Building on ALM

Application life-cycle management enables higher levels of efficiency

Lisa L. Morgan
September 1, 2008 —  (Page 1 of 5)
Application life-cycle management is one of those broad industry terms that’s interpreted differently by different people because it lacks a single industry-standard definition. What’s driving ALM is a common set of pain points like a lack of visibility across tools and less-than-optimal integration—factors that negatively impact productivity. In today’s world of shrinking budgets, faster release cycles and greater software complexity, organizational cohesiveness is necessary to remain competitive. That means the time is ripe for ALM.

ALM is, after all, an evolutionary development that has been shaped by market forces. Software companies concede that development shops have exhausted too much time and too many resources trying to reconcile the differences inherent in point solutions, even those they offered themselves years ago. Over time, greater degrees of integration have been sought through product suites, middleware and “open” APIs, although not all vendors have been motivated to connect with others.

Given the real-world pressures of modern software development—lightning speed and unprecedented efficiency—it is not only ideal but necessary to achieve higher levels of integration that enable the sharing of project status and information across teams and departmental lines. ALM is essentially a supercharged superset of what has preceded it.

“ALM is really a combination of people, processes, tools and culture,” said Richard Riccetti, President and CEO of Seapine, a leading provider of ALM solutions.

“Life cycle” is the operative word as ALM is a cradle-to-grave concept that spans everything from requirements planning to deployment and monitoring. Some vendors focus on a subset of functions while others provide broader product suites intended to support a wider array of functions. Either way, there is a trend toward more and better integration with the supplier’s own tools and third-party products.

Not one of the software companies we’ve talked to claims to offer a complete ALM solution, and they say that no one currently does.

A single turnkey solution would be beside the point, they say, because the real goal is to enable visibility across processes at business and software development levels, increase the efficiency of workflow, and provide more effective means of communicating and collaborating throughout the software life cycle.

Related Search Term(s): ALM, Kovair, Seapine

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