Evolution of the Rational Unified Process
Now that we have a clearer understanding of the RUP architecture, let's discuss how the RUP evolved over the years. RUP often comes across as an overloaded term. For example, many believe that the IBM Rational Unified Process is inseparable from the Rational Unified Process product. Others think that the IBM Rational Unified Process requires other IBM Rational software to function. This section briefly discusses the evolution of RUP and will try to separate myths from realities.
The first version of RUP was released in 1998, but it was heavily influenced by its predecessor, known as Objectory™, which dates back to 1988 (see Figure 1-13). With its long history, RUP as an iterative development process has a proven track record unparalleled in the IT industry.
Figure 1-13 RUP evolution
No other modern software engineering process has a higher adoption or success rate than RUP, which is attracting more and more organizations. The RUP story has continued, especially after IBM Rational announced the accomplishment of another milestone in October 2005, which fundamentally changed the distribution, configuration, and deployment of RUP.
This is not a RUP history book, and this history is not important for your certification. However, a brief discussion of the most recent RUP-related decisions will help you understand where the RUP journey might go. This may, in fact, further inspire you to achieve the RUP certification.
In October 2005, IBM Rational donated a subset of the RUP process framework, now known as the Basic Unified Process (BUP),4 to the Eclipse Foundation. This framework was modified as part of the Eclipse Process Framework project, and the resulting extensible process is named the Open Unified Process, or OpenUP. The distribution of a subset of RUP through an Eclipse project will allow all interested parties to adopt the concepts of RUP as an open-source process framework. This donation will also encourage software engineers to use BUP and develop open-source process enhancements for RUP.
Figure 1-14 OpenUP content
Another significant milestone is the development of the IBM Rational Method Composer5 (RMC), the new Eclipse-based product to configure and distribute customized processes like OpenUP or RUP. This product will supersede the previous IBM Rational proprietary RUP tools (Rational Workbench, RUP Modeler, and RUP Organizer), which were used to customize RUP. As with the process donation, the basic capabilities of RMC were donated to Eclipse; the resulting tool, Eclipse Process Framework composer, is available free as an open source application.
Figure 1-15 shows that the BUP knowledgebase is now in pieces available as open source, whereas the IBM RMC is a tool for authoring and publishing BUP or RUP. The clear separation between the framework and tool will encourage a distribution of the concepts of iterative software engineering in the industry, whereas the tool will help process engineers to tailor it.
Figure 1-15 RMC and RUP
Why would IBM Rational take such a step? IBM originated the Eclipse foundation and promoted open source development for years. It is the logical next step to do the same thing with a software engineering process, which ties all the concepts under one umbrella. Although IBM has gathered and organized the process for more than a decade, the donation to Eclipse will spread the message through the open source community with one goal in mind: improving the industry's IT processes.
IBM Rational as a division inside IBM delivered software engineering tools to the IT industry for many years. Focusing on the RMC and the integration with the IBM Rational Portfolio Manager (RPM) and promoting the open source process framework will strengthen the role of IBM Rational in this space while the industry benefits from the donation.