Tasktop Teams With Serena, Launches Sync 2.8

Tasktop Technologies announced a new partnership with Serena Software as well as the launch of version 2.8 of its Sync ALM solution.

Tasktop Technologies, a provider of application lifecycle management (ALM) integration solutions, and Serena Software, a maker of orchestrated application development and release management software, announced a partnership to provide process orchestration across ALM tools.

Tasktop, which earlier this year launched the Software Lifecycle Integration (SLI) initiative to connect the entire software delivery lifecycle, will develop, and Serena will offer, OEM versions of Tasktop Dev and Tasktop Sync for Serena Business Manager (SBM). SBM serves as the process foundation underpinning Serena’s orchestrated ALM solutions. Tasktop announced the partnership and other news at the Agile 2013 conference in Nashville, Tenn.

The combined solutions will extend Serena’s business process automation capabilities by integrating SBM with other leading third-party ALM systems, providing process orchestration across a wide variety of products from disparate vendors. The results are improved collaboration among diverse teams and disciplines, along with visibility, traceability and reporting across a broad range of ALM systems.

“SBM enables IT organizations to cost effectively streamline and automate processes across application and product development, IT operations and business service management. The partnership with Tasktop helps us realize our vision of orchestrated ALM,” said Carl Landers, vice president of marketing for Serena Software. “By coupling SBM’s ability to orchestrate application development and operations processes, with Tasktop’s leading integration technology, we’re able to satisfy our customers’ needs of automating those processes across a wide variety of systems.”

As part of this partnership, Tasktop is building Tasktop Dev and Tasktop Sync connectors for Serena SBM. Tasktop Dev enables Serena users to access and manage SBM directly from the Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environments (IDEs). The task-focused interface experience for Eclipse further streamlines development and team communication by focusing the developer on the artifacts that are relevant for a given task.

Tasktop Sync provides server-side integration between Serena Business Manager and other ALM products, enabling SBM users to orchestrate processes across numerous third-party ALM systems such as HP ALM, HP Quality Center, IBM Rational Team Concert, Atlassian JIRA, Microsoft Team Foundation Server, Bugzilla, CA Clarity Agile and more.

“While individual stakeholders will continue to insist on their system of choice, to realize the benefits of DevOps the modern IT organization needs a unified layer of orchestration,” said Mik Kersten, co-founder and CEO of Tasktop, in a statement. “This joint solution will combine Tasktop’s integration infrastructure and tools with Serena’s SBM solution to provide the benefits of orchestrated IT in heterogeneous and developer-centric environments.”

General availability for both the Tasktop Dev and Tasktop Sync connectors is expected in the fourth quarter.

At Agile 2013, Tasktop announced a new version of Tasktop Sync that automates how time-tracking data, recorded in the practitioner’s development tools, is synchronized with the project portfolio management (PPM) products used by the program management office (PMO). Sync 2.8 ensures that time and resource information is automatically updated in the PPM system.

“Organizations are adopting initiatives such as scaled-Agile, DevOps, continuous delivery and PPM to increase the effectiveness of their software development investments. But disconnected tools and processes are adversely affecting the value these initiatives can deliver an organization,” said Dave West, chief product officer of Tasktop, in a statement. “For example, PPM systems can help an organization understand the value of the investments, but only if they have an accurate record of the resource expended on a project. … Building on our already extensive support of Agile tools, Sync 2.8 extends the functionality we previously announced to integrate PPM and Agile tools.”

Although automation is "useful for the individual and the team, it did not help the PMO that works at the program, enterprise and product level,” Kersten said in a blog post. “PMOs use specialized project and portfolio management software such as CA Clarity PPM. So now, in our ongoing effort to create an infrastructure that connects all aspects of software delivery and to keep people coding and planning to their hearts’ content, we have stepped out of the IDE in order to bridge the divide between the PMO and Agile teams.”

The Tasktop Sync 2.8 release includes updates to the leading Agile tools, such as support for RTC 4, HP ALM, CA Clarity Agile and Microsoft TFS 2012, Kersten said. It also ships the first Sync support for Rally and the TFS 2013 beta.

“With Tasktop 2.8, we have finally managed to connect the worlds of Agile ALM and PPM both in terms of task flow and time reporting,” Kersten said.

In addition to the time-tracking functionality, Sync 2.8 includes support for new releases of ALM tools. Tasktop Sync 2.8 will be generally available Aug. 8.