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GatherSpace works on being 'un-bloated'



Jeff Feinman
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August 24, 2009 —  GatherSpace is trying to bring an organic touch to requirements management with its on-demand, one-life-cycle phase approach.

GatherSpace 2.0, released today, lets users manage a product feature backlog by ranking business and software requirements. Requirements that are less of a priority can be merged into a specific backlog or iteration, according to company executives, as higher priority requirements are carried out.

A new use-case visualization modeler provides high-level diagrams of how use cases will be used in a project. The new version utilizes Adobe Flash technology to render these diagrams.

GatherSpace 2.0 lets developers import requirements to work on them offline, or export requirements into CSV (comma-separated value) and XML formats. This can be used to make data available outside of GatherSpace, company executives said.

There are also new AJAX capabilities that can bring up windows of information on requirements as they are being organized and managed.

“We’re rolling out more and more AJAX functionality, so our interface behaves more like a desktop client as opposed to a Web client,” said Darren Levy, founder of GatherSpace.

Levy’s main reasoning as to why GatherSpace is unique from requirements managers from other companies, including Blueprint and IBM, is that it focuses on requirements management in an “un-bloated” fashion.

“Most larger companies started with a software development cycle, but not requirements management. They backed into it,” Levy said. “We are an organic requirements company. We want to be one of the best on-demand requirements management tools. We provide just about everything you need for requirements management, but we don’t provide the full software development life cycle.”

Levy made the point that GatherSpace is a cheaper alternative to its competitors, as a 12-month subscription costs US$15 per user per month.

Levy also said GatherSpace can offer a specific configuration or report that a customer wants to implement. A feature called “Report a Bug” lets users submit bugs or change requests, so the company will review them and make the changes.

“We eat our own dog food, so we use GatherSpace to manage our own backlog,” Levy said. “[A reported bug] goes into a queue, and we look at the queue every day and decide if there are themes to what people are asking. As we see requests that come in that we’ve seen before, we’ll turn changes around very quick.”

GatherSpace was founded in 2005 and has seven employees. The company is based in Los Angeles.




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