IBM has opened its Jazz.net open-source community to anyone who wants to provide feedback on the technology, which is intended to help improve collaboration among software development teams.
In the past, the Jazz.net community - which launched in June 2007 - could be accessed only by select IBM customers and academics who were invited to participate. The site will now provide all comers with access to Jazz code, bug lists and other details.
Although IBM has said that it plans to emulate the Eclipse open-source community with its Jazz effort, the company still owns the Jazz source code, so the effort is not a classic open-source project like Eclipse.
"[Jazz.net] is an open commercial community designed to build and evolve the Jazz technology," said Scott Hebner, IBM Rational's vice president of marketing and strategy. "We'll start to build our products in a completely transparent and collaborative fashion with our customers."
But Hebner added that IBM eventually plans to open up the Jazz source code, as it did with Eclipse.
So far those who have accessed Jazz.net have been particularly interested in the in-context collaboration feature, which allows every team member working on a particular aspect of Jazz development to be notified in real-time when anyone else makes a change that affects others.
"It is one thing to say I can pull up an IM and contact someone, but when the system begins to understand the process ... it helps facilitate that communication in a more proactive manner," Hebner said.
This year, IBM will begin announcing new Jazz-based features in other Rational products such as ClearCase, ClearQuest and BuildForge, he added.
IBM on Monday also announced that the second beta version of the first Jazz-based product - called IBM Rational Team Concert Express - is now available. The product, expected to be generally available later this year, is aimed at helping small and midsize development teams improve productivity through collaboration. It includes Web dashboards to help users see real-time status data including the status of work items and project health.