Tasktop Launches Sync to Unify ALM Stacks for the Agile Enterprise

Tasktop Technologies' Tasktop Sync enables users to synchronize their application lifecycle management (ALM) stacks for Agile development.

Tasktop Technologies, creator of the Eclipse Mylyn project, has announced Tasktop Sync, a new product that allows IT organizations to synchronize existing application lifecycle management (ALM) servers from multiple vendors and open source projects.

Tasktop officials said with the new Sync tool, organizations with mixed and best-of-breed ALM stacks, including HP ALM and HP Quality Center, IBM Rational Team Concert, and two dozen other Agile and open source tools, are able to achieve traceability and reporting across the tools used for Agile planning, software development and quality management. Tasktop demonstrated Tasktop Sync at the Agile2011 conference in Salt Lake City the week of August 8.

"Large organizations adopting Agile are seeing major problems with communication and traceability across stakeholders," said Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop Technologies and creator of the open source Eclipse Mylyn project, in a statement. "To scale to the needs of large organizations, it is vital that traditional requirements and quality management systems are connected to the new breed of Agile project management tools and existing ALM installations. Failure to automate connectivity and enable reporting between these disparate tools puts Agile deployments at risk. Tasktop Sync provides the only real-time and transparent connectivity between Agile planning and QA, while enabling developers to get the productivity and collaboration benefits provided by Agile methods and open-source tools."

In a blog post on Tasktop Sync, Kersten said:

""In our mission to improve the productivity of software development, our focus to date has been the developer. With Mylyn for the masses and Tasktop for the Enterprise, we have provided developers the tools that they need to focus on coding amidst constant interruptions and organizational shifts between disparate application lifecycle management (ALM) tools and ever-evolving flavors of Agile. Mylyn and Tasktop provide developers a single pane of glass through which to view all parts of the application lifecycle relevant to their work. But other key stakeholders, who do not live in the IDE, are missing this visibility. Over the course of the past decade, as the heterogeneity of ALM has increased the vantage of these stakeholders decreased. Today we are announcing a new product that will bring all members of the development process into the modern software delivery loop.""

Kersten said the majority of large organizations adopting Agile have heterogeneous ALM environments that combine solutions from multiple vendors and open source projects. The mix of tools creates silos between development, quality assurance and management, leading to a critical lack of traceability across the software lifecycle. This disconnect has been resulting in the failure of Agile deployments and other ALM modernization efforts, Kersten said. To date, Tasktop's products have been providing developers with an integrated ALM experience within the IDE. With Tasktop Sync, the company fills this Agile tool disconnect with a powerful server-side solution to complement its suite of desktop tools and integrations (now called Tasktop Dev).

Moreover, unlike previous approaches to ALM synchronization, Tasktop Sync is built on the industry-standard Eclipse Mylyn ALM interoperability framework to provide real-time synchronization, automatic and configuration conflict resolution, and support for more than two dozen ALM tools' tracking and reporting facilities. Building on the company's Task Federation technology, Tasktop Sync ensures that each stakeholder has access to the data that they need within their tool of choice, even if the data resides between requirements management, Agile development and traditional quality management systems, the company said.

"ALM is currently hobbled by poor integration between tools at every layer - with every platform trying to be the single version of the truth, which makes life harder for managers and developers," said James Governor, co-founder of industry research firm RedMonk, in a statement. "Tasktop Sync takes the simple integration approach that makes its client-side technology effective into the server side, allowing for transparency across development projects, whether Agile or traditional."

Tasktop Sync features real-time synchronization -- parallel execution and under one second time in queue per sync item with standard server specs, automated and configurable conflict resolution, visual administrator tools for synchronization mapping design and performance monitoring, and support for all artifact types, including tasks, work items, defects, requirements and tests.

In addition, Tasktop Sync provides performance based on the number of concurrent changes, not number of artifacts. It supports nearly 20 management tools. And thanks to its partner ecosystem, collaborations with ALM vendors and open source leadership, Tasktop is viewed as a trusted vendor for ALM integration solutions, company officials said.

Kersten added in his blog post:

""Tasktop Sync is the first real-time synchronizer for ALM. While synchronization is largely solved for email and contacts, with protocols and synchronizers working seamlessly across Microsoft Exchange, IMAP, Google Apps and iOS, the lack of a scalable and generic solution has been an endemic problem in large-scale ALM. With Tasktop Sync, the ALM architect simply sets up a mapping between the various ALM systems of record for requirements, Agile, development and testing.""

Tasktop Sync is now available and is offered through perpetual licenses with annual support and maintenance, or annual subscriptions. As an introductory offer, Tasktop Sync is available as a bundle with Tasktop Dev (Enterprise Edition) for $199 per user, per year. More information is available at http://tasktop.com/sync.