Software quality vendors roll out ALM, testing and quality products

Spring has ushered in a spate of new product announcements targeted at quality assurance pros and software testers.

Spring has ushered in a spate of new product announcements targeted at quality assurance (QA) professionals and software testers.

Agile ALM products

Rally Software Development Corp. announced release 2009.1 of its Agile ALM (application lifecycle management) solution for project and program management. The new version both adds and updates customizable reporting options and increases the number of free integrations with development tools from Microsoft and Atlassian.

New reporting features include customizable release charts and iteration charts; enhanced velocity chart for more insight into past iteration velocity; enhanced burndown chart to immediately see the impact of project changes; and an AgileEVM Mashup that displays Agile Earned Value Management metrics.

In addition, Rally is offering connectors to Microsoft Visual Studio and Jira. Other enhancements include recycle bin functionality that allows users to restore data such as tasks and test cases after they have been deleted, and a screen capture tool for annotation.

According to a survey on agile development conducted by SearchSoftwareQuality.com last spring, 45% of respondents cited project management and tracking tools as essential to successful agile development.

In addition, Evans Data's North American Development Survey, released in December, found that while debugging tools are still ranked as most important, source control management tools and ALM products are almost as highly valued.

According to Ryan Martens, Rally's founder and chief technology officer (CTO), Rally's project and program management tools provide "support for the entire lifecycle through rich defect, test and test planning artifacts that mash up and integrate with other existing tools."

Rally Community Edition is free for up to 10 users, and Rally Enterprise Edition starts at $35 per user per month.

Testing and validation products

For testing and validation of applications that leverage service-oriented architecture (SOA) or business process management (BPM), integration suites and enterprise service buses (ESBs), iTKO Inc. rolled out version 4.6 of its LISA product suite. Enhancements include faster and more accurate creation of virtual test environments and the ability to virtualize a broader array of IT resources; enhanced UI testing support for new rich Internet application (RIA) and Web 2.0 application delivery models; and increased governance and policy validation support for distributed composite applications, including SOA, BPM, cloud computing and others.

According to the Evans Data survey, two-thirds of North American developers are exploring SOA options for projects, and 37% have at least some SOA components deployed. And according to IDC, worldwide IT spending on cloud services will grow almost threefold, reaching $42 billion, by 2012.

"As we see cloud computing increasingly leveraged as a delivery option for more enterprise-class services, the need for ready validation and governance of these environments also increases," said iTKO founder and chief scientist John Michelsen. "By virtualizing services with LISA 4.6 in cloud-based test environments, companies can have unconstrained access to the systems they need throughout the development lifecycle, avoiding costs and dependency. Having a virtual service environment available in the cloud enables the agility and quality expected by the enterprise, while taking advantage of the flexibility and low cost-of-entry and cost-of-exit of cloud computing."

More than one-third of North American developers are currently involved with virtualization projects, and 51% expect to be within the next twelve months, according to Evans Data.

IT research firm the Butler Group recently conducted a technology audit of LISA. LISA's strengths, according to that audit, include the ability to test across multiple technology layers throughout the application infrastructure, continuous policy validation capabilities when deployed in conjunction with SOA governance solutions, and service virtualization capabilities for simulation and testing in a virtual environment.

"If you're taking SOA seriously you need to think about a testing strategy," said Rob Hailstone, software infrastructure practice director at Butler and co-author of the audit report. LISA is "obviously a fairly high-end product, and might be overkill for someone in the early stages, but for a more serious SOA effort more likely it's appropriate."

Quality and security products

Targeting software code quality and security are vendors Klocwork Inc. and Fortify Software Inc. Klocwork, a provider of source code analysis (SCA) solutions based in Burlington, Mass., introduced Klocwork Solo. Designed for individual Java developers, Klocwork Solo provides static SCA to identify bugs and security vulnerabilities. It includes the ability to understand code being developed for the Android mobile phone platform.

In a wireless development survey released in January, Evans Data found that despite the economy, 94% of corporate developers expect the development of wireless enterprise applications to either increase (47.6%) or stay the same (46.4%) in the coming year.

"Most mobile device manufacturers are using commercial-grade static code analysis tools as part of their software development process. Klocwork Solo is targeted at the developers who are making the applications to run on these devices," said Gwyn Fisher, Klocwork's CTO. "This market is growing exponentially, and these developers tend to be smaller shops, perhaps just a few coders, who still need to create secure, reliable software that will run on mobile devices. Klocwork Solo addresses their needs by combining commercial-grade static analysis capability that identifies mobile software reliability and security issues, plus is packaged and priced appropriately for the small development shop."

Klocwork Solo is available on a subscription basis at $299 per user per year, with a limited time offer of $99 per user per year until June 30. A 30-day free trial is available for download from Klocwork's website.

Finally, Fortify, in San Mateo, Calif., announced the latest release of its software security suite, Fortify 360 Version 2, as well as its first hosted software security solution, Fortify Vendor Security Management.

Fortify 360 Version 2.0 now includes governance capabilities allowing enterprises to fully manage their organization-wide software security assurance (SSA) efforts. The addition of a Web-based SSA Governance module allows enterprises to create and manage a detailed application inventory of all enterprise software and assign risk profiles to all applications; automatically generate appropriate security policies tailored to each risk profile and apply them consistently; and communicate and track processes via a centralized system accessible to developers and security teams.

"Developers need to take a step back and address the [security] problem preventatively," said Barmak Meftah, senior VP of products and technology at Fortify Software.

The SSA Governance module is included in Fortify 360 Version 2.0 and is available immediately. Fortify Vendor Security Management will be generally available April 20.

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