Rally racing into managing developers

Subscription-based service set to accommodate “agile” methodologies

Rally Software Development on Thursday will introduce Rally Release 1, a Web-based service for managing software development projects based on “agile” programming methodologies.

The hosted, subscription-based service is intended to help distributed and outsourced development teams concurrently define and develop software releases, according to Rally. Visibility is provided into product features, quality, and project status to enable better responses to fast-changing business needs.

The service integrates management of customer requests, requirements, test cases, defects and tasks. Any type of coding tool can be used with Rally’s program.

“Rally is an on-demand solution for managing software development” focused on agile methodologies, said Richard Leavitt, vice president of marketing and sales at Rally. These methodologies focus on rapid delivery in small increments. Examples include extreme programming, DSDM (Dynamic System Development Method), Scrum, Crystal, and Agile RUP (Rational Unified Process), according to Rally.

“The lynchpin of these [techniques] is that you will break up your release into multiple iterations,” Leavitt said. Rally provides an integrated approach to managing agile projects.

A beta user of Rally said his company has been using the service for requirements and project management as well bug tracking. “What’s interesting about it is it’s really the combination of those three things that I don’t think have been combined before,” said the user, Bob Pinna, CEO of OneVoyce.com, which builds marketing automation software and utilizes extreme programming. Rally serves as a tool to manage the work process of developing software, Pinna said.

Core features of Rally Release 1, which is set for general availability Thursday, include:

* real-time project dashboards, for visibility into product requirements, quality, status and roadblocks;

* release and iteration management, enabling teams to manage the scope of development;

* project management, featuring a repository to capture stakeholder and customer requests;

* requirements management, to organize requests into formats, such as features, use cases and stories;

* test management, to develop test cases;

* and defect and issue management, to track defects and development issues.

The company plans to add portfolio management functions -- for surveying common milestones, bottlenecks, and risks across all projects -- in future releases of the service beginning this fall.

The service is available for a free 30-day trial to qualified software organizations. Afterward, per-user pricing starts at $65 per month.

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