Feeds

What's it all about, ALF

Serena is sponsoring a new Eclipse project called ALF

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Serena is well-known for cross-platform change management but it has been expanding its offering of late, to cover more of the Application Lifecycle. Its SAFE (Serena Application Framework for Enterprises) vision centres on configuration/change management and version control but now includes business process modelling and automation, requirements management, issue and problem management, IT governance and methodologies for development and support, build management, deployment and production support – but not coding automation or testing (see the product summary here).

So, it is complementary to offerings from people such as Microsoft and Compuware, which are more code-oriented. Its strength is that it can support the enterprise as a whole, including the mainframe. Other lifecycle offerings tend to use third-party offerings (from BMC, for example), for operational support across the enterprise.

However, with the widespread availability and acceptance of standard frameworks such as ITIL and OMG's MDA, all the players in this space are expanding their scope – Telelogic, for example, has acquired System Architect; and Release 10.3 of this now gives its Application Lifecycle Management toolkit a respected capability for enterprise architecture and business process management modelling.

The appearance of such visualisation tools addressing the entire application lifecycle is a response to the increasing complexity of the IT environment and recognition of its importance to the business.

There is now increasing acceptance of abstraction and modelling in general, but this has only been possible because of the emergence of genuine standards, catalysed (we think) by Rational's sterling work in ending arguments over the shape of boxes with the UML (Unified Modelling Language) and RUP (Rational Unified Process). IBM now owns Rational and IBM/Rational's support of the (now independent) Eclipse open-source platform points (we think) towards the future in this area.

Watching these developments, Serena has seen the need for a pragmatic, low cost and open framework for managing the application lifecycle, using a loosely-coupled service-oriented approach.

Point-to-point integrations of different operational technologies are as costly to develop and maintain as point-to-point integrations of business applications, as Kevin Parker, VP, market development at Serena and now Evangelist for what it calls "ALF", explained to me. ALF – Application Lifecycle Framework – is a new Eclipse project sponsored by Serena, although other notable companies are involved including: Catalyst Systems Corporation (with Openmake); Cognizant (IT service delivery model); Compuware (IT governance and QA though to development and QA); Secure Software (application security) and Segue Software (testing and quality optimisation).

ALF, it's promised, will be a service-based architecture providing a platform-agnostic foundation for multi-vendor integration and service orchestration.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.