Application lifecycle management tools: A buyer's guide to ALM software
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
IBM's application lifecycle management (ALM) suite is a collection of products known as IBM Rational collaborative lifecycle management (CLM). IBM Rational CLM covers requirements management, quality management, change and configuration management, project planning and tracking all on one platform.
The IBM Rational ALM suite aims to enhance productivity by eliminating working in silos, which can often cause project delays, lower quality results and cause budget overruns. This tool also offers in-context team collaboration, lifecycle traceability across disciplines, real-time planning and development intelligence that allows developers and project managers to make fact-based decisions. The IBM Rational CLM products are compatible with several operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Solaris, AIX, IBM I and z/OS.
IBM Rational CLM is a set of three integrated tools: Rational Team Concert, Rational Quality Manager and Rational DOORS Next Generation.
Rational Team Concert
Rational Team Concert (RTC) integrates task tracking, source control and Agile planning with continuous builds and a configurable process to adapt to varying work styles. RTC also provides collaborative change management capabilities and integrated features including work-item, build and software configuration management.
RTC provides visibility into activities and progress with multilevel dashboards and reporting features, and facilitates planning and execution of projects with planning tools and templates, including a new Scaled Agile Framework template. In addition, RTC offers advanced source control, which helps distributed teams communicate and collaborate. Pricing for RTC is flexible and licensing is role-based with multiple platform support in a single release, allowing the implementation of individual components at purchase or in the future.
Rational Quality Manager
Rational Quality Manager (RQM) delivers capabilities for test management including test planning, creation and execution. RQM helps teams share information and use automation to accelerate project schedules. It helps quality assurance teams share project information and status updates, reduce labor-intensive activities and report on project metrics more reliably. It allows users to create and manage test plans that describe project quality goals and exit criteria, while tracking responsibilities and prioritized items for verification and validation.
RQM uses a browser-based interface built on Java and Web 2.0 technology that includes customizable dashboards made from a large set of predefined widgets. Users can communicate within and among teams using features such as event feeds, integrated chat, review and approval and automated traceability.
It also includes a comprehensive text editor that can capture textual test steps alongside embedded images for accelerating manual testing using rich-text, in-line images, and assisted data entry and validation for text definition and execution. Testers can share common steps between tests via keywords, and the minimum number of tests required for a given level of environment coverage is automatically identified.
RQM uses risk-based testing for prioritizing the features and functions to be tested based on importance and likelihood or impact of failure, supporting risk management best practices, as well as test lab management for tracking, scheduling and executing tests on physical and virtual lab assets. Visit the RQM product page for pricing information.
Rational DOORS Next Generation (DNG) captures, manages and traces requirements throughout the application development lifecycle. By having all requirements available from a central, accessible and secure location, this application is good for users to gain transparency and increase reusability. DNG provides a central and accessible location for requirements, concurrent editing, automated versioning and prioritization.
DNG allows users to track changes in text documents or spreadsheets -- recording time, user and edit history -- and enables users to view history, reviews and discussion comments within the context of the document. DNG also lets users access requirements databases concurrently across multiple profiles without conflict or disruption, while ensuring that teams use consistent terminology with an integrated glossary.
Users can create multiple views that use filters and display settings for different roles and tasks. Documents and project templates have predefined and customizable options. Customizable dashboards and automated reports visualize information, and users can edit, author and analyze artifacts on a Web client that also supports commercial servers. DNG can also import documents, CSVs, and ReqIF or work with the provided project and module templates.
DNG can be purchased on a fixed-term license, an Authorized User Single Install, or a Floating User Single Install basis, along with a 12-month subscription to the support services. Prices vary by license type. Rational DNG is an upgrade to Rational DOORS 9, unifying its features into a single-server or Web-based requirements platform that allows for better collaboration among development teams.
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