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Collabnet Offers new Agile ALM Cloud options

by Dave West on Aug 11, 2010 |

Collabnet, at the Agile 2010 conference,announced a new version of the TeamForge offering, a new TeamForge SCM licensing option, and the general release of Subversion Edge. According to Collabnet, the three new offerings, "together with the recently released CollabNet TeamForge™ to ScrumWorks® Pro integration, bring increased flexibility to organizations seeking to adopt Agile software development methods."

Some specifics of the three announcements:

  • new features in Teamforge ALM v5.4
    • Dynamic Planning including drag-and-drop sequencing of backlog items and direct links between planning folders and file releases.
    • Personalization - enabling users to manipulate data in ways that best suit their needs, and save their settings as defaults.
    • Reporting - including embedded dynamic charts directly within project pages.
  • TeamForge SCM licensing is an for organizations that do not require Teamforge's artifact tracking, task management, and document sharing capabilities, but do use Subversion for source code management and want the collaboration, enterprise-wide governance, and centralized management capabilities of the TeamForge platform.
  • Subversion Edge is now in general availability release, as a free, open source download. Subversion Edge is a certified stack that combines Subversion®, the Apache Web server, and ViewVC with a Web-based management interface.

Collabnets CEO, Bill Portelli, explains the motivation behind these new announcements:

CollabNet continues to supporte Agile software development in the Cloud with solutions that transform the way software is developed. These products enable organizations of any size, with developers located anywhere around the world, to realize governance and innovation benefits while adopting Agile development methods at a pace that suits their business cycles, technical objectives, and team requirements.

When questioned about the potential tension between integrated tools and Agile philosophy, Collabnet representatives pointed out:

While it is true that Agile was initially focused on smaller collocated teams using index cards and whiteboards as their only tools; the fact that Agile is being adopted at the Enterprise level - with hundreds of developers, often geographically dispersed - mandates the need for tools simply to support the level of communication necessary at that scale. The volume of communication that occurs in enterprise scale projects also mandates the use of a tool, if only to find and remember what was talked about last week.
The use of tool does not mean that you have returned to the bad old days of top-down management and control. We believe that tools should first and foremost support the developers and make their work easier, then make that work transparent and provide mechanisms for aggregating and formatting information about work results in reports for managers - and doing this in a way that does not distract developers from their jobs.

There has been a lot of growth in the "Agile Tools" market the past few years and there seems to be a general theme among vendors to increase integrations among those tools. Evidence of the tension between Agile philosophy and the need for highly integrated tools was also apparent in the Dave Thomas keynote: "Some tools are absolutely essential (e.g. refactoring browsers, IDEs, automated testing) but too many tools are seen by too many managers as the solution to their problems, and they are not."

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