In his CM: the Next Generation series, Joe Farah gives us a glimpse into the trends that CM experts will need to tackle and master based upon industry trends and future technology challenges.
the Change Package level if you please. But lets face it, collaborative capabilities are only going to be as good as the processes underlying them.
(5) Blogs, forums, chats and even email become an important part of project design. It's not sufficient to support these through the Web interface. They must also be tied back to the architectural components, tasks/requests or related technical areas, and must become an important part of the product design/business case documentation.
So these are a few of the capabilities/requirements for an advanced Web interface for a CM/AlM tools. And there are other considerations. Status information needs to be updated frequently, just as in a native client. It may be sufficient to update in response to a user action, but it would be even better to have an active status update capability so that I can be made aware when a new problem report heads my way.
Web access to CM/ALM, does not necessarily imply that this is in preference to fat clients. The key benefits of a Web client is the global accessibility and the lack of client-side installation. But there are plenty of native interface tools which share these same benefits.
That's a first cut at next generation CM/ALM Web interfaces. Maybe as the Web 2.0 concepts become more coherent, we can re-visit some of these requirements. It might be interesting to visit all of the current CM tools from a Web-client perspective - I'm certain that at this point, we'd find a high level of diversity.
On another note, I was in Orlando this past week for the 21st annual CMII World conference. CMII is a CM Process Model taught by the Institute of Configuration Management. The CMII World conference is a gathering of CM Professionals, with typically a stronger focus on hardware/system development than on software-only systems. Although there was only one CMII Certified SCM tool on display, there were plenty of CMII Certified PLM tools. The talks were of high quality, and I was impressed by the calibre of all of the attendees. This was my first visit to CMII World and I expect it will not be my last.