Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites make it possible for all the people and teams involved in developing, testing and deploying software applications to stay on top of the various processes. The application lifecycle is growing faster and more complex with the advent of agile development methodologies, cloud computing and continuous code integration. As apps get more interdependent and the pace of development of each component picks up, there is a reduction in time between the lifecycle stages of develop, test, deploy, modify and retire. As a result, teams need powerful tools to help keep track of what’s going on to keep everything running smoothly.
According to members of IT Central Station, ALM software needs to address both the technological intricacies of development and the organizational aspects of the development process. Users stress the importance of collaboration and communication among team members. They expect Application Lifecycle Management packages to support project management traceability, visibility and stability along with integration with development tools. ALM should also be lightweight and platform agnostic.
ALM users on the site describe the importance of ALM facilitating integration with automation tools. This way, each team can set-up its own delivery pipeline to be run by team members with full visibility for everyone. All project stakeholders have to be able to trace project work, even if they are not on the dev team – or even in the IT department. The new DevOps paradigm means that IT Ops and line of business (LOB) stakeholders may need to instantly see where they are on a project and what is coming up next.
Testing is one of the most discussed uses of ALM on IT Central Station. ALM software suites can provide a centralized location for the testing life-cycle. For testing, ALM users want dashboard integration of release tracking, a test case repository and defect tracking. Users also expect ALM suites to enable customized reporting and versionable, robust backups.