Seapine bolsters reporting, scalability in updates

Jeff Feinman
February 11, 2009 —  In updates to a pair of products, Seapine Software has bolstered reporting services and their ability to scale to larger teams.

Earlier this month, The ALM company rolled out new versions of its TestTrack Studio test planning and tracking software, and of its Surround SCM software configuration management.

There are many reporting enhancements in TestTrack Studio 2009. Among them is the ability to view reports created by external sources, including SQL Server Reporting Services and SAP’s Crystal Reports. A grouped data report feature lets users generate reports with charts of grouped data and columns. Additionally, administrators can limit report access to specific groups.

“With this external reporting plug-in framework, folks with an existing SQL Server reporting shop or whatever reporting service they’ve got in place can tap that expertise and still have access to the TestTrack data,” said Paula Rome, a senior product manager with Seapine. “The sky’s the limit in terms of what kind of reporting they’re gonna want to do.”

TestTrack Studio 2009 lets users remotely run and view reports without having to log into TestTrack. Additionally, automatic client upgrades make it easier for administrators to deploy to a user’s computer, Rome said.

Surround SCM 2009 can now work with relational database management systems in the back end, which Seapine said makes the product more suitable for large organizations. This capability gives administrators more control over where databases are stored and how they’re managed and backed up. The new version integrates with PostgreSQL and SQL Server so developers can manage their data with those databases, and Seapine said there will be interoperability with other databases in future releases.

Another feature in Surround SCM 2009 is improved labels for change control and easier build management. “Labels are something we’ve had in the product, but we’ve beefed them up primarily so customers have the widest scope of flexibility in using the product,” said Jeff Amfahr, Seapine’s product manager for Surround SCM.

“Unlike a lot of the department-level systems that really force customers into a workflow or process—'You can’t use this,' or, 'You have to use it this way'—we want to make sure people can use the product in the way they want to.”

Surround SCM 2009 has new third-party integrations with Araxis’ Merge file comparison and merging software; NetBeans 6.1; and Eclipse on Mac OS X. Automatic server cache management helps improve server memory usage, according to Seapine. Amfahr said this can save a lot of time in marking sets of branches to be cached on the server.

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