Serena, Compuware Deliver New ALM Tools

The new offerings are designed to more easily track and monitor changes during the development cycle.

Two key players in the application lifecycle management space are delivering tools for software configuration management and for requirements management.

Serena Software, of San Mateo, Calif., on Oct. 9 released a new lightweight, Web-based SCM (software configuration management) tool. Meanwhile, Detroit-based Compuware released a new version of its Optimal Trace requirements management tool.

Serenas Dimensions Express is lightweight and developer-focused. Serena officials said Dimensions Express delivers the performance and functionality that developers need, packaged in a way that is easy to deploy and use. It is based on the companys Serena Dimensions 10 technology.

Dimensions Express delivers industrial-strength capabilities without sacrificing ease of use, officials said. The product features native integration with leading IDEs (integrated development environments) and the IDE integration is deep, but not intrusive, officials said. As developers make changes to source code, Dimensions Express tracks, authenticates and handles version control so that, should the need arise, they can easily revert to the previous configuration.

Dimensions Express also includes support for parallel development, including project-level branching and merging. The offering also gives organizations an incremental approach to implementing SCM.

David Parker, director of product marketing at Serena, said that up to now, "developers have been forced to choose between the ease of use and simplicity of developer-focused software configuration management tools and the flexibility and power of process-oriented tools. Now developers can get the functionality they need without the complexity normally associated with process-centric tools."

Dimensions Express, available now, is priced at $995 per user.

Meanwhile, Compuware on Oct. 9 released Compuware Optimal Trace 5.0, the latest version of the companys business requirements management solution.

Like the Serena solution, Compuwares offering provides users with an easy entry into its portion of the ALM space. Optimal Trace 5.0 gives users an entry point for adopting a business requirements management solution and enables organizations to grow into a sophisticated use of "structured requirements," company officials said.

In environments where requirements have been captured in Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, Optimal Trace 5.0 provides an intuitive document and text import capability that allows documents or file structures to be rapidly absorbed into the Optimal Trace repository.

In addition, Optimal Trace 5.0 introduces structural flexibility for tailoring project and package/group structure to the needs of any project, the company said. The software extends the capability to create custom field definitions on any level, including project, package and requirement level. The new version also improves Compuwares ability to propagate requirements to the companys project and portfolio management solutions, ensuring complete alignment with the business, company officials said.

"IT needs to work collaboratively with the business to elicit effective requirements and manage them throughout the application life cycle," said John Williams, senior vice president of product management and strategy at Compuware.


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