supporting these sorts of scenarios. Any problems and the finger tends to be pointed at the other vendor!
In the past we've seen convergence of software configuration management functionality and software change management functionality, and when you combine that across the lifecycle of different kinds of artifacts (requirements, models, code, tests) the result seems to be ALM. With ITIL (see below), that then becomes part of the service lifecycle. We think more is coming:
- In the last couple of years, we think "Content Management" has begun to enter the picture
- More recently, we think "Collaboration Management" has burst onto the scene, fueled in large part by the Agile movement, and also by the "flattened world" which has increased the desire for geographically distributed development
Tools, Collaborative Frameworks, Mashups and "all that Jazz"
It has been an interesting year within the SCM vendor community, with various product developments, mergers and acquisitions. We looked at some of those developments last time, but there are some new approaches.
We were greatly in favour of the Eclipse ALF (Application Lifecycle Framework) project as a cross vendor approach. Serena deserve recognition for their efforts in driving this project. On the face of it the project rather looks as if it has lost momentum - all milestones and news pages on the project home page mention nothing after the end of 2006! However, conversations with chief evangelist Kevin Parker indicate that the effort has metamorphosed. Thus Serena is perhaps looking in this direction for their integrations with other tools - reusing work done for ALF. Indeed, according to Kevin:
"There is a remarkable pent up demand for applications to be developed that are not being addressed by "formal IT" but rather by "shadow IT". [...] for some, [perhaps] for many, mashups is the answer."
So it looks like Serena has instead taken a different tack with the repositioning of their TeamTrack product as "Serena Business Mashups". The concept of " mashups" has certainly leapt to prominence during 2007, and there are many attractions to the idea of being able to quickly and easily combine the functionality of 2 or more applications into a new application. Thus Serena is perhaps replacing the need for ALF.
The SCM challenge of mashups is that your new application now has dependencies on other services. If these are controlled by third parties, you need to keep a close eye on changes and version compatibility. You might also wish to consider what SLAs you have on the dependent applications and balance that against the business benefits obtained.
In our view, mashups are a great way of trying out ideas and producing a proof of concept and a working application. If it is successful, you may have to go back and look at ownership and risk issues, and spend more money on things like SLAs or other controls. Interesting times for Serena in any case, and we look forward to the proof of the pudding for their new direction in next year's review (and being non-partisan wish them well!).
As mentioned last year, IBM has been trying to "Jazz-up" things with its Jazz collaboration management approach. We haven't seen it catch on yet, but if it does, then we expect 2008 to be the year (mostly because we think that is when they planned to release part of it to be open-source). The "open-source process" in 2007 (
or "open commerical" license ) only with invited partners has been interesting. ClearCase has been perhaps suffering recently with a lack of major product enhancements, although the Jazz-related efforts, particularly the recent announcement