We love IBM®. It’s the 800 lb gorilla in the Java market, and one of the key drivers behind Apache, Eclipse and enterprise innovation. They have the power and clout to create lasting, evolving marketplaces. Thumbs up.

But, we have a serious bone to pick with a company that touts "agile" above all else, while delivering an elephant gun to developers who are only squirrel hunting.

One of our recent customers put the bloat of Rational® software this way:

"...we're looking for affordable solution for developers without the 80 pound sledge hammer, when all they really need is something like a trickle of water."

Here's some background information (as Rational® is seemingly suffering from a bit of an identity crisis): customers tell us there's nothing agile about Rational® software or its practices.

Take Rational Application Developer [RAD] for instance (which incidentally seems to have just been renamed the uber-confusing "IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software®"); it's bloated in size (12 gigs), complicated to research (see the
screen shot below, there are 127 plug-ins that you can pay to add to RAD), and it requires massive support contracts to get up and running (see this link). No wonder IBM® has so many service partners on its gravy train delivering elephant guns.

And, that

So what is this Rational® "agile" business, this behemoth IBM® wants you to own?

1. Well, RAD is HUGE! [12 Gigs]

2. RAD likely requires all your developers to own new computers to run it (as hardware needs upgrading)

3. RAD requires support contacts for each developers that costs thousands of dollars each per year

4. RAD can cost up to $8000/license

Now we're all for IBM's Smarter Planet® marketing and its innovation, but targeting agile development doesn't jive economically with what IBM® sells you in its Rational brand - a lock-in piece of software with a massive support contract. Bloat, trailing bloat.

Obviously, development managers are instead looking for simple solutions, as the word "agility" can be defined in the software market as software that's non-complex and streamlined. Perhaps not IBM Rational® tools' strength?

If you're serious and really interested in agile development, you'll need a developer technology that is designed from the ground up to support WebSphere® and carry all the power an IBM shop needs. One that has support included in its pricing, and is ready to be used the instant its downloaded.

In short, the bloat and "anti-agile" tomfoolery of Rational requires a 'rational' alternative... yep, you guessed it. This is the "shameless plug" portion of this post: try MyEclipse Blue or MyEclipse Bling today. Both are under $300 and are as powerful as RAD, but without all the
unneeded stuff.

Take agile back for your development shop and rage against the machine.

And lastly, if you think they're crazy calling their software agile and pricing it at $8,000 for an IDE... we found a $44,000 plug-in! Don't believe us? Look here.

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Posted on Oct 18th 2011