CASE becomes ALM and consolidates

Developing on a legacy

Telelogic’s ALM story, for example, is complemented by its Enterprise Architecture approach using the impressive System Architect tool (originally acquired by buying Popkin) for enterprise modelling and integration. This tool helps you visualise business relationships involving technology, processes, and data and trace them back to their original sources – and, more importantly perhaps, publish this information easily. System Architect is one of the original CASE tools (its survival itself shows that it was doing something right) and it seems to be integrating well with DOORS, Telelogic’s requirements management tool, and the rest of Telelogic’s Lifecycle Solution (I expect to learn about further developments in this area later this month).

Telelogic has a particular strength in embedded systems development (enhanced by its recent ILogix acquisition). Embedded systems development, developing the software which gives generally-purposed hardware (including TVs, DVD recorders, cameras etc) its personality as a specific technology product, is the source of much of the discipline behind modern ALM and software engineering. Configuration Management, for example, can sometimes be considered a luxury in conventional development (if you’re lucky, and like risk, that is) but there is really no alternative when you are developing software for a hardware platform which isn’t finalised yet. This rather takes coping with changing requirements to the limit.

Borland, however, was perhaps the leading promoter of the ALM message (which isn’t to say that others don’t have similar messages, just that Borland really put the holistic message on the table first) and has now gone beyond ALM with Software Delivery Optimisation (SDO).

Borland’s early Caliber RM acquisition gave it one of the few Requirements Management tools in a similar class to Steeltrace, rather ahead of Compuware.

Nevertheless, perhaps the jewel in Borland’s crown, comes from its acquisition of Teraquest, which brought Dr Bill Curtis (one of the founders of Capability Maturity Management, the most widely-accepted process improvement initiative) into the team. This intellectual expertise is what is enabling a process-led approach to implanting SDO, which Borland calls Accelerate: define goals; architect approach; develop and deploy the solution, validate results.

Borland has recently announced a new, and timely, focus on IT Governance, which, it says means: improving IT-Business alignment through Demand Management; achieving consensus on which investments to make through Portfolio Management; using Project and Program Management to provide transparency of control over IT projects; using Resource Management for more effective resource utilisation; using Financial Management to support regulatory compliance; and using Asset Management to manage the transition of project deliverables into production. Its arguments make sense to me, although I am perhaps less happy with some of the terminology, which may also have other meanings.

Once again, instead of simply coding programs effectively, we are seeing a consideration of the big picture, the transparent delivery of value to the business. And, as a part of this, you should really be designing the operational side of an automated application and its continuing support at the same time as you design the application itself.

Here, ITIL is one of the emerging sets of best practices for the operational support of IT service delivery and central to ITIL is Configuration Management. All the ALM players have or have acquired Configuration Management solutions, but a company that is sometimes overlooked (perhaps because it plays particularly well in the large enterprise space) is Serena, which started by managing change and now has expanded the scope of its offerings to deliver a strong ALM message.

And what of IBM Rational, which re-started all this? Well, it is catalysing Eclipse’s growth into a full ALM environment; it seems to me, although we still hear from people who prefer Rational’s original products to the new Eclipse-based offerings. But IBM, with Alphaworks for example, is making a lot of original intellectual property available to the open source movement generally, and Eclipse in particular. It is also proposing the Eclipse Process Framework (see an introduction by Per Kroll, Manager of Methods at IBM Rational, here).

Although, Eclipse is by no means owned by IBM Rational. Telelogic has announced it will be an early supporter to the Eclipse Process Framework (EPF), for example. It will contribute its library of best practices from some 20 years of experience in areas such as Requirements-Driven Development, Model Driven Architecture, Enterprise Change Management, and Systems and Software Development. Similarly, Compuware is supporting the Eclipse Application Lifecycle Framework (ALF), along with Serena, its original sponsor.

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