To most readers of this blog, the benefits of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) must be obvious by now. Even newcomers may have heard a thing or two about the increased efficiency, complete end-to-end traceability, process visibility and enhanced collaboration that ALM could bring. However, some still hesitate due to concerns about the presumed sacrifices in terms of time and effort that switching to ALM supposedly entails. The good news: implementing a new ALM platform doesn't have to be a disruptive and painful experience.
Following last week's blog post about advanced workflow configurations and how they could help tailor your ALM solution to your needs, we will now look into how you can integrate ALM in your existing software ecosystem.
Connecting the dots
For many, the main reason for switching to an integrated ALM solution is that such platforms make it way easier to achieve complete traceability by establishing links between all work items, from requirements to release. In addition to providing widespread benefits throughout the development process, traceability is a common requirement in many industry regulations and standards, not only in safety critical industries.
Some think that this necessarily means their development teams will have to remove their old tools, migrate to the ALM solution, and never look back. However, reality is much brighter: advanced Application Lifecycle Management platforms such as codeBeamer offer many integrations points. This allows you to choose what previously used pieces of software you'd rather keep, and which ones to replace with codeBeamer's powerful features. The ones you keep can be simply connected to your ALM, with their data channeled into your central repository.
Offering built-in default integration points is handy if you are switching from a typical set of software tools – in case your situation is much more complex, you'll appreciate codeBeamer's REST API which lets you connect your ALM to whatever tool you're using. Let us go through some of the most important integrations codeBeamer offers that facilitate the transition process from a set of single-point tools to a feature rich, single repository end-to-end ALM platform.
Integrating codeBeamer in your existing software ecosystem
First and foremost, codeBeamer provides round-trip integration with long established standard MS Office solutions (MS Excel and MS Word). If you're working with a number of clients, partners, or even internal teams, MS Office is usually the common denominator. Even though they're far from being professional requirements management solutions, MS Office programs are still widely used in software development. Thanks to our round-trip integration, you won't need to worry about that: simply export your requirements into whichever format you like, collaborate on them, then reimport the document. codeBeamer will automatically notify you of all changes, and will let you approve or reject each modification.
Fore more on this topic, check out our webinar from February titled From MS Office to Requirements Management:
Requirements management is further facilitated by codeBeamer's Requirements Interchange Format (ReqIF) support. Used to exchange requirements between software tools, this file format was developed for the automotive industry, but works well in any sector to transfer requirements between various types of software.
Once your requirements are approved, it's time to draw up those UML (Unified Modeling Language) charts. Enterprise Architect is one of the most widely employed visual (UML) modeling and design tools – now supported by codeBeamer's seamless data migration. With a few clicks, you can sync EA to codeBeamer, and have all your UML charts displayed in your ALM solution.
Moving on in the process, it's time for development to begin. One of the latest additions to codeBeamer's feature set is our JIRA® sync, which automatically migrates all data from your JIRA®projects to codeBeamer in the background. Just set a refresh interval and you're good to go, data consistency between your tools is ensured. Once development is over, you may want to automate testing processes. In this case, you can rely on codeBeamer's Jenkins integration, or simply use our REST API to integrate any other tool you're more comfortable using.