Code and content: The twain shall meet

ITworld.com |  Business

Development was once largely an issue of making the code work. However, content has
now become a major factor as well.

The matter becomes more serious as enterprises stake their livelihood on Web
projects. If development of content and code is not well coordinated, modern Websites
will fail.

That is Rational Software's contention, as well as that of some experienced IT
managers. To address the growing code-and-content abyss, development software
powerhouse Rational said it will integrate the content-management capabilities of Web
upstart Vignette Corp.'s V/5 Content Management Server in upcoming versions of its
Rational Suite ContentStudio.

The new product will be offered solely by Rational. Its purpose -- using a common
software configuration management foundation -- is to let teams manage content, code,
and other software artifacts.

Rational is one Web project management tool vendor that rose out of the software
configuration management (SCM) environment. Its ClearCase configuration management
software forms the backbone of Rational Suite. MKS and StarBase, among others, have
also approached Web content management from an SCM point of view. Other players, such
as Interwoven, have more of a workflow software lineage.

Joining ClearCase in Rational Suite ContentStudio are the Requisite Pro requirements
management software, the ClearQuest defect and change tracking system, and Rational
Unified Process, a modeling tool that utilizes the Rational-originated UML (Universal
Modeling Language).

Vignette customers will be one target for Rational Suite ContentStudio, which will
be available by April 2001 and will cost $4,795 per node-locked license, according to
the company.

"Every Vignette customer is a candidate for the tool set," said Eric Schurr,
Rational's vice president of marketing and suite products. Schurr added that,
conversely, Rational customers building Web systems will be compelled to consider
Vignette for their "real-time environments."

"Today one team writes code and one team writes content, and they use manual, error-
prone methods to combine the two," said Schurr. A common tool set for code and content
should bridge this gap, he said.

The combo meets a real need, according to one user briefed on the
announcement. "We've been looking for a solution that allows us to build, manage, and
deploy code and content in a uniform, integrated fashion," said Raymond Magpantay,
assistant vice president and technology manager at Wells Fargo Services and Co.

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