Borland: Lays Down Gauntlet on ALM Tools

Borland has unveiled its Open ALM approach to help IT turn software delivery into a more manageable business process. Borland execs say its Open ALM strategy, and its first-gen product line, dubbed Gauntlet, will let customers re-assert their power over the growing list of closed Application Lifecycle Management tools. IDN talks with Borland VP Marc Brown about the move.

Tags: Open ALM, Software Delivery, Management, Customers, Business, Lifecycle, Borland,

Borland has unveiled its Open ALM approach to help IT turn software delivery into a more manageable business process. Borland execs say its Open ALM strategy, and its first-gen product line, dubbed Gauntlet, will let customers re-assert their power over the growing list of closed Application Lifecycle Management tools.

Borland's new approach will focus on what the company says are four (4) critical ALM software delivery processes: (1) Project & Portfolio Management, (2) Requirements Definition & Management, (3) Change Management and (4) Lifecycle Quality Management (LQM).

Borland's Gauntlet, the first Open ALM product, provides continuous build and test automation for lifecycle quality management (LQM). The product enables organizations to continuously track, measure and improve software quality throughout the application lifecycle.

Gauntlet support now available or under development includes:
  • Open Source: Ant, CheckStyle, Emma, Findbugs, JUnit, NUnit and PMD; and
  • Commercial : Cenzic Hailstorm for Web application vulnerability assessment; Fortify SCA for source code security analysis; Klocwork K7 for automated software detect and prevention; Lint4J for static Java source code analysis; and Palamida IP Amplifier for software intellectual property compliance scanning and auditing.

  • Inside Borland's Open ALM Strategy
    "Open ALM is our stake in the game, and Borland will fight for the rights of our customers who are passionate about driving the next generation of software productivity on their terms," Borland CEO Tod Nielsen said. He added that customers need the flexibility to define, manage and measure their software delivery processes based on their own unique needs. Their existing investments in tools and practices should be easily incorporated into an overall solution, regardless of vendor origin."

    Borland basically says with its Open ALM strategy that "any-on-any" is the watchword for apps projects. In specific: Borland pledged its Open ALM product lines will support :
  • Any Process: -- Waterfall, Agile, RUP or custom.
  • Any Tools: Any combo of commercial and open-source tools
  • Any Platform ; and
  • Any Measure Any third-party data collection to drive cross-process software delivery metrics and measurement.

    IDN interviews Borland's Marc Brown, vice president in charge of product marketing.

    An Integration Developer News interview with
    Marc Brown, Vice President
    Borland Corp.

    TOPIC: Defining Open ALM
    IDN: Some of Borland's Open ALM capabilities seem to aimed at helping companies find new ways to support developing software that supports their legacy assets right alongside their growing web services/SOA assets? Is this a fair description?

    Brown: If you boil it down to its essence, Open ALM is really about helping companies get good at delivering software. Borland's got a really open definition of "delivering software" here. Delivering software could mean developing, integrating, buying and customizing, or modernizing/service-enabling. Every enterprise is unique in its approach to IT, and many have a really complicated mix of platforms, assets, processes and projects. "Delivering software" looks different for each.

    So, the genesis for Open ALM, is helping them be successful at whatever "software delivery" means for their organization. Whether its service-enabling legacy applications, developing new applications, customizing packaged applications or some combination thereof. Let's get good at it. Let's find an established process, support and automate it with tools, and get some confidence that our output is going to be reliable, predictable and of high-quality.

    TOPIC: Open ALM Benefits
    IDN: How does Open ALM impact developers now learning new light-weight technologies, such as Spring, Hibernate, Seam, Ruby on Rails?

    Brown: Well, the key thing to focus on is what individual developers [mean by] independence. What we're doing here is really giving developers - and all team members involved in the delivery process - the opportunity to use whatever languages, tools, technologies and techniques that they want as part of a comprehensive ALM solution.

    We want to communicate that we'll help IT organizations take the resources they've already invested in and forge an ALM solution that works for them. [For instance, say] you are doing Agile development, and using one vendor's tool for modeling, another vendor's tool for requirements management and an open source version control solution? Fine.

    Open ALM will let you integrate those tools in a way that supports your flavor of Agile and provide a management layer that enables you to track and measure all the activities and assets - across the various lifecycle phases. We call this process-driven integration. And this is really what Open ALM is all about -- enabling customers to automate existing "software delivery" processes through the integration of any combination of lifecycle tools, while offering unified metrics and reporting.

    TOPIC: Pains Open ALM Will Relief
    IDN: What customer "pain points" is Open ALM designed to ease?

    Brown: I think that one of the biggest pain points, or customer needs, that we are addressing here is the lack of measurement and cross-process metrics in software delivery. We've heard it from all of our customers - they don't have a solution for collecting, collating, or reporting on all the data from their various lifecycle tools and presenting it in a way that will truly let them manage, measure and improve their delivery process. And, what you can't measure, you can't improve.

    That is really the core problem everyone is facing when it comes to software delivery today. Right now, it's basically a chaotic art, a "black box" if you will. There just isn't a lot of visibility into the process. And, it's just impossible to get good at delivering software if you can't overcome this black box problem. With Open ALM, we are going to bring this management - this visibility and these meaningful cross-ALM metrics - to customers.

    What Borland has learned since we entered the ALM game two years ago is that every customer is different. They have investments in various tools, they are using a range of processes, and they are deploying to a wide variety of platforms and technologies. And that isn't going to change. Open ALM embraces this truth, and seeks to provide a solution that can help customers succeed at software delivery - no matter what that means - using whatever processes, tools and platforms they choose. I think that this can have an enormous impact on IT - and on the businesses IT supports.

    TOPIC: Open ALM Supprot for ESB/SOA Projects
    IDN: A growing number of ESB and SOA platform vendors talk about 'Services Lifecycle Management.' Is there any overlap between Borland's vision of Open ALM and this growing list of enterprise ESB/SOA products?

    Brown: I would not consider this overlap but rather a common goal of interoperability. Interoperability is a critical foundational capability but does not guarantee process-driven integration or improved ALM-centric visibility. Furthermore, many of the SOA platform vendors are truly focused on the runtime side of software and less so on the software delivery lifecycle.

    TOPIC: Open ALM and Business Rules
    IDN: Does Borland intend for Open ALM now or in the near future will help companies interoperate or migrate their current business rules and logic to complex integrated environments?

    Brown: Borland is certainly aware and tracking the ever increasing business requirements around policy and compliance. Open ALM's focus, as we mentioned above, is to help organizations transform software delivery to a managed business. As part of this transformation, OpenALM will provide the business with the necessary information and reports to supplement their higher level IT business rules or IT standards such as ITIL or CoBIT.