Borland beefs up ALM toolkit

Borland Software has announced new tools and services as part of its Open Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) strategy for assessing the progress of software development projects.

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Borland Software has announced new tools and services as part of its Open Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) strategy for assessing the progress of software development projects.

The company has unveil three tools, part if its Borland Management Solutions (BMS) platform, together with and a set of service packages using the Open ALM bus technology, which gathers information from ALM tools from multiple vendors.

BMS is intended to provide an ALM "cockpit" offering visibility and control over software development to provide early warning of issues that lead to of software development projects failing, going over budget, or missing milestones, said Rick Jackson, Borland chief marketing officer.

"Organisations are being challenged to improve their performance, but they can't improve what they can't track and measure. That's the whole point of Borland Management Solutions [BMS]," Jackson said. Users, he said, have been beset with trying to manage a "black box," without knowledge of how things are working and what progress is being made.

Telecoms giant BT, which is pioneering Agile developmentin the UK, worked with Borland on some of the tools.

The three tools are:

  • TeamDemand, providing a view into software demands coming into the software delivery organisation. Business users can collaborate with IT to make decisions on projects. The product interfaces with ALM artifacts such as requirements, user stories, and tasks housed in existing tool repositories. A portal is provided to track software requests. The product serves as "Fedex-tracking for IT projects," said Jackson.
  • TeamFocus, for managing and monitoring the performance of software delivery providers. Multiple software development methodologies are supported including agile, waterfall, and iterative. Linking to practitioner tools, TeamFocus monitors day-to-day progress and includes dashboards with metrics to keep teams and management united in project efforts. Agile concepts are supported such as sprints, which are time increments, and burndown charts, which display how tasks are being accomplished.
  • TeamAnalytics, providing business intelligence on projects and featuring an enterprise data warehouse. Current and historic information is brought together and analysed. Customisable dashboards assist in building predictable delivery models and improving processes.

The three tools are due to ship in the autumn, which is also when pricing will be announced. "The three products that make up Borland Management Solutions are management applications that sit on top of existing tools," Jackson said.

BMS offerings are built on the Open ALM services framework that uses Internet-based technologies to connect Borland's and other industry tools for project and portfolio management, requirements definition, and management, software configuration, change management and lifecycle quality management, Borland said. Tools can be connected to the framework via Web services.

Besides supporting Borland's own ALM tools, the company's plans call for linking with the former Mercury Interactive tools acquired by HP as well as with IBM Rational and Microsoft tools. Data will be gathered from these products. Borland has developed a connector ecosystem, featuring an Open Connector SDK to support other ALM tools and custom tools.

Borland's plan drew a generally favourable response from analyst Jim Duggan, of Gartner.

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