“In a surprise move, IBM agreed to acquire Rational Software Corp. Friday in a deal worth $2.1 billion. IBM officials said the acquisition of the major development toolmaker would be the biggest for IBM since the computer giant acquired Lotus Development Corp.” Read the report at eWeek. Our Take: This could be a serious blow to traditional Unices, like HP-UX and Solaris, depending on how IBM will handle these platforms.
IBM Acquires Rational
2002-12-06 IBM 24 Comments
ClearCase is IBM’s type of product, fostering a centrally-managed, network-intensive, policy rich approach to developing software. I’ve used it for many years and for the most part it works like a dream – it’s a very elegant approach to managing complexity, in contrast to the ad hoc hackery that comes with CVS and autoconf. But when things go wrong, you feel like a dimwit because you don’t have a clue whether it’s a network, server, database, or host configuration problem, and you start to pine for the good ‘ol days of RCS or PVCS.
IBM is committed to supporting both AIX and Linux on its large systems, so I don’t think ClearCase Unix users have anything to worry about. They’re too smart not to realize that the ability to mix and match client and server platforms is one of ClearCase’s biggest strengths.
>IBM is committed to supporting both AIX and Linux
Sure. But what about HP-UX and Solaris? 😉
Our Take: This could be a serious blow to traditional Unices, like HP-UX and Solaris, depending on how IBM will handle these platforms.
No, I really don’t think so. You have to remember, IBM’s fastest growing, and most profitable division is now Global Services. That, of course, includes development services, on many platforms. Further, IBM is largely pushing it’s back-end and middleware offerings on multiple platforms. Since software and services have much higher margins than hardware and OS’s, I would guess that if anything, they would favor extending the reach of Rational’s tools to even more numerous platforms.
Good analysis! I think your right on target here.
>Sure. But what about HP-UX and Solaris? 😉
It would be stupid for IBM not to continue to give those platforms full support, as long as there was a credible demand. That would just diminish the appeal of their ClearCase investment and allow a competitive product to establish a foothold. I haven’t heard IBM being stupid in that regard, at least not over the past several years.
Bigg Blue buys a no-name software company for a zillion bucks to add to IBM’s stable of mostly worthless software offerings? Seriously– can anyone name a GOOD IBM software product? There expertise is HARDWARE (chips/servers/drives) not SOFTWARE.
I don’t see this as adding value to the IBM stock in my personal portfolio in the long term.
Erm… how big are IBM and how long have they sustained this kind of size?
How big are you? Grow up man. IBM does a lot more than is publicised as they tailor their software to the big corporate customer and not to put it on the shelf in Walmart.
Oh, please.. let them make a Linux version of Rational Rose!
And ‘poor Richard’, Rational is NOT a no-name company..
Well, I wonder if Rational will continue to provide thier stuff for both Eclipse and VS.net now that IBM owns them? Could very well be a case of IBM wanting a bit of a gem for Eclipse. And Eclipse is supported on Solaris – in fact, it is supported by Rational! How ironic.
Speaking of which – QNX is now an offical Eclipse platform for 2.1. Pretty exciting stuff.
1) IBM will no doubt continue support for HP-UX and Solaris, it is largely IBM policy for departments to compete against each other where it makes business sense for the department.
2) Rational a no-name company? What have you been smoking, Rational dominates a very important niche.
3) IBM having no good software? They have tons of fantastic software, just that it occupies niches in the same way Rationals does, desktop software is a ridicolously small part of the software market. Examples include DB2, the VisualAge line, IBM WebSphere, the Lotus line. They also have a ton of software to support the IBM platforms specificly, examples include AIX, compilers for everything from C, C++, Fortran and java to COBOL and Smalltalk. This is just scratching the surface of course, IBM has _a lot_ of products, many of which are very succesful.
Could note that the software listed includes a very major UNIX and enterprise database, where some companies like Oracle have only one single of product of that magnitude and are still considered to have a lot of quality software
Rational has been supporting embedded developers for years, they were (probably) the first on the block with decent UML support. Now, with IBM “in control”, the focus will shift to the enterprise level. Everyone, the I-Logix train leaves NOW!
