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Sunday, September 9, 2007

What is the Rational Unified Process (RUP) ?

To simplify and make the strategy of iterative software development, the rational software corporation came up with an iterative software development process framework, now popularly known as the rational unified process or RUP. The rational software corporation has been a division of IBM since 2003. RUP has been developed as a process framework that is adaptable rather than being a rigid perspective process. One of the advantages of this process is that development organizations have the freedom to tailor it for their needs. The required elements of the process can be selected by the software projects teams as they think is appropriate. 
The product comes with many sample artifacts and a number of detailed descriptions for a number of activities that are supported by the RUP. It has been included as a part of the IBM’s RMC (rational method composer) allowing the easy customization of the software development process. The RUP lays down six best practices which evolved by the combination of the experience of various companies. These six best practices are:
Ø  Iterative development driven by risk. Risk is the primary iteration driver.
Ø  Management of requirements
Ø  Employment of component based architecture
Ø  Visually modeling the software.
Ø  Verifying the quality of the product continuously.
Ø  Controlling the changes
All these practices are employed by rational corporation for the development of their products. They are even used by its members for helping the customers in making improvements to the predictability and the quality of the development efforts. The RUP can be tailored for guiding the software development. It comes with all the tools that are used for automating the application of the RUP. It also offers services for accelerating the process’ and its tools’ adoption. All these three things form a strategic tripod for the implementation of RUP. The foundation of the process is based up on certain building blocks and elements which describe the thing that has to be produced and how it is to be produced and what are the requirements. Following are the three main building blocks:
Ø  Roles: This defines the skills required and who should take what responsibilities and has which competencies.
Ø  Work products: This represents the result of an activity. The result includes all the models and the documents produced during the process.
Ø  Tasks: The work assigned to the roles is described by this element. The work should be such that it should provide a meaningful result.
Many iterations might be carried out. In each iteration the tasks are divided in to a total of 9 categories:

Ø  Six disciplines of engineering:
-          Business modeling
-          Analysis and design
-          Requirements
-          Test
-          Implementation
-          deployment
Ø  Rest are supporting disciplines:
-          environment
-          configuration and change management
-          project management

There is also a tool that you can use for configuring, authoring and viewing the processes. Processes can even be published. Certification for RUP i.e., the IBM certified solution designer – rational unified process 7.0 was released in the year of 2007. The earlier version was the IBM rational certified specialist – rational unified process. The new version of the exam focuses on both the RUP content and the process structure elements. For passing this certification examination, the test you have to take is the test 839: rational unified process v7.0 in which you are given 52 questions to be done in 75 minutes.

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