative presentation about my company and which are our plans for the application development tools.

And finally, I also want to mention Mainsoft, one of the Rational business partners. Philippe and Jenna spent some time with me introducing a great Microsoft SPS Jazz integration. Thanks for your time! As I told to Danielle, it was really interesting.

Special events:

On Monday, there was the Telelogic Welcome Celebration event, featuring The Wallflowers. To be honest, it was the first time I heard about this band. They sound great, but definitively it’s not my preferred music style. Anyway, I listen to the concert next to Kelly, so it was a very enjoyable evening.

The Wallflowers
The Wallflowers, originally uploaded by Ferran Rodenas.

On Wednesday, there was the Universal Studios special event. I found the Fear Factor Live show really disgusting, but the Revenge of the Mummy was really funny. And quoting Mitch Fatel, here it is how Telelogic was acquired by IBM/Rational shark:

Universal Studios - Jaws
Universal Studios – Jaws, originally uploaded by Ferran Rodenas.

And finally, some curious facts that I discovered during the conference:

  • Orlando is really hot, but inside hotels you could freeze to death, they are really really cold. This is something I’ve observed in several US conferences.
  • Smoker’s corner and Dolphin Bar are great places to meet new friends. Bad habits that helps to socialize you.
  • Despite the general belief in this part of the pond, US people love Europe. I talked to several people that knows very well Spain, and someone asked me about tourist routes by bike in the south of Spain.
  • Boston and Canadian accent is easier to understand than North Carolina accent. Sorry guys, but I had to pay close attention in order to understand you!
  • When you spend all the day listening and speaking a language which you are not very fluent in, you usually finish the day with a big headache. Anyway, this time I felt myself more fluent than in previous occasions, and I believe Twitter has something to do.
  • Dolphin fountain is not only aimed for decoration purposes. You can swim on it. I saw more than 10 people inside!

dolphin fountain
dolphin fountain, originally uploaded by kellypuffs.

Definitively, it was a great experience! Hope to be there next year.