Software companies jump on agile programming bandwagon

Compuware, Rally Software, and Daptiv are among the companies launching tools to assist with agile software development processes

Software companies are eager to hop on the agile development train, providing wares to help clients leverage agile development processes such as Scrum in their IT shops.

With agile projects software is developed in short iterations, allowing for more user feedback and more flexibility. Agile is seen as the alternative to waterfall processes; with waterfall, aspects of a project are mapped out in a pre-ordained plan. Compuware, Rally Software, and Daptiv are leveraging capabilities for agile in products announced this month.

At a conference this week Compuware launched Agile Accelerator, a pre-configured version of the company's Changepoint software for IT portfolio management (ITPM).

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Touted at the Vision Events Project Portfolio Management Summit in Garden Grove, Calif., Agile Accelerator is intended to help customers more effectively manage agile development efforts, Compuware said. Agile Accelerator provides best practices for an agile development process as well as associated reporting requirements. Users can manage agile development within a broader portfolio of projects.

Agile Accelerator also includes Scrum project templates and sprint management configuration and reports, including reports for task boards, sprint task details, and burn up/burn down reports. The product also enables management of waterfall-type projects.

"While interest in and adoption of agile development are increasing, IT organizations are still also using traditional approaches. This requires a flexible ITPM solution to manages the total project portfolio and support these different methodologies," said Lori Ellsworth, vice president of Compuware Changepoint Solutions, in a statement released by the company. "Changepoint's Agile Accelerator helps our customers manage the end-to-end agile development effort -- from backlog to retrospection -- all within the context of the broader project portfolio view."

Rally Software said it has integrated reporting capabilities from its January acquisition of 6th Sense Analytics into its agile ALM solutions. Reporting features offer greater visibility into the status of agile projects and include a single-source reports tab. 6th Sense Analytics offered on-demand and automated metrics collection and analysis capabilities.

Enhanced reports and mashups available through the Rally reports tab include new iteration and burnup charts to view work delivered to gauge whether commitments will be met. Also featured is a release defect trend report and a dashboard mashup for new development iterations.

Rally agile lifecycle offerings are available in two editions: the Rally Community Edition, which is free for as many as 10 users, and Rally Enterprise Edition, which starts at $35 per month.

Daptiv last week launched Daptiv Scrum for managing and measuring application development projects. Higher-level insight is offered into Scrum processes from a business perspective. It is built on the Daptiv on-demand platform.

Daptiv uses Scrum itself. "Initially, our developer team had implemented another Scrum solution, but after finding that it didn't adequately meet our needs we decided to use the Daptiv platform to create a more efficient way to manage our Scrum projects," said Chris Lynch, vice president of engineering at Daptiv, in a statement released by the company.

Daptiv Scrum is available for $35 per user per month.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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