Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04/06/compuware_completes_alm/

Compuware completes cycle

Bundles MagicDraw, among other new features

By Philip Howard

Posted in Developer, 6th April 2006 13:07 GMT

Compuware has touted itself as a vendor that supports application lifecycle management for some time. However, that is really only a credible claim if you can do everything that you need to do within the lifecycle and, while that doesn't mandate that you have to provide every necessary facility yourself, it does mean that you should be able to link everything together.

Until recently, when OptimalJ 4.1 (the company's Java development solution) became generally available, it would have been stretching a point to say that Compuware had all the necessary facilities. However, as the same is true for pretty much everyone else in the market, the fact that Compuware can now square the circle is a big deal.

What Compuware has done with OptimalJ to enable this completion is two things: first, it has introduced a Use Case Model within its Domain Model. Now, in order to understand the relevance of this you need to know that Compuware has a partnership with SteelTrace for that company's requirements management tool.

What SteelTrace can now do is to export requirements details into the Use Case Model, which means that you get full traceability from requirements right through to code artefacts. Or vice versa. Moreover, Compuware has implemented an impact analysis report so that you can see what effects a change will have.

A new partnership with No Magic has been announced along with this release, whose MagicDraw UML modelling tool is being bundled into OptimalJ. What this means is, with requirements management from SteelTrace, UML analysis from No Magic, OptimalJ itself and Compuware's DevPartner (for testing) and Vantage (for monitoring) the company is, for the first time, really bridging the whole application lifecycle.

This isn't all that's significant in this release. One of the reasons why Compuware has partnered with No Magic is because it supports both of the environments supported by OptimalJ, these being NetBeans (OptimalJ's traditional environment) and Eclipse. In the case of the latter, part of this release was the availability of an Eclipse version of the OptimalJ Professional Edition, following a similar capability for the Developer's Edition last year. An Eclipse version of the Architecture Edition will follow later this year. Indeed, it was also announced that Compuware is to lead the Eclipse Corona project which will, in effect, bring lifecycle management to the Eclipse environment in a formalised way.

Finally, one other neat feature of OptimalJ 4.1 is worth mentioning: which is its undo/redo facility. Now, we are all familiar with undo and redo for Microsoft Word, for example, but it's not something you often see in development tools. In this case, it means that you can make some changes to a model, generate the relevant code artefacts, test those in an execution environment and, if you don't like the results, you can simply back-out and try again.

There are, of course, a bunch of other features or enhancements, but these are relatively insignificant compared to the undo/redo, extended support for Eclipse, bundling of MagicDraw and introduction of Use Case Models. However, the biggest news is not any one of these features but the completion of the application lifecycle management story.

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