Sunday, July 10, 2011

JazzHub for University - host Rational Team Concert projects on the cloud

IBM Rational recently launched their cloud based offering - JazzHub - for hosting research projects using IBM Rational Team Concert. JazzHub is a free, public, hosting hub for the open development of academic research and classroom projects. Dan Griffin, on the Rational Executive blog, says
With JazzHub, professors, students, and academic researchers will be able to create new collaborative programming projects online or join a project they were invited to - all through a SaaS model with no server install required.
A lot of blogs and articles out there describe this new offering. However, for an engineering students, the terms are not exactly easy to understand, since most of it is industry jargon. Also, if one doesn't know about Rational Team Concert, the whole idea behind JazzHub is lost. So let me explain how the two connect.

Software developers mostly need an IDE to help in tasks such as writing code, compiling, running and debugging projects. However, often when development is done in a team, it becomes cumbersome to share code, work simultaneously on a single piece of code and merge it with relevant changes later, track the work being done, plan who will do what, and in what time frame, keep a track on the work being done by the team members in real time. Many times, developers use third party tools along with an IDE, which may not integrate too well and may just be a stop gap solution.

IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC) is a software development tool that brings together multiple tools that a software developer, working in a team, typically needs into one single IDE. It is built on the Eclipse platform and has two IDE's - one each for Eclipse and Visual Studio, to cater to a developer's need.  With RTC, it becomes easy to work in a team, even if the members are located in different geographies. It even has its own version control system that helps team members to easily share and work on the project source code. RTC also has provisions for project planning and using software models such as the agile model, waterfall model, iterative model, etc. depending on the needs and what stage a project is on. Such a software will, thus, be immensely helpful for students and professors working on research projects. Professors can easily administer and evaluate the project and students can work on their own areas without spending lots of time on trivial tasks such as merging code changes. See the Ted developer videos here for more:

Since RTC helps one share source code and project work items, etc., it needs to have a server installed. The RTC folks understand that the setup for the server is not very trivial and hence, JazzHub, a cloud based offering, makes it easy for students to just get started (for free!) without the hassles of a server.

We are travelling far and wide to educate students about the immense benefits of this new offering. If you are interested to have us organize a workshop about RTC and JazzHub at your college, feel free to contact me ( or drop a comment here) and we'll work out a plan!

To know more about JazzHub, be there at Innovate 2011, Bangalore. If you're a student, you can also win free passes to Innovate by blogging or tweeting about rational products (use hashtag #innovateindia).

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