Buyer's Guide

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Application lifecycle management tools: A buyer's guide to ALM software

ALM software suites come in all shapes and sizes: Agile, Scrum, Waterfall or hybrid; cloud or on-premises; OS-specific or browser-based. Use this buyer's guide to decide which set of ALM tools is right for your company.


Application lifecycle management (ALM) is a comprehensive development process that has, over the past few years, grown in complexity due to the robust and rapid nature of today's desktop and mobile applications. ALM takes an app from conception to decommissioning, regardless of whether the company prefers to develop in an Agile, Waterfall, Scrum, or hybrid project management method. ALM software helps organizations through the ALM process. Some ALM software suites are browser-based. Some are on premises. Some cloud. Some work better for Agile, others Waterfall. Some work better for regulatory compliant companies, and so on. If you're an IT buyer charged by your enterprise with choosing an application lifecycle management tool, the options are a seemingly endless, complex knot.

This buyer's guide untangles that knot.

There are many benefits to using ALM software. ALM software, no matter the methodology your enterprise may use, can help reduce your product's time to market. It improves collaboration and communication among team members. It helps organizations meet government or industry compliances and standards. It increases project management traceability, visibility and stability. This guide provides use cases that explain those benefits, and helps you determine which benefits are important to you and your organization.

All ALM software suites have similar core functions, but some suites function better in certain areas than others. And ALM vendors have different offerings for pricing and support. This guide highlights which software functions and features to concentrate on and analyzes those functions and features in light of the needs of today's organizations, mapping out which ALM software works best for your organization.

In the end, this guide gives you the information to make the right ALM software buying decision for your company. It discusses many issues that organizations face with ALM and showcases the top ALM software suites in the market today.

1What is it…?-

Explaining application lifecycle management

ALM uses three phases to manage the development of apps: requirements, development and operations. ALM also can be run in a Scrum, XP, lean, Waterfall or Agile methodology. What does all this mean? This section explains all you need to know about ALM.


What you need to know about ALM methodology

Gerie Owen provides an overview of ALM methodology, covering its requirements, development and maintenance phases and its core components. Continue Reading

2Do I need it …? -

ALM use cases

Before determining which ALM software you need to buy, you should determine if you really need it. This section provides common scenarios in which companies find themselves using (or in need of) application lifecycle management tools to alleviate development issues.


Do organizations need ALM software?

When you find your company experiencing application development and deployment predicaments, ALM software may be the fix. Continue Reading

3How to buy …?-

Key features and functions to look for in ALM tools and vendors

There are core features and functions to pay attention to in an ALM software suite. Just as important, the capabilities of the vendors themselves should be seen as key selling points when you are looking to buy ALM software. This section highlights the most important software and vendor considerations.


What to look for when considering ALM software

Choosing the right ALM software is as important as choosing the right ALM vendor. Know the key features and offerings from ALM tool sets and vendors. Continue Reading

4What to buy…?-

Which ALM software suite is right for you?

This section shows which ALM software suites work best for your enterprise in certain scenarios.


Choosing the right ALM software for your organization

Are you developing with Waterfall or Agile? Do you have a large business or small startup? Learn which ALM software suite best suits your organization's needs. Continue Reading

5ALM product overviews-

The top ALM software suites

This section presents overviews of the top ALM software suites on the market today, detailing what each does, what they're built on and what each vendor offers in terms of licensing and support.


Breaking down the Atlassian suite of ALM software

With JIRA, Confluence, HipChat, Bitbucket and Stash, the Atlassian suite of ALM tools is for enterprises of all sizes that use Agile methodologies. Continue Reading


A look at the HP application lifecycle management suite

The HP application lifecycle management suite, HP ALM, offers on-premises or SaaS ALM tools to enterprises small and large. Continue Reading


Rational CLM a collection of updated legacy IBM tools

A collection of integrated tools, Rational Team Concert, Quality Manger and DOORS Next Generation, rounds out IBM's ALM offering, Rational CLM. Continue Reading


Jama Software delivers easy-to-use ALM tool

Jama Software provides Agile enterprises a requirements management-focused ALM tool. Continue Reading


Get an inside look at Microsoft Visual Studio Online

The Microsoft Visual Studio Online is an ALM suite that allows large-scale enterprises to develop apps on various programming languages. Continue Reading


Polarion Software offers ALM focused on regulatory compliance

Polarion Software is a browser-based, ALM platform that offers high traceability functions for enterprises with a regulation focus. Continue Reading


Rally Software the go-to ALM tool for Agile developers

Rally Software gives Agile developers an ALM tool that, along with customizable dashboards, offers SAFe training and certification. Continue Reading


TeamForge ALM tool offers secure project management

CollabNet's TeamForge ALM provides traceability and visibility while integrating with third-party tools like Jenkins, Git and JIRA. Continue Reading


Under the hood of VersionOne's ALM platform

Simplicity and Agile project and portfolio management are the focus of this ALM platform from VersionOne. Continue Reading

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