Borland sticks to its ALM plans

Borland Software Corp. surveyed its own customers to get a snapshot of the application life-cycle management (ALM) market and found heterogeneity rules in application development.

The company polled more than 300 customers in May and June. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they support two or more development platforms, and 42 per cent deploy to both Java and .Net. Half are using four or more ALM tools, and 33 per cent have tools from more than three different vendors.

Sixty-six per cent of respondents use both open-source and commercial ALM tools.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent of respondents said they use two or more software development processes with agile methodologies and custom processes receiving the highest percentage of votes.

“One of the reasons we’re seeing folks actively move to the agile space is so they can be more responsive,” said Marc Brown, Borland’s vice president of product marketing. But some user sites may not use agile processes if they have so many people trained on a particular process and gauge that change presents more risks than benefits, Brown said.

According to the survey, the top priority in delivering software was meeting the needs of the business or customer with 59 per cent selecting that priority. Some 25 per cent ranked delivery of high-quality software as their top goal.

Nearly 50 per cent of respondents plan to implement process improvement initiatives as their biggest ALM projects for the coming year, Borland said. Integration of tools received 21 per cent of the vote.

The survey also found that organizations are challenged in effectively managing the end-to-end process of software delivery to achieve the full potential of ALM. Among the issues cited were disconnected processes, lack of visibility and traceability across the life cycle, poor interoperability between tools, and lack of metrics and functional silos.

Borland has refocused the company from development tools to the ALM space with its Open ALM strategy that aims to accommodate existing software development assets in delivering software.

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