You are kidding right?
Look up WebSphere for Device Developers (WSDD). It is IBM’s HUGE embedded java development system based on Eclipse. Also take a look at IBM’s pervasive computing groups. Yep, IBM is a big enterprise player, but trust me, they are big embedded players as well.
I liked Rational just fine as an independent company. It scares me to think of what kind of new directions IBM might decide take with it (I have doubts about IBM’s ‘neutrality’ towards other platforms – especially Microsoft). Also, I don’t think the IBM ‘way’ of software development techniques is a precise match for Rational’s and I see big potential for friction in this area. Rational was not biased towards any particular vendor’s toolset, whereas IBM certainly will be biased towards it’s own Websphere products.
I am really afraid that IBM is going to make a mess of a company whos tools and standards are very important to my career as a developer. I never liked IBM (massively bureaucratic) and was a always big fan of Rational, so this is a very bitter pill for me to swallow.
Good IBM product? OS/2 for a start.
In the late 90’s IBM was the lagest shipper of software world wide! More then Microsoft, more then Sun more then anyboy…and I doubt they were shipping millions and millions of copies of OS/2.
Good IBM product? OS/2 for a start.
Yes but look at OS/2 now!
Rational is dead meat. I have no faith in IBM.
Sometimes a big company like IBM just buys another company to use it inhouse. They needed Lotus to supply internal wordprocessing. The needed Rolm to supply telecom and xerox printers and so on and so on. I suspect that they need this company internally and further couldn’t care less about HP but do care that the new division provide sales.
It is my opinion that WindowsXP has finally copied OS/2.
“Another one bites the dust.”
Can’t see what’s the interest of IBM on something like Rational. (??)
Also, I don’t think the IBM ‘way’ of software development techniques is a precise match for Rational’s and I see big potential for friction in this area. Rational was not biased towards any particular vendor’s toolset,
My point exactly. Big (blue) friction. (??)
You have to remember, IBM’s fastest growing, and most profitable division is now Global Services. That, of course, includes development services
It sure includes software “support” …
Wait a minute now. Oracle has gobs of other software, except for their RDBMS Oracle 9i.
In fact, Oracle and IBM compete in many segments, like dev toos, applications server, integration/collab suites etc.
..my comment is that I am not sure this is good news. I like ClearCase, it works well (mostly, except when it’s buggy) and it makes sense. It has an overall feeling of completeness to it. However, the UNIX client (which is the one I use) could use a hefty improvement in features. Things that are very easy with the Windows client tend to be nightmare-ish with the Unix client, for no (apparent) reason.
I’m actually pretty happy about this. I was really worried that Microsoft might buy Rational. Of late, Rational’s products have matured well on Windows, but have fallen behind under Unix. Lets hope this changes that. IBM at least has much more cross platform support than Microsoft (favorite quote from a microsoftie friend “Win95, WinNT, its cross-platform!”). I doubt IBM would pull support for other Unix platforms anytime soon. It would piss off too many of Rational’s customers. Keeping Rational from becoming a Microsoft only shop helps everyone but Microsoft. Regardless, this could be a major boon for Linux though.
P.S. And to chime in again, Rational is NOT a no-name company. They are HUGE. They just don’t sell software to end users.
Of all the software that I have had to use professionally, few has been such a horrid experience as rational rose. Along with word (and all its copies, none which is any better) this is the most worthless piece of junk that I have run into. Constant crashes, extremly unfluent interface, extremly buggy display engine, and a constant stream of surprises when objects moved from where you had placed them.
I hope IBM buries it deep deep down under ground and rewrites the whole thing. I rather use pen and paper.
IBM will produse software for any OS that people will want to buy. I work in Large Blue’s Software Division and we develop for Solaris and HPUX just the same as for AIX and Windows and Linux. There are things that you could critisize IBM for but not supporting products for other peoples operating systems is not one of them.