|Create collaborative and dynamic method content
using Web 2.0
First published by IBM developerWorks at http://www.ibm.com/developerWorks. Visit ibm.com/
developerWorks for more tutorials on open standard technologies, IBM products, and more.
17 Apr 2008
Leverage Web 2.0 technologies to extend software development process content, which is typically
published static as HTML. This article describes how you can develop the ability to collaboratively
edit method content and have access to the latest dynamic content within a method context.
IT practitioners commonly use software development methodologies, such as the IBM® Rational®
Unified Process (RUP®). Methods like this can be applied across a variety of software development
disciplines and industry verticals. Software development methods like RUP and IBM RUP Service-
Oriented Modeling and Architecture (SOMA) provide static process guidance that's published as
HTML. IBM Rational Method Composer is a tool that process engineers can use to customize a
process; however, you can publish the new process as just read-only Web pages.
For the method to be truly useful it needs to be augmented with context-specific assets. These are
generally content, tooling, and people assets. The content assets include a range of resources,
such as documents, presentations, models, social bookmarks, and others. For example, if this
method is being applied to aid in business modeling in a telephone company (telco) vertical account,
then the method should provide guidance around specific tooling and content that can be leveraged.
Because the method content is frozen after being published, it's not extensible. Therefore, you can
leverage Web 2.0 technologies to augment the static content with supplemental wiki pages that
enable collaborative editing and dynamic Web feeds. These pages are referred to as extension
points in the next section.
So why is the lack of method extensibility a problem? Because method contents:
- Become outdated; for example, guidance artifacts such as templates, assets, or tool mentors
- Lack specific context details without being customized. For example, due to the nonspecific
nature of the off-the-shelf method content, it needs to be adapted for the situation in which
it's being applied, such as the organization, industry domain, roles, activities, assets, and
- Customizations require republishing.
- Lack the ability to be augmented by the user or practitioner and, thus, can't take advantage
of the user's contribution to community content development and enhancement. Consequently,
opportunities for feedback and collaboration by the user community is often lost.
- Lack the ability to leverage media-rich content, such as videos, podcasts, and flash
demonstrations because they typically become outdated quickly.
- Tend to lack detailed commercial off-the-shelf tool guidance.
- Off-the-shelf, lack guidance for organizational assets or tools.
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