It is good to have choices – we want choices in restaurants, clothes, cars, tv’s, computers, holidays etc. Customers expect choices when they buy software too but what they often don’t expect is to have choices for a solution from within the context of a single vendor. Most vendors have only a single offering in each product domain which makes the choice easier – you take it or leave it. At Rational there are a number of choices for the solution for Change and Configuration Management and customers often spend time evaluating what is best for them between these offerings. The answer to “which solution is best” is the typical consultants response – It Depends !!
Do you have existing product investments that mean that linking to one solution is more appropriate than another ?
Do you have skills in a specific proramming language and a need to write custom code to perform the workflow management processes that operate the business ?
Do you need to be up and running in hours and follow a process that suites an out-of-the-box process template ?
Whatever the answer is to these questions you can be guided to the most appropriate way forward that will deliver the maximum benefit in the shortest possible payback time.
So how are these different SCM systems converging, sharing data and becoming easier to operate as one ? Well, one answer to this is OSLC. The Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration system is a mechanism to enable linked data, presentation and operations from disparate tools across different product vendors to create a collaborative solution. Such mechanisms enable tools to share data, to initiate the creation of data in other tools (using graphical user interfaces) and to initiate actions against the lifecycle of data held within other tools. Such systems make the interaction of tools easier and widen the scope of tools that can be connected together to share data.
So whatever choice is made based on the requirements of the system that is being created, the environment in which it will operate and the systems to which it is connected, a new framework for data communication called OSLC will make data sharing easier in the future than it ever has been before.