IBM-Telelogic Collaboration Bodes Well

ORLANDO, Fla.—IBM’s bid for Telelogic could bring together two old foes who also have worked together to define actionable architectures for software lifecycle management. That history should bode well for integration efforts, some say, should the entities combine.

The companies know each other’s positions well, having worked together to devise formal ways connecting high-level architectures with the rest of the application development lifecycle, said Sridhar Iyengar, an IBM distinguished engineer, in an interview with eWEEK at the Rational Software Development Conference here.

In fact, long before Telelogic became an acquisition target of IBM, the two companies worked together closely to promote standards, such as BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation), that would benefit both their respective businesses. The companies also worked together as members of the Object Management Group.

But Richard Soley, CEO of the OMG, in Needham, Mass., warned that while this shared history gives the acquisition a solid base to work from, it also increases the chances for potential overlap.

Danny Sabbah, general manager of IBM’s Rational business unit, said he plans to keep both IBM Rational’s and Telelogic’s products intact.

That could be a very good thing from a standards perspective, said Soley. The combination “shows increasing strength of support for OMG MDA [model-driven architecture] standards, as together the two companies support the entire range of OMG modeling languages from UML to SysML to BPMN,” Soley said. “We’re very happy about that.”

IBM’s Telelogic buy is a return to Rational’s roots. Click here to read more.

Iyengar and Bran Selic, two IBM distinguished engineers, noted that IBM and Telelogic worked together to push the development and enhancement of some major software development standards, including UML (Unified Modeling Language) Version 2, in the OMG.

UML came out of IBM Rational, but with the help of Telelogic UML 2 became an OMG specification. “It was a long collaboration,” Iyengar said.

Another specification the two companies worked together on was SysML, the Systems Modeling Language. Telelogic had a leading role in the development of SysML, which is essentially a version of UML for systems engineering, Selic said. IBM joined and supported the effort.

SysML was designed by an open-source specification project to satisfy the requirements of the OMG’s “UML for Systems Engineering” RFP, and includes an open-source license for distribution and use, OMG officials said.

The companies also teamed up on the UPDM specification, Iyengar and Selic said. UPDM is the UML Profile for DoDAF/MODAF, and it provides an industry-standard UML representation for DoDAF architecture products and MODAF views through the OMG standardization process based on an MDA approach to specification. DoDAF (the Department of Defense Architecture Framework) is a framework for development of a systems architecture or enterprise architecture. MODAF is the UK Ministry of Defense Architectural Framework, and it defines a standardized way of conducting enterprise architecture.

IBM and Telelogic also teamed up to promote Executable UML as a standard, the IBM distinguished engineers said.

And more recently, the companies have been pushing the UML profile for MARTE (Modeling and Analysis of Real-Time and Embedded systems) as a standard, Selic said.

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