Nobody wants to spend days or even weeks on app development, but for the biggest companies, this is often the reality. IBM is looking to speed up that timeline with the purchase of UrbanCode, a company that automates software development.

Cloud Apps in Hours Instead of Days

If IBM can deliver on this, it would a big deal. However, it will likely be able to speed up the development of some apps, but only on the technology side. It's the strategic and business side of operations that are more often the culprits in lagging app developments.

Too often, companies simply can't make up their minds about what exactly they want to build, and even then those decisions have to filter through often complex departments and even geographies. Blame the technology between the ears, as engineers often say.

UrbanCode's technology is being described as an application release automation tool, and IBM has said it plans to add it to its existing DevOps team, part of the IBM Rational platform. IBM will be targeting mobile, cloud, big data analytics and traditional apps with the UrbanCode integration, the company said in a statement.


UrbanCode's uDeploy uses a graphical process editor to transform deployment instructions from Word or Excel, for example, into the steps needed to deploy apps into an environment.

Programming Skills Optional

UrbanCode's process automation is meant to be used by those with minimal programming skills, and it integrates with existing tools to automate systems. uDeploy includes a graphical editor (above) to create component processes, and reusable process templates for deploying a war file to several WebSphere servers, for example.

Additionally, uDeploy is not specific to a Java or .NET platform, for example, and it can work within a variety of legacy systems.

Together, UrbanCode and IBM technology will be unmatched in the industry, providing businesses a continuous process for developing, testing, and delivering new and updated software," Maciej Zawadzki, chief executive officer of UrbanCode said in a statement.

IBM says up to half of released apps are later rolled back, most are over budget, and even sometimes lack critical features. Furthermore, nearly three quarters of the cost of software production can be attributed to rework. This is clearly an area IBM is focusing on, and it seems like it thinks UrbanCode has some existing technology, and maybe even a talented team, that can make some headway there.

The amount paid for UrbanCode has not been announced.